25 Aug 2011

Enough With The Nazi Slurs

By Antony Loewenstein
Equating the BDS movement with Nazism is both offensive and outrageous. So why aren't members of the Jewish community speaking out on this, asks Antony Loewenstein

Joseph Stalin changed his name and so did New South Wales Federal Greens MP Lee Rhiannon.

Stalin, writes Alan Howe, executive editor and columnist with Rupert Murdoch's Herald Sun, was "perhaps the 20th century's greatest murderer".

Rhiannon backs the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel and, argues Howe, people should know about "the 1930s where violent protests against Jewish traders may end. It was a colourful time of brownshirts, blackshirts and yellow Stars of David".

In this fashion, Rhiannon is likened to a supporter of fascism and remains "against the only democracy in the Middle East and the one country in which the region's Arabs are guaranteed safety".

Welcome to the level of debate in Australia over the Israel/Palestine conflict. The last months have seen a litany of public figures that should know better accusing anybody associated with the BDS movement of embracing Nazism, anti-Semitism and outright Jew-hatred.

It shames the Australian Jewish establishment that no leading voices have challenged this odious and absurd comparison. Instead, they've cheered it on, coordinating nationally, with the support of an Israeli government desperate to distract from its own anti-democratic practices.

The Australian Jewish News has editorialised that boycotting Jewish businesses here will remind Jews of similar Nazi tactics in Germany and Austria in the 1930s. How on earth will the paper cover real anti-Semitism when they so casually compare today's behaviour to Hitler's Third Reich?

Back in early July, 19 pro-Palestinian activists were arrested and charged for protesting in front of a Max Brenner chocolate shop in Melbourne. Max Brenner was targeted because its parent company Strauss Group supports elements of the IDF accused of war crimes in both the West Bank and Gaza.

This campaign has continued globally for years. For example, a reader of my website in 2009 sent me a copy of a letter they sent to Max Brenner outlining the reasons the company was a legitimate target for boycott.

The Victorian Government recently continued to threaten the activists with further legal punishment, imprisonment and fines.

Max Brenner's parent company Strauss Group is an openly political business that proudly states on its Hebrew website that "We see a mission and need to continue to provide our soldiers with support, to enhance their quality of life and service conditions, and sweeten their special moments". Some of these soldiers were directly implicated in war crimes allegations during incursions into the West Bank and the invasion of Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009.

In late July, The Australian reported the campaign against the BDS movement in Australia with a story called, "Anti-Jew protest condemned". Federal Labor MP Michael Danby, journalist Jana Wendt and union head Paul Howes met for a hot chocolate inside a Max Brenner shop in Melbourne, condemned the "violent" protest against the shop and again talked about Nazi Germany. Former Labor Party president Warren Mundine was quoted by journalist Leo Shanahan as saying BDS was not "not anti-Israel but anti-Jewish".

Howes said the protesters were "mimicking the behaviour of the Nazi thugs" and it was necessary to "nip this in the bud". Howes said most people who voted for the Greens had no idea how "xenophobic" its policies were. Not one journalist asked him whether he truly believed waving placards outside a shop in Melbourne is akin to the Gestapo arresting and murdering millions of Jews in the gas chambers. And no Jewish leaders took him to task for the comparison.

Last weekend's article by The Australian's Cameron Stewart allowed this misperception to perpetuate. Like Shanahan, Stewart quoted Wendt as saying that, "As the daughter of refugees whose lives were critically affected by both fascism and communism, I'm grateful for what Australia has to offer".

A week later, the Victorian Government announced that it was investigating "anti-Israel activists" — by asking the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) if the BDS-ers were breaking federal law by "threatening" Israeli stores.

The state's Consumer Affairs Minister Michael O'Brien raised the spectre of 20th century attacks on Jewish businesses and claimed BDS was a threat to democratic order. Bizarrely, he singled out the Maritime Union Of Australia, Geelong Trades Hall Council, the Green Left Weekly magazine, Australians for Palestine and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. For the record, Australians for Palestine had nothing to do with the BDS protest against Max Brenner, though they do back BDS.

The Australian followed up with a story recently headlined, "Targeted chocolatier 'a man of peace'". "Max Brenner says he is a man of peace who hates all forms of violence," the article says. Reporter Cameron Stewart doesn't mention the serious allegations against the IDF soldiers supported by Max Brenner. (And besides, Max Brenner is the name of the business — not of the company owner. Actually, it's an amalgam of two names.)

One of the activists interviewed by Stewart, Kim Bullimore, spokesperson for Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, told me that little of what she said to the journalist ended up in the article.

The Australian editorialised further on the matter last week by arguing "for any student of 20th-century history there is something deeply offensive about targeting a Jewish-owned business".

