At other times, I feel trapped in an Escher-like landscape from which there is no exit.

It seems to me that the South Africa anti-apartheid movement had a model for resolving their oppression of Black and other non-white South Africans. The goal was and still is to cut the chains of oppression (uh oh, another cliché) in order to undo the legacies of colonialism, to create a process and atmosphere for reconciliation, but the objective was not erasing the country of South Africa itself .

My sense of the BDS movement is that it has become the politically ingenuous cover for the failed drive-the-Jews-into-the-sea objective that has fought the right of Israel to exist since its inception. As Noam Chomsky has pointed out, advocates of this ethnic cleansing (my characterization of the position, not Chomsky’s) do not object to other states created by the colonial powers of England and France after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. Why is Israel a special case? Why is the expulsion of Jews from Iraq, Syria, Iran, etc. not a cause taken up by those who oppose the naqba of the Palestinians?

The proposal before UTLA exhibits the flaws embedded in many of the political positions on Israel that employ the dishonest use of Palestinians as pawns in this dreadful situation. It is the immoral equivalent of the Kahanist denial of Palestinian rights to live with dignity, security and political integrity in these same lands.

Calling the disadvantaged status of the nearly 2 million Palestinian Arabs, a majority of whom are Israeli citizens, victims of apartheid plays fast and loose with this extreme form of unequal separation and denial of rights. Mizrachi Jews (Jews from Arab lands) who suffered longstanding discrimination and violence in their Northlands are rarely if ever included in the equations contrived to assess competitive suffering.

I believe Palestinians, Israelis and their supporters need positive, achievable objectives rather than impossible, nebulous, harmful, or emotionally-driven but wrong-headed goals. I have my own set of wishes and hopes, including the belief that U.S. support for Israel and Palestine should not be eliminated but directed to leveling the playing field for Arabs and Jews with no mechanism for freeing up funds for settlement or activities or aggression. I also believe that the established settlements should be integrated with Arab Moslems and Christians living side-by-side with Jews. Crazy? Impossible? Maybe. What do you think?

2 thoughts on “BDS and United Teachers of Los Angeles

  1. Yes. When the followers of BDS relinquish their homes to the displaced Native Americans then we can talk.

    My wife has been reading about groups of Israelis plus Palestinians talking about the suffering they have endured by violence. I like the idea that settlements can be peaceful places for both

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