Saturday, September 4, 2010

Boycotts are problematic

Ever since the Oslo agreements we had blamed the Palestinian Authority for not taking a firm stand against terrorism. After all, there are peaceful means to voice dissent and resistance to the occupation. Terrorism by small organized resistance groups or by individual frustration gave us the "legitimate" foundation for continuing a harsh occupation. Well, something happened. Arafat went away. Hamas got imprisoned mostly in Gaza, and the PA has been doing a pretty good job of cooperating in the battle against terrorist activities in the West Bank. (The latest Hamas attacks are in Israeli Army controlled areas, not in PA's police grounds.) Abbas's government has, for some years now, taken a strategic decision to fight the occupation through peaceful dissent and resistance.

The latest show of resistance came as the PA announced a boycott of goods produced by settlers in the occupied territories and a gradual stoppage of all Palestinian employment by Jewish settlements and businesses within the occupied territories………civil dissent and resistance at its purest…….hurt the occupation forces in our wallets, peacefully, where it really hurts. Well……not so peacefully. There are loud voices all around us, going all the way up to our Knesset and to ministers in our government, demanding to pronounce such a boycott as terrorist activity to be put down with brute force like any other terrorist activity. Wow…..I wonder what these strong voices do consider legitimate, peacefull, civil resistence? Nevertheless, these demanding voices, hysterical and angry as they sound, show how well peaceful resistance can replace the shedding of blood. I hope the boycott takes shape and is actually implemented across the board within the West Bank. Blessed are they who replace blood with Economics.

On my side of the Green Line, I readily join the boycott of goods produced by our Jewish settlers in the West Bank. I have a list, and though things aren't always clear-cut, I'll do my best to be aware and to boycott. But that's not the point. The point is that those same loud voices want also to criminalize me, to criminalize and legally punish any Israeli citizen who openly and politically boycotts goods coming from the West Bank. I know……it won't happen…….even if those voices have reached the very supportive ears and cravings of many Knesset members and ministers. After all, we are still a democratic country where peaceful political dissent is legitimate…………..I think………..??.......or what??

1 comment:

Oriol said...

The trend seems to go in the wrong direction, just look at what is happening with the actors who refused to play in Ariel.

Gemar Chatimah Tovah.