And the Jewish establishment said nothing.

BDS is a peaceful, non-violent movement, like that which campaigned against apartheid South Africa. It aims to put pressure on a state that refuses to end its illegal occupation of Palestinian land.

What Australian politicians will not acknowledge is the real face of modern Israel. Calling for BDS inside Israel is now illegal. As an Arab member of parliament recently told the New York Times, a member of the Knesset wanted to sue him for simply calling for a boycott against the illegal settlement of Ariel. This is in "democratic" Israel.

With Israel announcing yet more illegal colonies in the West Bank, the international community has a clear choice: engage in empty rhetoric about "democratic" Israel or find alternative ways to target a state with one of the most unequal class systems in the developed world.

Australian politicians and all public figures should be strongly challenged on comparing BDS to fascist hoodlums, and rejected.

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David Skidmore
Posted Thursday, August 25, 2011 - 13:48

Zionists don't like their movement likened to fascism and yet are happy to slander BDS supporters as Nazis. I'd prefer that everyone lays off the Nazi analogies which are absurd, offensive and very tired indeed.

My beef with Zionism is that as a movement, it is about ethnic privilege. Jewish settlements are a case in point. Would any Zionist accept non-Jewish settlements in areas where they live? Didn't think so. And would they accept Australia as a "Christian state" or "Gentile state"?

Zionism to me seems to have much in common with the White Australia policy rather than anything progressive or tolerant.

vilmos
Posted Friday, August 26, 2011 - 11:26

Yes, there are significant historical differences between BDS protesters outside Max Brenner outlets in Sydney and the Nazi thugs who picketed Jewish-owned shops in Germany in the 1930’s. But they do have one thing in common. The anti-Jewish Nazi boycotts in the 1930’s and the current BDS campaign are both calculated to orchestrate public hatred against Jewish-owned businesses. Loewenstein seems to dismiss as irrelevant the fact that each of the businesses being targeted by the BDS movement in Australia have Jewish owners. Just a coincidence I suppose.

The fact is that an unusually high percentage of Australian Jews are survivors of the Holocaust and their children and grandchildren. It is extraordinary that Loewenstein, himself of European Jewish background, can callously dismiss the reaction of Australian Jews to the sight of Jewish-owned shops once more being picketed by chanting, aggressive demonstrators many of whose faces are contorted in hate, as can be seen on YouTube and other recordings of BDS events. Even though the parallels to Nazi Germany are exaggerated, Loewenstein should be ashamed of himself for suggesting that that reaction is contrived. It is entirely genuine and understandable.

Lowenstein is also at a loss to explain the breadth of the public condemnation that has been heaped upon the BDS movement. He implies that the condemnations and the accusations of antisemitism are confined to ignorant right-wingers and cynical leaders of “the Jewish establishment” who egg them on. Wrong again. Jim Barr, president of the country's peak pro-Palestinian group, the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network, denounced the BDS tactics as “pretty stupid”. Even the Trotskyist “Workers Liberty” organisation has savaged both BDS and its underlying rationale, and denounced it as antisemitic: http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2011/08/20/chocolate-and-palestinians
The Workers Liberty analysis was published on August 20:

…Israel proper is not an apartheid society. The boycott of apartheid South Africa was universally understood as a move to isolate and stigmatise the ruling elite in South Africa and its particular laws, to be coupled with extending links to the majority of the population in South Africa. The "apartheid Israel" trope is an attempt to isolate and stigmatise the whole of Israel, and to equate it with the ruling white minority in apartheid South Africa, as an element to be overthrown and subdued.

Whatever about the chocolate treats for Israeli soldiers, the Max Brenner chain is targeted essentially because it is Israeli and Jewish-owned. An extension of the boycott movement could not but become a movement against everything Israeli and everything pertaining to that huge majority of Jewish communities worldwide who instinctively identify (though maybe critically) with Israel. Whatever the original intentions of the boycotters, it could not but become an anti-semitic movement.

There are better ways to help the Palestinians. The focus on Max Brenner has led Socialist Alternative and Green Left Weekly to ignore the long-running Palestinian quarry workers' strike at Salit, and the explosion of strikes by Israeli workers, Jewish and Arab, in recent weeks. Solidarity with those struggles is a better way forward.

Note well, Antony Loewenstein!

meski1
Posted Friday, August 26, 2011 - 14:28

They get far too precious about *any* criticism, instead of taking it in the spirit which it was intended.

insightofland.b...
Posted Friday, August 26, 2011 - 15:02

@vilmos

You make some reasonable points, but perhaps both sides are good at looking past their own bad sides?

