Israel sees threat from “delegitimizers”

Reuters reports:

Foreign protests, boycotts, embargoes and sanctions, along with internal resistance, helped bring about the isolation and eventually the end of apartheid in South Africa in the 1990s.

Now Israelis fear pro-Palestinian, or anti-Israeli, activists are using the same tactics against their country, with increasing effect.

Carlos Santana, Gil Scott Heron, Elvis Costello, Gorillaz Sound System, the Klaxons, the Pixies, Faithless, Leftfield, Tindersticks, Meg Ryan and film director Mike Leigh have all decided not to go to Israel in recent months.

Some older, established acts — Paul McCartney, Elton John and Rod Stewart among them — have ignored boycott pressure.

The activist website boycottisrael.info keeps count.

Israeli analysts say pressure is brought to bear on artists by a global “delegitimisation network.”

White South Africa was ostracized in a campaign lasting years. Today, Facebook and Twitter can flash protest messages globally in seconds, putting pressure on entertainers to stay away from Israel, and drawing the attention of millions of fans.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reports:

The intent of the anonymous Internet video was unambiguous: “This person should be killed — and soon,” read a message underneath a photo of Israel’s deputy state prosecutor, Shai Nitzan.

His alleged offense? “Betraying” his Jewish roots by opening a criminal inquiry into racist threats and hate speech expressed on two Israel-based Facebook pages with statements in Hebrew such as “Death to Arabs.”

It was the latest, and most overtly violent, sign of what many here are calling a wave of intolerance toward people of different races, religions, orientations and viewpoints.

From rabbinical prohibitions against renting homes to “non-Jews” to government crackdowns on left-wing activists, Israelis are grappling with their nation’s identity and character.

Across the political spectrum, some see the struggle as a threat to Israel’s democratic ideals. Opposition leader Tzipi Livni, of the centrist Kadima party, warned that “an evil spirit has been sweeping over the country.” Defense Minister Ehud Barak said a “wave of racism is threatening to pull Israeli society into dark and dangerous places.”

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1 thought on “Israel sees threat from “delegitimizers”

  1. Renfro

    Forgive me if this has already been covered but germane to this post.

    South Africa’s HSRC’s determination on Israel apartheid…(main points below)

    http://www.hsrc.ac.za/Media_Release-378.phtml

    The Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa (HSRC) has released a study indicating that Israel is practicing both colonialism and apartheid in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT).
    The interim report, which will form part of a discussion at an upcoming HSRC conference on the subject, on 13 and 14 June in Cape Town, serves as a document to be finalised later this year.

    The HSRC commissioned an international team of scholars and practitioners of international public law from South Africa, the United Kingdom, Israel and the West Bank to conduct the study. The resulting 300-page draft, titled Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid?: A re-assessment of Israel’s practices in the occupied Palestinian territories under international law, represents 15 months of research and constitutes an exhaustive review of Israel’s practices in the OPT according to definitions of colonialism and apartheid provided by international law. The project was suggested originally by the January 2007 report by eminent South African jurist John Dugard, Special Rapporteur to the United Nations .

    Regarding apartheid, the team found that Israel’s laws and policies in the OPT fit the definition of apartheid in the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid.
    Israeli law conveys privileges to Jewish settlers and disadvantages Palestinians in the same territory on the basis of their respective identities, which function in this case as racialised identities in the sense provided by international law.
    Israel’s practices are corollary to five of the six ‘inhuman acts’ listed by the Convention. A policy of apartheid is especially indicated by Israel’s demarcation of geographic ‘reserves’ in the West Bank, to which Palestinian residence is confined and which Palestinians cannot leave without a permit. The system is very similar to the policy of ‘Grand Apartheid’ in apartheid South Africa, in which black South Africans were confined to black homelands delineated by the South African government, while white South Africans enjoyed freedom of movement and full civil rights in the rest of the country characteristics of colonialism and apartheid.”

    The main points are:

    The Executive Summary of the report says that the three pillars of apartheid in South Africa are all practiced by Israel in the OPT. In South Africa:

    The Report finds that Israeli practices in the Occupied Palestinian Territories exhibit the same three ‘pillars’ of apartheid:

    The first pillar:

    1. Israeli laws and policies establish Jewish identity that gives preferential treatment to Jews over non-Jews. Here’s Human Rights Watch in a recent report:

    Israeli policies in the West Bank harshly discriminate against Palestinian residents, depriving them of basic necessities while providing lavish amenities for Jewish settlements, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The report identifies discriminatory practices that have no legitimate security or other justification and calls on Israel, in addition to abiding by its international legal obligation to withdraw the settlements, to end these violations of Palestinians’ rights.

    2. The second pillar is reflected in “Israel’s ‘grand’ policy to fragment the the West Bank and ensure that Palestinians remain confined to the reserves designated for them. At the same time, Israeli Jews are prohibited from entering those reserves but enjoy freedom of movement throughout the rest of the Palestinian territory in Jewish-only colonies known as settlements. The report provides evidence of by Israel’s extensive appropriation of Palestinian land, which continues to shrink the territorial space available to Palestinians; the complete closure and isolation of the Gaza Strip from the rest of the OPT; the deliberate severing of East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank; and the appropriation and construction policies serving to carve up the West Bank into an intricate and well-serviced network of connected settlements for Jewish-Israelis and bantustan-like territories carved out of the land available to the West Bank Palestinians.

    3. The third pillar is Israel’s pretense of ‘security’ to justify repressive restrictions on Palestinian freedom of opinion, expression, assembly, association and movement to maintain complete control of the occupied population.

    For example, Jubbet al-Dhib is a 160-person Palestinian village to the southeast of Bethlehem that is often accessible only by foot because its only connection to a paved road is a rough, 1.5 kilometer-long dirt track. Children from Jubbet al-Dhib must walk to schools in other villages several kilometers away because their own village has no school. Jubbet al-Dhib lacks electricity despite numerous requests to be connected to the Israeli electric grid, which Israeli authorities have rejected; Israeli authorities also rejected an internationally donor-funded project that would have provided the village with solar-powered streetlights.

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