Facebook share Share on TwitterRSS feed

Innovative Minds © 2014. All Rights Reserved. www.inminds.co.uk

[Boycott - Other News]

Comment:

Zionist perspective on perceived threats to Israel from what they call 'the soft war' - essentially BDS and other actions by civil society in the West against apartheid Israel

Countering the soft war


Asher Fredman, Yedioth (Ynetnews)
5 May 2010

Israel is waking up to the growing threat of the soft war being waged against it internationally. Jazz artist Gil Scott-Heron's apparent cancellation of his upcoming Tel Aviv performance is just the latest outcome of the escalating campaign to promote a cultural boycott of Israel. The April 28th assault on Israel's deputy ambassador to the UK as she completed a university lecture is another reminder that the soft war can quickly turn hard.




Those leading the soft war have adopted a number of tactics, including legal actions against Israeli officials abroad, the delegitimization of Israel as the world's prime violator of human rights, and determined efforts to silence pro-Israel speakers. Equating their cause with the struggle against Apartheid South Africa, they have made the promotion of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel a centerpiece of their campaign.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad seems to have been one of the first among the region's political leaders to recognize and appreciate these developments. His two-year plan for unilaterally building a Palestinian state is based on the assumption that successful Palestinian institution-building will help create an international climate in which Israel is forced to acquiescence to key Palestinian demands.

The wager is that growing international pressure on Israel will be a more effective catalyst for Israeli concessions than either violent resistance or difficult negotiations. Time, he feels, is on his side.

The danger to Israel lies in the potential “snowball effect” of these campaigns. In many ways, the number of campaigns which achieve their goal is less important than the perception that the movement as a whole is gaining ground. This perception generates legitimacy for the soft war, entices others to jump on the bandwagon and can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.


To date, the success of the BDS movement has been limited. Despite the repeated calls by powerful NGOs such as Amnesty International to halt the sale of military equipment to Israel, no country has agreed to do so. Even the UK, which created a storm last summer when it revoked several weapons export licenses to Israel, insisted strongly that this did not constitute any kind of embargo.

Notwithstanding the numerous attempts to adopt divestment resolutions on campuses all over the US and Europe, very few such resolutions have been passed, let alone implemented.

However, the danger to Israel lies in the potential “snowball effect” of these campaigns. In many ways, the number of campaigns which achieve their goal is less important than the perception that the movement as a whole is gaining ground. This perception generates legitimacy for the soft war, entices others to jump on the bandwagon and can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Take wind out of BDS movement

Realizing the importance of creating this perception, the 2010 website of Israel Apartheid Week gushed, "IAW 2010 takes place following a year of incredible successes for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement on the global level." Toronto's IAW's events included a panel entitled, “Five Years Since the BDS Call- Celebrating Our Success.”

Many young people, who in the past would have been willing to take a stand for Israel, have been influenced by slanted media coverage and the scathing reports from groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.


It is essential then that the government bodies charged with devising Israel's strategy in this soft war dedicate significant resources to taking the wind out of the BDS movement. There is little chance that any argument will convince the hard-core supporters of BDS that it is wrong to single out Israel. The perception, however, that the movement is succeeding must be countered.

In response to headlines about pension funds' divestment decisions, Israel must pursue, and more importantly publicize, increased investments and new commercial ties with other countries. Performing artists bombarded by an Internet campaign asking that they cancel their performance must be contacted and given Israel's side of the story.

There are many other steps Israel can and should take to counter this assault. In parallel to rebranding efforts that emphasize Israel's scientific and cultural accomplishments, the most difficult questions must be faced head on. On university campuses, stories about Israel's contributions to text messaging or Indie rock seem hollow beside a picture of a checkpoint.

The soft war constitutes not simply a nuisance or even an economic threat. It is a process that could play a major role in shaping the future status quo between Israel and the Palestinians. That status quo would be one imposed from the outside, and would not necessarily take Israel's interests into account.


The choir must be preached to. Many young people, who in the past would have been willing to take a stand for Israel, have been influenced by slanted media coverage and the scathing reports from groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Publicizing the numerous elementary factual and legal errors in these reports would be a first step.

The geographic focus of Israel's efforts must broaden significantly. While the majority of attention has traditionally been devoted to the US, Israel Apartheid Week 2010 took place in 13 Canadian and 12 European cities, as well as 10 in the US.

The point that must be internalized is that the soft war constitutes not simply a nuisance or even an economic threat. It is a process that could play a major role in shaping the future status quo between Israel and the Palestinians. That status quo would be one imposed from the outside, and would not necessarily take Israel's interests into account.

The Palestinian leadership has recognized the far-reaching implications of this changing environment. It is time the Israeli leadership did as well.

Source: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3884712,00.html


Related Articles


Also Of Interest

Page URL: http://inminds.co.uk/article.php?id=10381
Support Us
If you agree with our work then please support us.

