Sunday, June 2, 2013

Pushback Template for the BDSers


Of late, celebrity-driven BDS by Hawking, Waters and Alice “Space Alien Conspiracy Theories R Us” Walker have been on the newswires, with the last of those personages writing an impassioned letter to pop star Alicia Keys against her decision to have a concert in Israel.

I couldn’t care less about the thoughts of pop luminaries regarding Israel, or even Hawking, which given their areas of expertise gives them no more authority on the subject than I have. I was interested, however, in the comparison of the open letter Walker wrote to Keys with those written by pro-Israel bloggers and columnists to BDSers such as Roger Waters. The anti-Israel letters talk about justice, morality and the struggle against “racism, colonialism and apartheid,” while the pro-Israel letters emphasize Israel’s liberties (women’s rights, same-sex rights and the like), vibrant economy and achievements in science and medicine.

It’s no secret I think the ideological argumentation leveled against Israel can be countered only with an equal and opposite reaction, and since I’m done preachin’ it with endless verbiage, let me lead by example by offering a template for an open letter that argues against BDS on ideological lines.

Dear (Name),

As an admirer of your (scientific achievements / music / et al.) I was disappointed to learn of your decision, probably unintentional, to join yourself with the unjust cause of imperialist aggression carried out against the indigenous Palestinian nation, the Jewish nation, on their one and only land in the world. I am quite certain there was no malicious intent behind your support of such a cause, but the acceptance of prevalent falsehoods has set many people to support an agenda that goes against everything they would normally stand for.

If, as I believe you do, you support the struggle of indigenous people to maintain their self-determination in the face of imperialist aggression, as well as their rightful hold on their lands in the face of foreign colonization, I accept you will reconsider your stance on Israel, the state of the indigenous Palestinians—the Jews. For the sake of justice and morality, I trust that you will withdraw your support—given not out of malice but incorrect information—for the unjust colonial project where members of the Arab nation, indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula but not to Palestine, make illegal attempts to appropriate Palestine from its indigenous inhabitants, the Jews.

As speakers of a language indigenous to Palestine (Hebrew) and a calendar attuned to the land, the Jews have a full right to self-determination on their one and only piece of land in the world; justice demands that they be supported in the face of the illegal attempts by the speakers of a language foreign to Palestine and holders of culture originating in the Arabian Desert to encroach on what is rightfully theirs, what legally, justly and morally belongs to the one and only true Palestinian nation, the Jewish nation.

I implore you, for the sake of all that is good and moral, for the sake of your conscience, to rescind your support for racist Arab imperialism, illegal Arab colonialism and regressive Islamic apartheid (religious laws consigning Christians and Jews to second-class status), which are blots on humanity that a 21st-century world would be better off without. People of conscience everywhere support the just, rightful and non-imperialistic state of the indigenous Palestinian nation, the Jewish nation, as an integral part of their ideal of self-determination for indigenous peoples worldwide and resistance to colonialism, racism and apartheid.

I hope you will give the matter some thought.


That’s the template I suggest; refinements would be welcome.


  1. Zion,

    you're doing some terrific work here.

    In a few days I will be more free to join the discussion.

    1. Mike,

      Sometimes a less busy period happens to fall together with having a lot of ideas, hence me being on a roll with three consecutive posts. I hope I'll still have that kind of free time when you come back.

  2. I might add a paragraph to the effect that back in the 1920s, the international community at San Remo and through the League of Nations understood what justice demanded and recognized the right of Jewish self-determination to the entirety of Palestine, their indigenous homeland. Why do those current think they have a higher sense of justice?

    1. Oldschool,

      "...back in the 1920s, the international community at San Remo and through the League of Nations understood what justice demanded and recognized the right of Jewish self-determination to the entirety of Palestine, their indigenous homeland."

      It ought to be added, but only if those 1920s declarations haven't been abrogated by some other, more restrictive, declaration (say, something by the United Nations after WWII).