Is there any way at all to criticise the Israeli government without being called anti-Jewish as well? I believe one or two muslims still live there. Is attacking the Israeli government not anti-islamic as well? It is, of course, much more effective to scare of all criticism by equating it with being anti-jewish.

There has to be room for criticism of a country's governance and policies in a democratic world without the religion of the majority of its inhabitants being used as a cover-all. South Africa's government and policies were criticised over a long period of time, but did the South African government ever try to claim any attacks were "anti-Christian"? Or "anti-white"? No, because it's not an effective tactic at all. On the other hand, being brand "anti-semitic" is a great weapon.

As I recall, wasn't Veolia one of the companies targeted under the BDS? Are they a jewish company in some sense? As far as I know, they're just a normal french company which happens to be building train links into illegal settlements, which is why they are a target of the BDS.

The Nazi label is an awfully easy way of stopping debate, and it's used in a ridiculously wide number of context in Australian political discourse these days. Little wonder that it's used so often on a topic that actually affects a majority Jewish country...

http://insightofland.blogspot.com/

arjenlentz
Posted Friday, August 26, 2011 - 15:11

There's a deeper problem with Nazi analogies, making it by definition an invalid tactic.
First of all, it draws the target's position into the extreme - to make it an easy target. This is not reasonable to anybody, incl victims of the nazis (the real original ones, that is).
Secondly, you don't want to be seen to be a nazi supporter, so responding to such a line of attack you're always on the defensive.

This was observed long ago on Usenet (newsgroups on the Internet, still exist) and described by Mike Godwin. It is now known as Godwin's Law.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law
Basically, he states that any discussion will inevitably deteriorate to someone making a Nazi or Hitler reference, at which the thread ends - as described above, these references make further debate on the actual issues pretty much impossible.

So someone can "Godwin themselves" by making such a reference, and clearly that's what's happened here. For lack of actual argument -or just malicious or bad debating technique- they came up with these references, thus invalidating their participation in the discussion.

I describe this because I think it'd be good if more people we to pull journos and any others up when they pull this type of stunt in the media.

Gali
Posted Friday, August 26, 2011 - 15:21

If your point is that its insulting to Nazi's to label this mob as Nazi's then I agree with you, but even these fools can spark a surge in anti-semitic activity that must be taken very seriously.

Peace in the Middle East!

This user is a New Matilda supporter. Bill Laing
Posted Friday, August 26, 2011 - 15:48

Bill Laing

As a person on a non-Jewish spiritual path but with a Jewish Mum and grandparents, I have been sickened by the Israeli state terrorism which has been perpetrated on the dispossessed and stateless Palestinians since the state of Israel was founded in my birth year 1948. The issue is not "racism" and "holocaust" as the daily papers would love to paint it, but the near-destruction of a former nation by the West. The facts speak for themselves. Osama Bin Laden said a number of times that the Palestinian dispossession was his number 1 gripe with the West, and we still haven't listened to that simple message. We have brought terrorism upon ourselves and are too stupid to recognise this elephant in the room.

Let us continue to fearlessly speak up, because until Israel and Palestine live as separate respecting neighbours, the dispossession and despair will continue to feed terrorism on all sides. Maybe that's what the Israelis and US want - but do we Aussies want it?

Shingo
Posted Friday, August 26, 2011 - 16:00

The BDS campaign has nothing to do with harming Jewish-owned businesses. That's a lame effrot to malign BDS, along with claims fo havign a secret one state agenda or aims to destroy Israel.

The fact is that businesses that import ISraeli made products are likely going to be Jewish, which is to be expected. It's unfortunate, but then again, those businesses can just as easily put an end to such unwanted attention by not doing business with Israeli companies.

And that really8 gets to the hart of the matter about Israeli supporters being so incensed by BDS. The BDS movement will end the day the occupation ends, but Israeli supporters know that Israel is notprepared to put an end to such criminatlity so they atatck BDS instead.

BDS has nothig to do with the Holocaust, thuogh as is often mentioned, one would expect those who witnessed the Holocaust or are descenedents of vitims of it, should be outraged at the inhumane and illegal policies of Israel.

Israel's defenders are the ones who shoudl be ashamed, and an ever increasing number fo them are. Polls show that young Jews in the diaspora re turning awawy from Israel, especialyl liberal Jews. Antony Loewenstein demonstrated enormous courage when he was among the first to speak out against the indefensible. Now more and more people are doing the same.

The only public condemnation that has been heaped upon the BDS movement has come from Israel, and it's apologists in the media. The AG of Victoria (which has long been heavily influences by the Israeli lobby) is making a pathetic and despeate attempt to persecute teh BDS movement through the ICCC, but he's dreaming. His claim holds no water.

