Home Page

carol gould

Join our email list for updates.




We hope that you'll feel our website is worthy enough to contribute a few pounds to the bandwidth bills.



Boycotts, Boycotts..
Last uploaded : Thursday 2nd Aug 2007 at 20:02
Contributed by : Daniel Jason


Divest from Israel...oh, and also boycott their academia.

People appear to be confused about the nature of the recent mass-boycotting of Israel from various British and now, Irish unions. In a world where it has become fashionable to criticise Israel in the public light, unions have been quick to declare boycotts against Israeli products and academia, with no thought for the fact that such action may very well hinder the Palestinian cause.

For in the case of the UCU boycott – which was not even a boycott, but a motion passed to talk about passing a boycott of Israeli academia - ostracising the academic and foremost branch of the Israeli peace camp does not in any way serve to promote peace, but causes it to be ever more elusive. Taking punitive action against the very section of Israeli society who promote peace will surely push them to a more right-wing, anti-peace stance and makes absolutely no logical sense.

Academic boycotts of Israeli academia does not even appear to be well received amongst the Palestinian peace camp either, as Rami Nasrallah, head of the International Peace Corporation Centre explains, “I was educated myself at the Hebrew University. It is a very prestigious thing to study in Israeli universities.
“My whole family considered it as a prestigious thing, it’s a weird decision by British academics to block Israeli academies.” Furthermore, he noted that “Palestinian universities have good relations with Hebrew academies,” so the inevitable question to the leaders of the academic boycott is, just what do they think they are accomplishing?

As far as trade and divestment go, the recent announcement of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions to boycott Israel is based on some serious accusations, such as torture of Palestinians, which is illegal under Israeli law, and “policy of ethnic cleansing” - thus accusing the Israeli government of making it policy to purposefully massacre Palestinian civilians.

That Israel tortures Palestinians is at best a false claim, as the Israeli High Court – upon which sit Israeli-Arabs – has declared the use of any physical pressure whilst questioning suspects illegal, including methods approved in America and the UK, such as loud music, sleep deprivation and forced uncomfortable physical positions. Should Ireland boycott America for the use of such practises? According to the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland, the country had €23.5b worth of bi-lateral trade with America in 2005 alone, so it is unlikely we shall be hearing those sentiments from them at all.

That the ICTU make claims, in the full text of their boycott motion, that Israel engages in mass-genocide by policy is fraudulent and despicable. But even if Israel were to engage in such practises, the question remains why the ICTU sees fit to only speak up against Israel and not the genocide in Rwanda – where Irish investors recently injected millions of dollars - or the treatment of the Tibetans, or any other of the truly apartheid, genocidal nations in the world?

That Israel is picked out of all nations and wrongfully accused of such crimes as genocide and torture leave questions of the intentions of the ICTU. Doubtless, these and the other reasons for their boycott are less than sound. What they refer to as the “apartheid wall” has been proven to successfully decrease the rate of penetration of terrorists into Israel. The attempted terrorist atrocities have subsided and Israeli security has gotten better, part of which is thanks to the wall.

It is unfortunate that Israel has had to go to these lengths to defend itself against terrorist groups, but they have done so with the utmost care and fragility. The “uprooting of olive groves” mentioned in the boycott motion are true, but the Israeli High Court recently ruled that all groves should be replanted on the land chosen by the owner of the groves, at Israel’s cost, so its inclusion in the boycott motion is out-dated and at best, puzzling.

Surely we should be at the forefront of peace, helping to promote it in a positive fashion, rather than being a negative influence upon this process, making false claims of heinous crimes against a state is surely no way to win friends or promote peace.

We must remember too, that there are those who have a vested interest in continuing the state of hostilities in the Middle East and it is towards them that our anger should be directed: not the Israeli businesses – many of whom rely on a Palestinian workforce, who would no doubt suffer due to the boycotts - nor the academia who actively push for peace.


Read more Guest Opinions    go >>



Web Design - Web Designers
© current viewpoint .com

All Rights reserved.
No copying of any text or images allowed in any form digitally or otherwise,
without the prior written consent of the copyright holders.