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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Monday, December 12, 2005

Increasing the pressure

Palestine Solidarity Campaign (UK) is encouraging a consumer boycott of Israeli goods:

"Focusing on oranges, dates and avocados, the central aim of the campaign is to build the boycott of Israeli goods and encourage shoppers to let supermarkets know they will do this.

"Consumers in at least 15 cities across the UK will be highlighting their boycott of Israeli goods, and persuading others to do the same, to create solidarity with the Palestinian people. Activists in city centres including London, Brighton, Bristol, Bucks/Berks, Camden, Durham, E.London, Exeter, Hackney, Oxford, Stevenage, W. Kent, W London, W Midlands, and York, will be visiting supermarkets to hand out leaflets. Campaigners in Hackney will take to the streets in a mini-bus, dressed as fruit, to bring their anti-apartheid message to the public in front of supermarkets in the area.

"They cite the words of Nelson Mandela who visited Occupied Palestine and declared that Israel's occupation with its Wall, hundreds of checkpoints and rampant discrimination against Palestinians was worse than the Apartheid experienced in South Africa. A widespread, international consumer boycott, sanctions and divestment can do what governments refuse to do, end Israel's impunity."

Israel's brutality will only end through economic pressure. In time, I believe this will have an effect, like in apartheid South Africa, and the campaign therefore deserves our support.

18 Comments:

Blogger Pete's Blog said...

Oh AL

I see a couple of drawbacks.

Such a campaign may play into the hands extreme right groups in Britain who'd love to aid a boycott of goods of the only Jewish country around.

Israeli ag products can be hidden and mixed into the "sourced from other counties" label. Australia received dates from Iraq under the "other counties" label during the latter part of Saddam's time.

Shortfalls in UK sales might be compensated by increased US sales thus reinforcing US-Israel's unholy alliance.

Monday, December 12, 2005 11:21:00 am  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

What about life-saving medical diagnostic technology invented in Israel? Or treatments developed by Israeli companies? Or other high-tech innovations...I remember someone posting a long list here once, and to really boycott, you'd have to go far beyond just oranges and dates.

Monday, December 12, 2005 11:31:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Nelson Mandela proves he either has a grudge or he is losing his mind. I thought the truth was important to him, not the admiration of antisemitic left wingers.

Monday, December 12, 2005 12:51:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Mansdela would be a farily good judge as to how the consitions in the occupied terrotories cpompared to Soweto type encalves.

And similarly, the international boycot of South Africa did create enormous political momentum.

Speaking his mind does mean he is losing it. That what he has to say is not music to your ears does not make him a supporter of anti-semites.

Monday, December 12, 2005 1:18:00 pm  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Mandela is not speaking his true opinion. He is either still pissed off that Israel was lightly allied with Sa, or he is suffering dementia. Or he's a flipping antisemite. There is no other explanation for his 'stated' opinion.

And as he was in jail for the vast majority of the time involved, he is least able to compare from personal experience.

But his hatred of Israel has nothing to do with any deepset antisemitism.

Monday, December 12, 2005 3:15:00 pm  
Blogger psydoc said...

Antony, it is curious that you would advance a boycott of Israel when you have not done so on numerous countries with obviously worse human rights records. Can you please explain the reason for this? Do Jews require special hatred?

Monday, December 12, 2005 8:28:00 pm  
Blogger neoleftychick said...

antony

I am enjoying your unbelievably medieval misogny. Boycott Israel to save cultures that encourage "homour" killings?

You should be ashamed of yourself.

Monday, December 12, 2005 11:51:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

You are a ted miopic Lefty.

Are you suggesting that the culture in question should be erradicated to prevent the likelyhood of "homour" killings?

it makes as much sense as the Vietnam era rational of destroying a village in order to save it.

Marvelous logic. You are doign the right wing proud.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 1:47:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

I don't think there is any chance in saving it. But AL's myopic choice of boycott appears to be suspicious.

Why is AL not boycotting China over Tibet?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 2:25:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Good question. So why is the US not attacking Saudi Arabia over human rights abuses, every time they single out Cuba?

Why was the US holding up Egypt as a model of democractic reform while beating up on Russia?

Why is the US picking on Syria, while also sending people there to be tortured on America's behalf?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 2:37:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

I also wonder why the US is not attacking Saudi Arabia, but i am not privy to discissions that far up the COC.

But AL has no COC, just hypocricy.

Egypt is advancing and Russia is back-sliding.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 6:58:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Egypt advancing in what way? They're stuck with a president for life. At least Russia has fixed terms for presindent.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 9:44:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Sorry you missed all the comotion in Egypt. Was your head someplace dark? Or is it that if the advance isn't quite in the direction you want it to be, it isn't an advance?

Progress is only notable if you approve?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 10:03:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

I saw a lot of images of polic wielding riot gear.

It was bizarre hearing Egypt's ruling party state that the country is "living in a state of marvelous awakening" after it won nearly three-quarters of seats.

Awakening? From what?

PS. I have no opinion on which direction Egypt should go so long as it is in accordance with the will of Egyptians.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 10:30:00 am  
Blogger Mannie said...

Nelson Mandela was in prison from 1962 to 1980, mostly on Robben Island. During that period, and with the very restricted numbers of visitors allowed to go to the island, one of the very few who managed to get there was the then only woman member of the white apartheid South African Parliament, Helen Suzman of the Progressive Party. She was for a very long time the only Prog. member of parliament. Because of her continuing demands, and because the government was already a pariah around the world - Israel being one of the exceptions - always remember the nuclear device exploded in the South Atlantic as a joint effort of the two governments - Suzman was able to see and talk to Mandela, who was not allowed to be quoted in the South African media - he was after all a banned person.
So a bond of friendship developed between Mandela and Suzman which continued past their parliamentary days.
Suzman is Jewish and Mandela is not an anti-semite, and their views on Israel differ.
Mandela is a politican and has made mistakes - one of his worst ones was not speaking out about modern South Africa's biggest crisis - HIV/AIDS while he was president. But Mandela has now put this right by speaking out and criticising his successor Thabo Mbeki over his mishandling - denial - as in Holocaust denial - of the way to deal with the situation where 20% to 25% of the South African population is HIV positive.
Mandela has also visited Palestine in recent times and has therefore had a first-hand view of the situation on the ground.
Mandela is not to be dismissed as having lost it on the grounds of old age - on the contrary, often wisdom comes with life's experiences which is no doubt what many of the writers to this site will discover as they age - more gracefully and less abusively, one hopes!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 3:12:00 pm  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Mandela is to be dismissed as an aging politician wishing to bask in the spotlight by bashing israel, as so many of his islamofascist friends do, or he's senile, or he is taking revenge, or he's an antisemite who knows a enough 'good' jews as to provide cover.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005 8:23:00 am  
Blogger Mannie said...

Aging - spelt incorrectly!
Bashing Israel!
Islamofascist!
Senile!
Anti-semite!
And this is informed comment from some juvenile delinquent who is still wet behind the ears!

Thursday, December 15, 2005 2:05:00 am  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Ibrahamav said...
Mandela is...an aging politician...bashing israel... senile...taking revenge...an antisemite.

You forgot to add: international statesman, destroyer of apartheid, and life-long opponent of racism.

And I still don't get why you keep referring to him "taking revenge". On whom? And why? (I asked this before but you refused to answer. I really would like to know. Seriously.)

Friday, December 16, 2005 5:11:00 am  

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