“Why Boycott Israel” by Abiezer Coppe

Abiezer Coppe is the pen name of a British Leftist who is a good friend of mine. His biography is here. The subject of this article has been done many times, but most folks still don’t understand it very well. There is a big debate on the Left about whether or not to boycott Israel. Some say yes, others say no. Here Abiezer lays out the case for boycotting Israel.

Why Boycott Israel

by Abiezer Coppe

In the past the world knew how to fight criminal policies. The boycott on South Africa was effective, but Israel is handled with kid gloves: its trade relations are flourishing, academic and cultural cooperation continue and intensify with diplomatic support.
This international backing must stop. That is the only way to stop the insatiable Israeli violence.
We are calling on the world to stop Israeli violence and not allow the continuation of the brutal occupation. We call on the world to condemn and not become an accomplice in Israel’s crimes.

The above is part of a document signed by leading Israeli artists, writers and intellectuals and ordinary citizens during the war on Gaza and published on January 7th 2009. It is not the first (see Matzpun.) Matzpun is the Hebrew word for conscience. This IS a matter of conscience.
If you knowingly buy Israeli goods you are complicit with the war crimes of the Israeli state. If you unknowingly buy Israeli goods now is the time to inform yourself, now is the time to stop. Not buying Israeli goods is ethical shopping.
Palestinian organizations have been calling for the boycott of Israeli goods for years. We should finally listen. The war on Gaza was not fought against an army, but against the civilian population with the most modern, deadly and in some cases illegal weapons. 1434 civilians died and over 5,000 were injured. Over 300 children died.
Gaza does not have an army. Gaza does not have an air force. Gaza is an overcrowded strip of land bordering Egypt, contains nearly one and a half million Palestinians, many of whom are the descendants of those who fled southwards in 1948, driven out by the Jewish militias, an illegal act of ethnic cleansing, accompanied by massacres of unarmed civilians in Tantura, Deir Yassin and other villages, over 400 of which were then razed to the ground.
Israel has not changed its nature in the intervening years since its foundation in 1948. Schools, hospitals and police stations in Gaza were repeatedly targeted by the Israeli Air Force in January. Israeli soldiers confronted and killed unarmed civilians in their houses.
Shells containing white phosphorous, an illegal weapon which burns human flesh down to the bone, were dropped on a UN school. A UN compound containing provisions and supplies for Palestinians, which repeatedly contacted the Israeli army beforehand, was shelled and set on fire. These are war crimes.
Illegal Dense Inert Metal Explosives (DIME for short) weapons were used in Gaza. These weapons shred the body and sheer off limbs leaving a stump that does not bleed. They are illegal. What is more, the killing goes on since the ceasefire. Gaza is now a killing field.
Gazan civilians cannot leave their cage. Gaza has been blockaded for three years. The blockade is illegal in International Law. The Palestinians of Gaza are malnourished for want of food. They continue to die for want of access to hospital treatment. Over 99% of Gazan children examined by psychiatrist Dr Khalid Dahlan have suffered trauma.
Gaza is not allowed to trade. Gazan fisherman are not allowed to fish. The remains of the Gazan economy have been destroyed by the Israeli bombing. Antiquated sewerage systems have been smashed by the bombing. The water is not safe to drink.
What is the word that describes Israel’s treatment of Gaza? If you are in any doubt check out this article by a Jewish Israeli historian, Ilan Pappé. If you knowingly buy Israeli goods you are supporting this. Who can defend this? What am I talking about here? Ask yourself. Can we stand by and let this happen?
Does history have to repeat itself?
Things are not much better in the Palestinian West Bank, illegally occupied for 41 years by the Israeli army. Unemployment is 70% among the 3.1 million Palestinians there. The economy has been stifled by the Occupation.
Over 40% of Palestinian land on the West Bank has been illegally confiscated for illegal Jewish settlements. The illegal Jewish settlers bear arms and harass and kill Palestinians constantly. 500,000 of them now live on illegally confiscated Palestinian land. The Israeli settlements pipe their sewage directly onto Palestinian farmland.
No Palestinian is allowed to bear arms, unless he is working for the Israel state. There is no legal recourse for Palestinians, either for the killings or for the land confiscations. A wall snakes across Palestinian land, isolating Palestinian towns like Qalqiliya, now entirely surrounded by a 25 foot wall, cutting off Palestinian villagers from their own olive groves and farmland.
600 checkpoints on the West Bank staffed by bored, frustrated youths of the Israeli Defence Forces, monitor and control all Palestinian movements. People are delayed for hours at checkpoints on the whim of the Israeli army, and women have given birth at a checkpoint and lost their babies.
Over 11,000 Palestinians are in Israeli jails, many for years without charge. Many of them are under 18. 18,000 Palestinian homes have been illegally demolished on the West Bank since 1967. 30,000 new housing units are planned this year on confiscated Palestinian land around East Jerusalem.
Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank is far worse than Apartheid ever was. South African blacks were part of the Apartheid economy, not a surplus population with levels of unemployment running at 70% in the West Bank and over 80% in Gaza before the war.
There was no question of ethnically cleansing the South African blacks from their homeland. Palestinians are not welcome or safe in Gaza and the West Bank, and increasingly they are not welcome as citizens of Israel.
Arbitrary mass arrests greeted the largest ever peaceful Israeli demonstration of 150,000 people in the Galilean village of Sakhnin. Peaceful Palestinian protests in Hebron on the West Bank were greeted with mass arrests and live ammunition. Who can defend this? Who would tolerate it here? What is this democracy that the EU states embrace with open arms?
We saw the deafening silence of the international power elite, on both sides of the Atlantic, during the illegal war on Gaza. The international boycott of South Africa, coupled with the resistance of the ANC, was pivotal in bringing De Klerk to the negotiating table and ending the formal existence of Apartheid in South Africa. Israel is an even more oppressive case of colonial rule of a subject population, in which the UK has been complicit from the beginning.
I believe that a mass international boycott campaign can bring pressure to bear on the Israeli state to seek a resolution of the conflict with the native Palestinians that is based on the minimum requirements of justice and the International Consensus as represented by the United Nations annual vote on the resolution of the conflict, and the rulings of the International Court of Justice in the Hague, not the US Road Map to Nowhere.
This is the absolute minimum, and can only become an agenda for resolution of the conflict if made a demand of an international mass boycott movement.
Who cannot support this? Do not be complicit! Supporting the boycott in whatever form you can sends out a clear message both to the Israeli regime and our own rulers: This is unacceptable. This must stop.
Here are some resources for further investigation.
The illegal war in Gaza and Gaza war crimes, by Richard Falk, an American Jew.
A campaign started by Muslims
The Big Campaign.
Jason Kunin, a Toronto Jew, on Why Boycott Israel?
Anti-Gaza War by Israelis.
Understanding the Crisis in Gaza.
The Jerusalem Post. Boycott campaigns do make a difference.
Ronnie Kasrils, a South African Jew, on why Israeli treatment of the Palestinians is far worse than Apartheid.