Jim Barr might have described the BDS tactics as “pretty stupid”, but he has endorsed BDS.

As for the "Trotskyite" Workers Liberty Organisation, it's hardly surprising that any Trotskyites woudl be opposed to BDS. After all, the American nerocons (all rabidly pro Israel) are usnahamedly Trotskyites.

The reality is that those who are so rabbidly opposed to BDS are practically admiiting that Israel is incapable of adhering to international law and the Geneva Conventions. Rather than pressure the Israeli government to change it's policies, they feel that the only way to prevent Israelis from facing the accountability is to try and destroy BDS itself.

Very sad.

Shingo
Posted Friday, August 26, 2011 - 16:09

BTW vilmos, arguing that "Israel proper is not an apartheid society" is pretty lame. The occupied territories are under Israeli control hence the apartheid policies present in the OT's is still Israeli government policy.

In any case, Israel is indeed an apartheid society. The man who created apartheid in South Africa, Prime Minister, Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd, recognied Israel as apartheid as ealy as 1961. Nelson Mandella and Desmond Tutu have recognized Israel as apartheid.

In Israel, it is widely accepted that Israel PROPER has become an apartheid state:
http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/south-africa-is-already-her...
South Africa is already here

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/segregation-of-jews-and-ara...

And only last week, Stephen Robert,investment banker and Council on Foreign Relations member and former vice chancellor of Brown University, wrote in the Nation in shock and anger about seeing "apartheid on steroids" in Israel.

Elbert
Posted Friday, August 26, 2011 - 16:12

I reckon this is an excellent article. As for being a democracy, Israel is a theocracy, in some ways similar to Iran. increasingly, non Jews have fewer and fewer rights. The country is in breach of scores of UN recommendations. They are invading their neighbour, and appropriating Palestinian land. They have destroyed the livelihoods of thousands of families, split towns, separated farmers from their fields, treated Palestinians with contempt, used illegal weapons such as phosphor bombs against children and unarmed civilians, destroyed what little infrastructure remained, refuse to deal with the democratically elected Gaza government.
Human decency requires that the victor allows the vanquished some face-saving retreat, but the Israelis demand total submission and humiliation and continue to provoke the pathetic rockets so they can respond with unwarranted violence and have an excuse to steal more land which they say is theirs based on myths which have been exposed as fabrications concocted during the years of Jewish exile in Mesopotamia. I can't see that their treatment of Palestinians is any more justified than the treatment of some Jews, Gypsies and Gays during WWII, or better than the suppression of minorities by other governments in the region. I think we've all been conned very cleverly.

Ben Archist
Posted Friday, August 26, 2011 - 17:09

BDS is called for by a massive number of Palestinian organisations. The fact that a tiny Australian Trotskyist sect don't support it is irrelevant. Jim Barr supports the BDS campaign, he just distanced himself from the controversy around a particular protest. Whether or not the owners are Jewish IS irrelevant to the BDS campaign. The point is that they are businesses connected to Israel.

Think about what it would mean if the BDS campaign was actually anti-Semitic. It would mean is that all these groups on the left, the Greens, unionists, human rights activists, socialists, anarchists... These groups...

O - Who have protested against racism for years,
O - Who nobody was saying where anti-Semitic before BDS,
O - Who have Jewish members (at least one of the 19 people arrested at the Max Brenner Protest was jewish),
O - Who have previously waged campaigns against genuine fascist groups such as National Action.

These groups were doing this decades long work as a cover, secretly hoping that a campaign would come along where they could vent their previously indiscernible anti-Semitism? That is ridiculous. It just shows how insane our media is that anyone can even entertain the thought let alone allow it to become a significant political position.

Lisbeth
Posted Friday, August 26, 2011 - 18:28

I think Antony's article is a very useful contribution to the discussion regarding what tactics are useful for people who wish to support both the Palestinian national liberation struggle and the stuggles for democracy within Israel itself.

I think Vilmos's comments are at best misguided and at worst disingenuous in a number of ways.

First, I think it is wrong to say that the BDS campaign is aimed at generating hatred towards Jewish businesses. This is wrong on a number of counts. First it conflates being Jewish, with support for Israel i.e. it assumes if you are Jewish (or a Jewish owned business in this case) you must support Israel, and if you support Israel then you must be Jewish (or be a Jewish business). But neither of these assumptions are true.

Second, there is an assumption that by saying boycott something, you are saying hate, where as in most boycott campaigns that are aimed at changing behaviour the focus in on the actual behaviour that is seen as being problematic, otherwise it won't be as effective - the carrot in the situation is idea that when you stop your problematic behaviour we will stop boycotting you. So examples of the BDS campaign would be getting Max Brenner to end its support for the IDF or getting Caterpillar to stop selling machines to the IDF.

