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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Ending construction

After a group of British academics decided to boycott Israel in 2005 (though later overturned), the inevitable second stage is upon us:

"A group including some of Britain's most prominent architects is considering calling for an economic boycott of Israel's construction industry in protest at the building of Israeli settlements and the separation barrier in the Occupied Territories.

"The group said that architects, planners and engineers working on Israeli projects in the occupied territories were 'complicit in social, political and economic oppression', and 'in violation of their professional code of ethics'.

"It said that: 'Planning, architecture and other construction disciplines are being used to promote an apartheid system of environmental control.'"

While the chairman of the Israel Architects' Association may claim that the boycott is inappropriate because "the Government of Israel, which evacuated the Gaza Strip, is currently showing goodwill and trying to reach an agreement", the co-ordinator of the proposed boycott argues that, "since nothing seems to deter Israel, and western governments remain silent, civil society has to pressure Israel and those creating the physical reality of these injustices that are the cause of such instability in the Middle East."

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

8 Comments:

Blogger orang said...

Didn't our own Queensland Premier Beattie after the customary oz poli trip to Israel last year come back with good news for our prefabricated building industry in Israel?

Saturday, February 11, 2006 7:04:00 am  
Blogger Shabadoo said...

I'm not going to invoke the "A.S." word here, but I find it curious the continued focus on Israel with all these boycotts. I mean, most countries around the world behave appallingly in one sphere or other - far worse than Israel generally - and no one is suggesting that contractors or academics or anyone else suspend relations with, say, China (grievous human rights violations, environmental depredation par excellence, etc), or not buy Egyptian cotton shirts because of their treatment of the Copts, etc.

Interestingly, the sort of folk-Marxism that has dominated the left over the past couple of decades really only sees "oppression" when it is committed by white Westerners (c.f. South Africa boycotts of the 1980s), which suggests a real racism underlying the entire class v. class outlook of their thinking. (Note, for example, that Islamic oppression of, well, everyone, is always condemned sidelong because they represent the "other").

Saturday, February 11, 2006 8:21:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

You have a good point Shab, but I don't think it's a matter of selective morality that you are suggesting.

Western countries hold themselves up as champions of hjman rights are democracy, so they are held to higher standards. it is in factthe right wing that selectively applies it's own morality under the umbrella of moral exceptionalism and the perpatual myth that no matter what the West does, it is ultimately for the greater good.

For example, we insist applying the rule of law to despots and tyrants, while subscribing to the absurd notion that US military personal whould be immune from prosecution. Now if the West operates under the banner of fair play, why be so fearful of such scruitiny?

In the case of Israel, it is that Israel is conducting itself like a rogue state, while hiding behind the myth that Israeli's are victims.

Saturday, February 11, 2006 10:17:00 am  
Blogger Progressive Atheist said...

The real problem begins with Jewish schools. That is where the building boycotts should be directed.

Saturday, February 11, 2006 11:58:00 am  
Blogger Glenn Condell said...

Impressively relentless focus on the talking points shab, gold star for you.

At some stage, the massive upswelling of affront about Israel that characterises most informed opinion in most Western countries must pierce the barrier of silence imposed by our elites. This affront, which has moved so many disparate profesional groups to protest with boycotts like these, has been effectively marginalised and obscured by a media either on-side with the Likudniks or scared shitless of their revenge. It can't last forever.

Saturday, February 11, 2006 1:17:00 pm  
Blogger Brian said...

Interestingly, the sort of folk-Marxism that has dominated the left over the past couple of decades really only sees "oppression" when it is committed by white Westerners (c.f. South Africa boycotts of the 1980s), which suggests a real racism underlying the entire class v. class outlook of their thinking. (Note, for example, that Islamic oppression of, well, everyone, is always condemned sidelong because they represent the "other").

Hello! Where have you been for the last thirty-five years! Of course there has been selective enforcement of "human rights" on white/western nations.

The question is why have some suddenly become concerned with this selective enforcement, when Israel became the target?

Saturday, February 11, 2006 2:26:00 pm  
Blogger James Waterton said...

Glenn, you are so far up your own fundamental orifice, it's laughable.

"the massive upswelling of affront about Israel that characterises most informed opinion in most Western countries"

What you "characterise" as "most informed opinion" boggles the mind. Informed opinion stretches beyond the university campus, you do realise?

Sunday, February 12, 2006 4:40:00 am  
Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

Shabadoo said...
" I mean, most countries around the world behave appallingly in one sphere or other - far worse than Israel generally ..."

And that's EXACTLY why everyone should have left poor little South Africa alone. If only people had held to this wonderfully reasonable argument, we could still be tsk-tsking about one of the few remaining nation-states in the world that made a virtue out of racially discriminatory policies. Fortunately, people didn't take much notice of such arguments in the end.

"Interestingly, the sort of folk-Marxism that has dominated the left over the past couple of decades really only sees "oppression"...

Yes that's right. Opposition to Israel's policy of violent dispossession and occupation cannot be explained by the fact of dispossession and occupation; its all due to a '70s Marxist rump.

Move along people - no occupation to see here - move along.

Sunday, February 12, 2006 5:27:00 am  

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