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19 thoughts on ““Why Boycott Israel” by Abiezer Coppe”

  1. I don’t like it, but yah, it’s the right thing to do. I don’t even see why there’s any debate from moral POV.

  2. ZIONISM AND COMMUNISM: JEWISH TWINS
Douglas Reed stated that Communism and Zionism both sprang out of the Jewish ghettoes of Eastern Europe—one to undermine Government from above and the other from below, and that the final objective of both these movements is the same: Jewish World Government..
    http://jewise.wordpress.com/the-longest-hatred/

  3. Zionism and communism is just the same thing – judaism. On the surface they appear to be different but their endgame is the same – jewish supremacy, or in other words: JWG – Jewish World Government.
    To do that the jews must have a world police state and that is exactly what the jews are turning America in 2oo9 into. To do that the jews must control America just the way they controlled Sovjet.
    The way the jews is going to control America Sovjet style is to force a eternal mind of warfare upon America and take away civic rights.
    What is most amazing is how easy it’s done by the jews. All the jews have to do is accusing Y-O-U of being a “terrorist”, once accused you lose everything, or as the Real President of America tells it: “You have no rights. You are not a member of the american family.”
    American citizenship? American passport?
    What of it? You have no rights.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gx6fhE-DpeQ&feature=channel_page

  4. ” Actually Palestinians enslaved Africans from mid 1700’s to 1948 and ripped them of their culture but thats a completely different story that I hope more historians will embrace ”
    My God! ????? I can just see them all singing ‘Old Man River’ and ‘Let My People Go’ as they pick olives under the cruel overseers whip.
    Anyway, where you been, Heg? Did you get extradited to Germany or something? Watch out for that. You might be right about all that stuff, but I think you don’t supply enough evidence that the ‘jews from below’ co-operated with the ‘jews from above’ according to a deliberate plan; but I think it not unlikely that jewish elites have made a general policy of assisting their ‘fellows’ into positions of power, be it on the left or the right, to much the same effect.

