Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Boycott of Israel: No, Thanks...

Some bloggers are now calling for the boycotting of Israeli goods. In my honest opinion this is not a good idea for the following reasons:

  • What is needed is a comprehensive peace package that also addresses the Palestinian question, a boycott isn't going to help achieve this.

  • We need to reduce the amount of polarisation in the world, not increase it.

  • Isolating Israel will not make it more amenable to talks rather than war, quite the opposite.

  • Boycotts are rarely effective and can be easily countered ("Buy Israeli products only!")



Boycotts are often a manifestation of a sense of helplessness experienced by bystanders, who may feel empowered by this "weapon". But writing to your MP can be a better way to participate in the debate and make your voice heard...

6 Comments:

At 5:35 PM, Blogger Behemoth101 said...

you are right on target with this post. Furthermore, if performed effectively, a boycott of Israeli goods in particular will only serve to harm the lower economic classes - in effect taking away what little businesses the Palestinian workers have.

 
At 9:16 PM, Blogger Richard said...

Well, now at least we can't all be called clones living in echo chambers, eh?

I bet we all support different sports and sports' teams too.

 
At 1:17 AM, Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

Does everyone know that the arab league has an office for the boycott of israel goods?

Personally I wish all products had a label on it that shows who made it, a tiny cross, cresent, star of david, budda, black man, scared cow etc, then those that choose to not buy these goods could do so...

I'd love to see a cresent label on every gas pump in the world...

I'd love to see a star of david on every medicine and electronics device every made that a jew had something to do with...

 
At 1:07 PM, Blogger Emmanuel said...

I agree with the four points you present here (well, as an Israeli, it's no surprise), and I'd add another argument: the Middle East is a complicated region. It isn't just the simplistic Evil Israel vs Good Palestine and Lebanon. One may argue, though I'd disagree, that Israel is mainly to blame for the current situation in the region. On the other hand, claiming that Israel is the only one to blame (and thus must be boycotted) is just too simplistic.

 
At 2:42 PM, Anonymous David Zarnett said...

Fully agree with your points Gert (and Emmanuel as well).

The boycott is a measure that reinforces what many Israelis believe - that Europe is and always will be opposed to the Jews and Jewish State. While this mentality is clearly mistaken, its important to recognize its existence and prominence. And because of this mentality, Israel continues not to really care about international opinion.

Instead, the boycott will further entrench this idea of an "Iron Wall" so prominent in all Israeli policy and govts - essentially that Israel can only rely on itself for its own survival emphasizing military might.

The international community has given much support to Israel but unfortunately (and something which is most likey human nature and not uniquely 'Israeli') is that most Israelis remember all the times that the international community has failed them. Most recently, the failure of the UN to ensure that Lebanon lived up to international law and disarmed Hezbollah. Once again for Israelis, this proved to them that only they can ensure their security.

Now as I argue this point, I question my support of the boycott of direct aid(different than aid to the Palestinians) to the Hamas government. Maybe if I am advocating for Europe and the UN to work to improve Israel's position in global community of nations, I surely have to support the same for Hamas. I'll have to think about this one.

 
At 7:18 PM, Blogger Gert said...

In any case, this boycott seems to be taking of like a lead balloon...

Much ado about nothing, really.

 

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