Thirdly, raising Worker's Liberty as a basis of criticising people in this context is problematic as Worker's Liberty are seen in the "Trotskyist" movement as being a soft-Zionist, Islamaphobic organisation whose positions on a number of political questions regardig the Middle East borders on being pro-imperialist.

Fourthly, there is no counter position between the BDS campaign and building solidarity for progressive struggles, including the labour movement, in either Israel and Palestine. This is a position that is promoted by the likes of Paul Howes and TULIP, however there supposed support for the Palestinian labour movement is really cover for their support Histadrut and its craven defence of Israeli foreign policy - Histadrut has no problems with boycott campaigns it has publicly endorsed boycotts of Turkey as a consequence of the Mavi Marmara incident last year. The reality is that the Palestinian Labour movement overwhelming supports and endorses the BDS campaign.

It's clearly not the case that supporters of the BDS campaign are unable to support or report the strike at Salit as Tony Greenstein's blog demonstrates (http://azvsas.blogspot.com/), however I would suggest that Vilmos submit an article on these strike movements and the need to support them to both Green Left and Socialist Alternative to see whether they are willing to run them.

That's my rant, once again a great article Antony

MazelMan
Posted Friday, August 26, 2011 - 22:35

If you attend a BDS protest rally against Max Brenner you will hear a repetitive robotic chant "From the river to the sea Palestine will be free" coming from the mouths of people whose aim is to delegitimize and demonise Israel in any way possible. If you just think about what these demonstrators are saying you quickly realise what they are declaiming actually translates into their wish for the annihilation of Israel, which sounds a bit like genocide.
I agree with Lowenstein that misplaced Nazi slurs are of no value, rather those who oppose the bankruptcy of the BDS movement should tackle it head on and not resort to accusations of anti-semitism as their sole argument.
Jews don't even need to resort to the Holocaust in order to summon up a defence against what the BDS wishes to inflict upon Israel. The nations surrounding Israel including Egypt and Syria with Iran at the helm present an overwhelmingly serious existential threat to Israel and will happily extol the virtues of the BDS movement.
For the promoters of BDS to be doing anything constructive in the context of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict they need to understand that reconciliation between the two sides is the key. To swap the so-called apartheid in the disputed territories with the ethnic cleansing that Abbas wants to propagate in his Palestinian state will certainly not take the Israelis and Palestinians any closer to a peaceful resolution to their conflict.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. DrGideonPolya
Posted Saturday, August 27, 2011 - 09:28

I agree with Antony Loewenstein that "Equating the BDS movement with Nazism is both offensive and outrageous".

What is also offensive and outrageous is the continuing, anti-Jewish anti-Semitic defamation of Judaism and Jews by the racist Zionists, Zionist-beholden mainstream media and the Zionist-beholden Lib-Labs who falsely identify Judaism and Jewry with the awfulness of the racist Zionism, invasion, occupation, theft, racism and "slow motion genocide" by Apartheid Israel.

Orthodox Judaism rejects race-based colonization of Palestine, instead believing in the beautiful idea (now part of the international scientific culture) of "the kingdom of the mind".

One would like to believe - contrary to what is effectively asserted by the disgracefully pro-Zionist Mainstream media, the ABC, the Coalition and Labor - that most Jews would be implacably opposed to the genocidal racism of the kind exhibited by racist Zionist-run Apartheid Israel that is far worse than that of Apartheid Israel-supported Apartheid South Africa.

Decent anti-racist people around the World supported BDS against neo-Nazi Apartheid South Africa 2 decades ago just as they support BDS against neo-Nazi Apartheid Israel today.

Outstanding Jewish American scholar Professor Bertell Ollman on the need for Jews to oppose racist Zionism: “An all out struggle against Zionism by Jews, therefore, is also the most effective way to fight against real anti-Semitism. Furthermore, if Zionism is indeed a particularly virulent form of nationalism and, increasingly, of racism and if Israel is acting toward its captive minority in ways that resemble more and more how the Nazis treated their Jews, then we must also say so. For obvious reasons, the Zionists are very sensitive about being compared to the Nazis (not so sensitive that it has restrained them in their actions but enough to bellow "unfair" and to charge "anti-Semitism" when it happens). Yet, the facts on the ground, when not obscured by one or another Zionist rationalization, show that the Zionists are the worst anti-Semites in the world today, oppressing a Semitic people as no nation has done since the Nazis" (see: http://www.nyu.edu/projects/ollman/docs/resignation.php ).