  5. Our goal is to destroy Israel and affirm a new Palestine from the Arab desert to the sea. I think that there is no real Jewish people but Jewish faith. So Jews have no right and no link to the Holy land. I wonder if the Jews are really Jews. Can you help me with that problem?
    We will win !
    http://www..youtube.com/watch?v=RTu-AUE9ycs .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhuxjX-GI5c
    Inshallah !!!!!

  6. Olive, Ahmad Shaukat is nothing but a troll. It’s apparently a Jew pretending to be a radical Palestinian Muslim. These are usual young male Jews, often Israelis. They do this fake identity thing constantly.

  7. Have read all the comments. My latest thought is that it might be very anti-semitic not to boycott Israeli goods. Go figure that one. Israel can probably survive within its 1967 borders: then Arab demography becomes much less of a problem. But as Ehud Olmert (hardly a moderate) pointed out recently, Israel cannot survive and continue to occupy the whole of historic Palestine. It’s clear why, isn’t it? So helping Israel return to the 78% of Palestine it occupied before 1967 by boycotting everything Israeli is probably a very pro-Jewish thing to do, as it will help ensure the Jewish and democratic state survives. I don’t like ethnocracies, but an Islamic state in the place of Israel, if Israel falls (Norman Finkelstein now thinks this is likely, on its present collision course) could be far worse in human rights terms
    than the Jewish and democratic state on its 1967 borders with formal democratic rights and freedoms and limited funding for the Arab citizens of the state. I’m not sure if forgiveness is a big thing in Islam like it’s supposed to be in Christianity. Can anyone enlighten me on this? Do Arab Muslims forgive and forget past wrongs? I feel not.
    yeah Olive I agree, those fresh Israeli dates taste fantastic. Don’t know about the other stuff you mention.

  8. I would say that Arabs in general, and by that I also mean Arab Muslims, and Muslims in general, simply DO NOT forgive and forget at all, period, exclamation point. They are way worse than Jews on that basis, and Islam is in part derived from Judaism IMO. An Islamic state in all of Palestine would be very bad for the Jews. I think a secular state along the lines of present day Lebanon could be quite workable though.
    You are correct, and Islamic state in all of Palestine would be worse for minorities (Jews and Christians) than the present Israeli apartheid state. Islamic states are always apartheid states. It is essential to point this out. Hear me, Trots?
    That’s an excellent post Paul and you should turn it into a post, really.

  9. yeah but I’m off to work…it appears to mean that Mohammed the Prophet (I’m an atheist, mind, which is why Islamism appears abhorrent and backward to me) held Judaism in very high regard and wanted to make it the basis for his teaching. What do you make of it Tad?

  10. I agree that Mohammad based his new religion on Judaism. In fact, I think originally he was a Jew and his new religion was that he was the new Jewish prophet. The Jews rejected him like they do to all prophets, and that was why he was so mad at them. It’s an interesting theory, but I believe it.

  11. Well searching my memories this is what I understood. Mohammed worked for a Christian lady in charge of her caravans, so he was friendly and knowledgable about Christianity. The Muslims hate the Jews because a Jewish lady poisoned Mohammed. (He didn’t die.) But Mohammed declared that Jews and Christians were people of the book and were allowed to keep their religion if they paid a tax. Some converted to Islam rather than pay the tax but others did not. That’s why there are Jews and Christians in the Mideast.
    It’s hard to know Muhammed’s story because the Koran says nothing about Mohammed or his history or the history if Islam. It only contains the scripture or suras that came out of his mouth and were memorized by his followers and passed on until they were finally written down in the Koran.

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