Give one time donation:
£

Setup monthly donation:
£
INMINDS Facebook Live Feed
Latest Video's
Latest News..
[all-by date]
[all-by category]
[all-by modify date]
INMINDS Twitter Feed
Boycott Israel Campaign
Featured Video's
You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video.
Why boycott Israel on Campus[1:50:05]
12 London universities discuss need for BDS on campuses. Speakers include Rafeef Ziadeh, Ilan Pappe, Karma Nabulsi & Mike Cushman
Love Letters to Gaza[31:08]
A unique theatrical event using personal messages of love, support and hope from people of all ages and all walks of life to the people of Gaza.
John Pilger[7:55]
journalist and documentary maker
Antiwar Mass Assembly 8 Oct 2011
Julian Assange[7:07]
founder of WikiLeaks
Antiwar Mass Assembly 8 Oct 2011
Lauren Booth, Sami Ramadani & Yvonne Ridley[6:28]
Reading the names of the dead
Antiwar Mass Assembly 8 Oct 2011
George Galloway[6:39]
Antiwar Mass Assembly 8 Oct 2011
Jemima Khan[8:42]
Antiwar Mass Assembly 8 Oct 2011
Why Boycott Marks & Spencer 2011?[23:29]
Demo outside M&S Oxford Street(24 Sept 2011)
Sean Clinton[4:59]
Israeli Blood Diamonds Campaign
Al Quds Day rally, Trafalgar Square (31 Aug 2011)
Lauren Booth[5:24]
Al Quds Day rally, Trafalgar Square (31 Aug 2011)
Lauren Booth - Prayer for Gaza[2:46]
Al Quds Day rally, Trafalgar Square (31 Aug 2011)
Benny Morris - Historian or Racist?[34:07]
Activists oppose visit of racist Israeli historian Benny Morris who justifies ethnic cleansing and genocide.
Is Israel applying apartheid?[2:12:56]
Speakers: Yael Kahn, Jody McIntyre and Ghada Karmi (5 May 2011)
Karen Mitchell[48:27]
Partner at Thompsons Solicitors
Life changing visit to Palestine in 2008 (21 Feb 2011)
Ramzy Baroud[1:59:32]
Editor-in-chief of the Palestine Chronicle
"My Father Was A Freedom Fighter - Gaza's Untold Story" (25 Mar 2011)
Women United in the Intifada[2:31:36]
Speakers: Lizzie Cocker, Ewa Jasiewcz, Alaa Kassim, Yvonney Ridley, Isis Amlak, Sukant Chandan, Ramzy Baroud (14 Mar 2011)
George Galloway[1:01:48]
Solidarity with the Middle-East Revolution, support the people - oppose US/UK intervention (SOAS, 11 Mar 2011)
Omar Barghouti[55:08]
BDS Movement co-founder
"Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions" book launch (7 Mar 2011)
Shir Hever[1:49:09]
Alternative Information Centre
The Political Economy of Israel's Occupation, Kings College London (17 Feb 2011)
Why academic boycott of Israel[1:29:37]
Speakers: Mohammed Abuabdou(PSCABI), Mike Cushman(BRICUP), Jodey McIntyre(activist) (8 Feb 2011)
Dashed Hopes - Gaza Blockade[1:23:08]
Mohammed-Ali Abu Najela (Oxfam), Andrea Becker (MAP), Ewa Jasiewicz (Free Gaza Movement) (1 Feb 2011)
Jordan Valley: Apartheid[1:17:12]
Sarah Cobham(Brighton Jordan Valley Solidarity), Chris Osmond (Corporate Watch) (House of Commons, 1 Feb 2011)
Dump Veolia Demo[7:00]
Protesting at settlement supporter Veolia's sponsership of exhibit at the Natural History Museum (23 Oct 2010)
Boycott Israeli Dates [1/2][9:11]
Are you financing Israels brutal occupation this Ramadan?
Boycott Israeli Dates [2/2][9:05]
Are you financing Israels brutal occupation this Ramadan?
Lee Jasper [1/2][10:13]
[4 of 8] Genocide Memorial Day 2010 Session One, 17-1-2010
Lee Jasper [2/2][9:51]
[5 of 8] Genocide Memorial Day 2010 Session One, 17-1-2010
One Oppressor One Bullet[8:11]
Imam Achmad Cassiem, veteran of the armed struggle against apartheid in South Africa, speaks at the StW rally (London, 19 Feb 2005)
Salwa Alenat [1/2][9:56]
KavLaOved (Workers Rights hotline)
[1 of 8] Israel's Occupation - Abuse of Palestinian Workers (LSE 19 Nov 2009)
Salwa Alenat [2/2][8:57]
KavLaOved (Workers Rights hotline)
[2 of 8] Israel's Occupation - Abuse of Palestinian Workers (LSE 19 Nov 2009)
For Anwar [1of2][10:01]
Carmel Agrexco Valentines Action 7 Feb 2009
For Anwar [2of2][9:56]
Carmel Agrexco Valentines Action 7 Feb 2009
big
[all videos (over 200)..]
Special Additions

Featured MP3 Podcast

"The only obstacle to peace is Israel with its zionist ideology - zionism is racist and colonialistic - its no different to the apartheid in South Africa. We must dismantle this ideology which hates and discriminates.."
Friends of Al-Aqsa
Al Quds Day 2006, London [5min / 3Mb]
[need flash]

[all podcasts..]
Newsletter
To subscribe
enter your email:

COPY VERIFICATION CODEcopy this code —>
Feedback
If you wish to comment on this page:

(all fields optional)



COPY VERIFICATION CODEcopy this code —>
The opinions expressed on this site, unless otherwise stated, are those of the authors.
All logos & trademarks are the property of their respective owners and their use is covered under 'fair use' policy.
Copyright © 1998-2012 Innovative Minds www.inminds.com All Rights Reserved.
The opinions expressed on this site, unless otherwise stated, are those of the authors.
All logos & trademarks are the property of their respective owners and their use is covered under 'fair use' policy.
Copyright © 1998-2012 Innovative Minds www.inminds.com All Rights Reserved.