Another outstanding Jewish American scholar Professor Jared Diamond in his best-selling book "Collapse” (Prologue, p10, Penguin edition) enunciated the "moral principle, namely that it is morally wrong for one people to dispossess, subjugate, or exterminate another people" – an injunction grossly violated by racist Zionist-run Apartheid Israel and its racist, genocide-committing and genocide-ignoring US Alliance backers.

Indeed Australia's most famous and eminent Jewish public figure, Sir Isaac Isaacs, the first Australian-born Governor General of Australia and resolute anti-Zionist stated (1946): " The honour of Jews throughout the world demands the renunciation of political Zionism" (for details of the opinions of other outstanding , anti-racist Jewish scholars and writers see "Jews Against Racist Zionism": https://sites.google.com/site/jewsagainstracistzionism/home).

Racist Zionism is racism in ideology and in horrible, genocidal practice but has horribly infected mainstream media and the major political parties in the US and Australia. Racist Zionists should be side-lined in the US, Australia and other Western Murdohcracies and Lobbyocracies as have already been like racists such as the Nazis, neo-Nazis, Apartheiders and KKK.

Indeed outstanding Jewish Hungarian US investor and philanthropist George Soros and critic of the malignant Israel Lobby has demanded "de-Nazification of America" (see: https://sites.google.com/site/afghanistangenocideessays/george-soros ).

Boycott Murdoch Media! Boycott Apartheid Israel! Side-line racist Zionism and de-Nazify Australia!

Peace is the only way but Silence kills and Silence is complicity.

tony bell
Posted Saturday, August 27, 2011 - 17:55

The BDS demonstration in Newtown Sydney last week Aug 20 was an abject failure for the BDS advocates once they reached the Max Brenner shop.

Watching from the sidelines,I counted around 70 people milling across the road from the railway station at Newtown, and it was the usual listening to speakers and giving acquaintances the chance to catch up within the crowd.

But within 10 minutes of marching down King St and parking outside Max Brenner Chocolate shop, 20 people had faded away, and the police barred the Iranian propaganda camera crew from shooting.

The usual magaphone shouting went on for about 20 minutes, but by 2.40pm the BDS crew seemed to have lost their zeal and spark.
This may have something to do with the 50 or so customers within Max Brenner who shouted back "free,free syria" immediately after the megaphone wielding BDS woman shouted her"free,free palestine."
This caper went on for 10 minutes with the BDS woman becoming increasingly shrill and hysterical..So much so that the max brenner crowd gave off a loud , but derisory cheer and then laugh.

That seemed to have killed the loud part of the demonstration.

It remains strange to me that such hatred is shown more against israel than helping palestinians.
If winding up, and bringing back the memories of relatives slaughtered by the nazis is the bds aim--well it has succeeded .

But if genuine change and progress is wanted, then working with people, cooperation, not aggression and confrontation with is what is needed.

palestinians must abandon "the river to the sea" mentality, and allow israel to exist as it sees fit , but within its 1967 borders.

Israel must abandon its west bank settlements, but also retain the right to exist next to a viable palestine, which does not seek to supplant it as Bargouti---the author of bds said---"with a Palestine next to a palestine, not israel".

jackal01
Posted Sunday, August 28, 2011 - 18:52

Gentleman.
You keep saying:

Yes, there are significant historical differences between BDS protesters outside Max Brenner outlets in Sydney and the Nazi thugs who picketed Jewish-owned shops in Germany in the 1930’s. But they do have one thing in common. The anti-Jewish Nazi boycotts in the 1930’s and the current BDS campaign are both calculated to orchestrate public hatred against Jewish-owned businesses.

But what about this:
Somebody elses opinion:

German Jews were rounded up as enemy aliens, since their own leaders publicly declared “war” on Hitler the very year he achieved Government, 1933, at a time when there were few restrictions put on Jews. The Jews, under Samuel Untermeyer organised a world economic boycott to try and wreck Germany economically. Jews and their communist allies organised boycotts of shops that sold Germany goods. People were beaten up by Jewish-communist thugs if they tried to resist. You must have seen that in England at the time?
Rounding up “enemy aliens” was practised by every belligerent nation. In New Zealand , Germans, Japanese and Italians were put on Sommes Island. But what is really odd is that the NZ authorities (and presumably the other Allied powers) also rounded up and confined German JEWS as “enemy aliens”. How bizarre is that? How much more extreme than the Germans and Italians.
The practice can be traced to the Anglo-Boer war, which your mother country fought to maintain the diamond and gold monopoly of Rothschild, Beit and Barnato, while the Afrikaners only sought freedom to live their own way. This freedom they never did get. They simply could not be left alone by an empire which – however laudable the heroism of the soldier and the honesty of the civil servant – too often served the interests of Jews such as Rothschilds and Sassoon (recall the Opium Wars fought by your country to maintain Sassoon’s opium trade in China?). Do you not know that during the Anglo-Boer war the British established concentration camps for the sole purpose of confining Boer women and children? Over 20,000 of these women and children died of typhus and malnutrition in these camps. When do we ever hear of this genocide? We only hear of the Jews, who also died of typhus and malnutrition, thanks partly due to the Allied bombing of German supply lines. Odd isn’t it that when the Germans were evacuating the so-called extermination camps they gave the Jewish inmates a choice of staying behind and waiting for their “Soviet liberators”, yet most chose to flee with the Germans, including the professional Holocaust survivor, Simon Wiesenthal.
As for “rounding up” your Government rounded up without charge or trial under Reg. 18B, 1000 of its own citizens (many, perhaps most, World War I vets) and threw them into jails and camps, some in such conditions that they died prematurely. Some of those incarcerated were arrested whilst on active service.