      That's one reason why I'm not crazy about enlisting international declarations, agreements and laws—or the Torah's argument of the "Divine Gift of Canaan to the Israelites," for that matter, despite being an Orthodox Jewish believer: I don't want Jewish national rights to be conditional, to be susceptible of being put up for debate. I like the "Jews are the indigenous Palestinian nation" argument best because it's an essential argument, it's valid as long as the Jewish nation exists and can't be invalidated by the passage of time, later declarations or the actions of the Jewish nation.

    2. That is exactly what San Remo and The League of Nations did, recognize that Palestine was the Jewish homeland and responsibility for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home.

      These provisions have not been abrogated under international law. In fact, they were reaffirmed in Article 80 of the UN Charter.

      The main point, however, is that 90 years ago justice was morally and legally recognized and to ask those today if they believe they simply know better what justice is?


  3. @ Ziontruth
    "WHEN", and when being the operative word here, I manage to get my Blog up and running, with your permission, never mind Mike's, can I please use this 'template' of yours for my BDS section? Michael, can you please pass my Optus email address on, thanks.

    I say when because I have someone who is 'sort of' in it with me, but let's not go there, who says the only way to go is with Word Press. I am having GREAT difficulty with it. He says he's very familiar with it but doesn't have time to help. I have found a couple of youngsters who could help but one is doing his final year 6 exams and I would not take up any of his study time. The other is at University and is pretty flat out.

    I am really struggling and am way out of my comfort zone. I have to stick with it. The guy who is in it with me is taking care of the legal side of things, financially too, because we intend on being a tad controversial. We need to wake our so called Community Leaders from their slumber amongst other things in the Community which need to be tackled

    It is called "News and Views from Jews Down Under - An online magazine for Australian Jews" Mike likes the idea of it being black and white and says it looks crisp and clean. My idea was to make it look somewhat like a newspaper.

    1. "...with your permission, never mind Mike's, can I please use this 'template' of yours for my BDS section?"

      It's meant for that purpose, Shirl. :) With any additions or omissions you want, of course.

      "...who says the only way to go is with Word Press. I am having GREAT difficulty with it."

      Why not Blogger? It may not be as sophisticated as Wordpress, but it's enough even for a collaborative venue like Israel Thrives, let alone a one- or two-person effort. Or do you have bigger plans? If it's about setting up an online forum then neither Blogger nor Wordpress would fit the bill. If, on the other end of the spectrum, you want a repository-model website like the kind that were common in the 1990s (y'know, the now-defunct Geocities and its ilk), there's a lot of free web hosting options that could work.

  4. Let's use a name here, it's easier. David is involved in the IT industry, he says that WordPress is a better platform and has better add-ons than Blogger. He is prepared to pay his solicitor to set it up in case there are legal issues. He is also prepared to pay for hosting costs etc. He is a major Funder in the Community. He 'found' me a couple of months back, when I was posting comments around the place and he saw we were of like mind. I met him about a month back when he came to Sydney on business.

    I have another friend in Sydney, another major Funder, who offered to pay to set a web site up for me. I refused, because even though it's for the Community really, I can't keep relying on him to fund every little whim of mine. Not that I have, but he keeps trying. He has funded some great Community projects for me.

    I don't want to mention names but I know of one Blogger who was sued and another who came pretty close to it. I think both cases were Muslims. I don't plan on going there. We both have issues with our Community Organisations and Leadership

    I did this for the Daphne Anson blog. It started as a comment and 'Daphne' asked me to expand it for a guest post. The comments I find interesting.

    David wants to get into other issues with a few people who are intent on bringing the whole Community nationwide into disrepute. We are of like mind.

    It's almost tomorrow and I was going to get an early night. I have to be somewhere early tomorrow. Later in the day I'll drop him a line and ell him I might need to go to Blogger. I already registered the name there, so I know I have that.

    Take this email address, is an anonymous one I only use on pro Palestinian sites. The mail is redirected to me from there.