[DEBATE] : CCS seminar on Israeli academic/cultural/economic boycott: 27 January, 12:30-2pm (skypecast)
critical.montages at gmail.com
Thu Jan 29 13:18:36 GMT 2009
Why don't activists make arms shipment to Israel the most prominent
target of the Palestinian solidarity movement?
(1) There is a direct and visible link among arms shipment to Israel,
Palestinian civilian casualties, and the governments that provide or
permit such shipment. Where the link is direct and visible, the task
of education and agitation is made easier.
(2) There is likely to be far more support for targeting arms
shipment than targeting anything else.
(3) The movement, as well as Palestinians, needs some short-term
victories. A movement that can't score any eventually peters out.
The cancellation of US arms shipment due to Greek objections is a good
example of morale-boosting victories.
That is not to say there can't be other targets of boycott and
divestment. It's a matter of prioritizing them. A solidarity
campaign that spends as much energy, say, on L'Oreal (cf.
<http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10049.shtml>) and the like,
as on, for example, Lockheed Martin and the like is unlikely to get
very far. A diffuse campaign also makes room for entry of morons and
crackpots acting on conspiracy theory (as in the case of disinfo about
Starbucks), which we want to avoid.
In general, priority should be given to what Israel's power elite most
hate to lose. The second most important target, therefore, may be
trade agreements, such as ones made between Israel and the EU; Israel,
US, Egypt, and Jordan; and Israel and UNASUR.
I'm not saying that this particular ordering is the only one that is
correct. I'm just suggesting that Israel is unlikely to care much
about the fortune of its artists and academics on the world stage,
with the only exception of its scientists whose work goes into its
industry, especially arms industry.
On Sun, Jan 25, 2009 at 2:11 PM, Patrick Bond <pbond at mail.ngo.za> wrote:
> * How should Durban's extensive economic relationships with Israel be
> addressed by civil society? The Veolia company's privatisation ("public
> private partnership") of South Durban waste water treatment is in the
> spotlight because of the firm's expulsion from Sweden last week, partially
> due to their controversial profits from Isreali exploitation of Palestine.
> Huge shipping interests permit Israeli goods to come into Africa, and yet
> last April a shipment of three million Chinese bullets ordered by Robert
> Mugabe's army was halted by church/labour activism. Should Durban civil
> society ratchet up pressure on SA's extensive economic relations with
> COSATU leader Zwelinzima Vavi: Sanction and boycott apartheid Israel!
> 2. We urge all companies and all shipping companies to refuse to carry any
> shipment of arms to Israel. Any shipping company who carries these weapons
> has the blood of the people of Gaza on its hands!
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