So gentleman, humans have done what humans have done for 12000 years or since Kane killed Able.

What we need is more rules and regulations to control EVERBODY. Some Koa;a's get away with murder. The fist thing we need to do is tell a few truths. History is nothing but a lie. Read "The Historian Who Sold Out."

The rule of law must apply to all and that means internationally aswell. Israelies are on somebody elses land so are Australians, Americans and N/Zealanders etc... Get over it, but the expansion into Gaza etc. must stop, it can't go on.

The law is the law, we either have a law or we don't. It applies to all, it doesn't now, thats the problem.
Stick to the problem, the problem is too many people/Humans, period.

Miki
Posted Sunday, August 28, 2011 - 19:16

Vilmos,

neither BDS or the Max Brenner protests are “calculated to orchestrate public hatred against Jewish-owned businesses”. BDS has NEVER targeted businesses because they are Jewish or even simply because they are Israeli.

As the recent BDS National Committee statement on the issue note: "Nowhere in the world are BDS activities about targeting specifically business with Israeli ownership, based on the nationality of their owner. Businesses and institutions are rather chosen based on their direct contribution to grave human rights abuses and international law violations of the Israeli state and military, or to rebranding campaigns that attempt to whitewash Israel’s crimes" http://www.bdsmovement.net/2011/bnc-condemns-repression-of-bds-activism-...

Max Brenner is owned by Strauss, which is a publicly listed company on the Israeli stock exchange, which means anyone can buy shares in the company. Are you trying to tell uas that all of Strauss stockholders around the world are Jewish? The claim, therefore, that either BDS or the Max Brenner protests are targeting Brenner because it is a “Jewish” business is not only factually incorrect on this basis, it is also factually incorrect because the BDS campaign has nber targeted businesses simply because they are Jewish.

Max Brenner is targeted because Strauss doesn’t just give “chocolate treats” to Israeli occupation soldiers, its because it gives active support to Israel’s Golani and Givati brigades, who are notorious for their human rights abuses against Palestinians and who were the ground troops used during Israel’s 22 day assault on Gaza which killed 1400 Palestinians, the majority of whom were civilians, including 350 children.

By providing soldiers in those brigades with sporting equipment, books and other recreational material, Strauss actively supports Israel’s occupation and apartheid policies.

In addition, Strauss finances “lone soldiers” – non-Israeli volunteers (who are not immigrants to Israel or citizens of Israel) who willing volunteer to serve in the Israeli military (rather than their own national military) and therefore actively engage in Israeli military's repression, oppression and human rights abuses against the Palestinian people.

It should be pointed out that Israeli citizens involved in the Boycott from Within campaign ) issued a statement condemning the anti-democratic attacks on BDS activists, in particular those involved in the Max Brenner protests. http://boycottisrael.info/content/following-anti-democratic-arrests-and-...

In relation to Jim Barr, his group APAN has signed onto the Unified Statement issued by Palestine solidarity groups around the country condemning the attacks on the Australian BDS movement. http://australianbdscampaign.wordpress.com/2011/08/13/unified-statement-...

As for Worker’s Liberty, they are well known with the socialist left for being Zionists and their arguments about anti-semitism are no more valid than yours.

In relation to whether Israel is an apartheid country or not, Workers Liberty give absolutely no evidence to back up its claim that it isn’t. They, however, conveniently ignore the international definition for apartheid outlined in the 1973 International Convention on the suppression and punishment of the crime of apartheid. You just need to hold up Israel’s behaviour to scrutiny under this definition and you will see that Israel ticks just about every box. http://untreaty.un.org/cod/avl/ha/cspca/cspca.html

Shingo
Posted Monday, August 29, 2011 - 10:51

>> If you attend a BDS protest rally against Max Brenner you will hear a repetitive robotic chant “From the river to the sea Palestine will be free” coming from the mouths of people whose aim is to delegitimize and demonise Israel in any way possible.

This is a blantant deflection tended to whip up hysteria. I have witnessed such ralies and heard no such chant.

>> If you just think about what these demonstrators are saying you quickly realise what they are declaiming actually translates into their wish for the annihilation of Israel, which sounds a bit like genocide.

That's a blatantly false of course. Anyone who looks at a map woudl knwo that under the the UNGAR181 partion, or even the 1967 borders, the state of Palestine would indeed extend from the river to the sea. Gaza is on the coast and the West Bank ends at the Jordan River.

Over half of Israeli diplomats gree that the only thing delegitimizing Israel are Isrli polcies. Just this week, Israel cut off foreign relations with Qatar over Qatar's support for the Palestinian bid for recognitino at the UN in September. China also annouced it's support. More than 100 countries have already recogpnized Palestine.

So what's Israel going to do? Cut ties with 139 countries and then blame the Palestinians and it's suporters for delegitimizing and demonicing Israel?

What BDS wishes to inflict upon Israel is no different to what the boycott wished to inflict n apartheuid South Africa. The simple fact MazelMan and otehr Israeli supporters can't being themselves to admit, is that Israel could stop BDS in it's tracks simply by ending he occupation and dismantling the illegal settlemetns, but rather than accept this, they attack BDS. After all, even if one wer to believe that some BDS supporters were hell bent on the destructino of Israel, the BDS movement would die if Israel were to do the right thing.

There is no existential threat to Israel, serious or otherwise. Even Ehud Barak admitted as such.

Israel has no moticationg to make peace with teh Palestinians becasue Israel has never been held to account for it's crimes and it's ilegality. As we witnessed with South Africa, reconciliation is poissible, but impossible without justice.

As for the the lie that Abbas wanting to impose ethnic cleansing in the occupied territories, anyone who has read what Abbas saiod would know that Abbas has declared that any jews who wish to remain in the Palestians state would be welcome, so long as they became citizens. Abbas' objection related to the presence of Jewish troops being among any peace keeping force.

Shingo
Posted Monday, August 29, 2011 - 11:01

tony bell,

The August 20 demonstration might have run out of steam, but the oen prior to that was attended by 500 people.

There was no Iranian propaganda camera crew present.

I was there. There were no more than a handful of customers in Max Brenner. Hardly what I would describe as a crowd.

>> It remains strange to me that such hatred is shown more against israel than helping palestinians.

It's strange that you seem to have the ability to indentify the difference between Israeli crimes against Palestinians and the plight of Palestinians. What woudl you have them all do, cry in harmony?

There was no mention fo the nazis or it's vitims, but it's hardly surprising that an Israeli shill would wave the holocuast flag in absence fo a cogent argument.

>> But if genuine change and progress is wanted, then working with people, cooperation, not aggression and confrontation with is what is needed.

Israel have demontrated they have no desire for cooperation. Building illegal settlements on Palestinian land, demolishing Palestinian homes, evicting Palestinian familes, shotting unarmed demonstartors and murdering Palestinians at a rate of 1 every 2 days are not conducing to cooperation.

>> palestinians must abandon “the river to the sea” mentality, and allow israel to exist as it sees fit , but within its 1967 borders.

Silly me, i was just looking at a map fo the 1967 borders and it seems pretty obvious that the Palestinian state would actually extend from the “the river to the sea”. And how silly me of to take Netenyahu at hsi word when in from of 29 standing ovations in Congress, he rejected the 1967 borders.

jackal01
Posted Thursday, August 16, 2012 - 19:58

Boycotts what a Joke.

Samuel Untermeyer can arrange Boycots against Germany because Germany refused to pay America for WW1 so that America could get itself out of a Depression that they created and all we get here is what the Nazis apparently did in revenge.

Humans are knobs, their are too many people on the planet period.
Thats why we slaughtered and displaced 150 million from Europe in a 30 year period, Thats why Aust, America and NZ are now white fellow countries. All these excuses to hide the fact that we are worse then Cane Toads. Brilliant Guys, just Brilliant we have done this Garbage for 12000 years or since Kane Killed his own Brother Able. 12000 years and no progress when it comes to breeding, yet we have gone from throwing rocks to dropping Nukes when it comes to killing each other, now that progress.

Yet what do we keep getting, excuses.
"It wasn't me daddy it was Dave, it wasn't me Daddy, I only stebbed his eye out after he punched me, just because I ran over his bike. I didn't mean it, he shouldn't have left it there."

Sound familiar, ask any father. Call yourselves adults.