Monday, November 3, 2008

C'est la lutte finale...

"Britain is taking the lead in pressing the EU to curb imports from Israeli producers in the occupied West Bank as a practical step towards halting the steady increase in the construction of Jewish settlements.

An internal EU note circulated by the UK expresses concern that goods produced from the settlements may be entering Britain after being illegally exempted from tariffs in violation of an Israel-EU trade agreement." (Thanks Marcy)

I still remember when apartheid goods started being boycotted institutionally in Britain: it was in the mid 80's and suddenly, South African goods became "bad" stuff. Even Barclays Bank was boycotted. But before that, who would have thought this would happen? Apartheid apologists were going around explaining that the boycott only harmed the poor black people and that it did not, could not affect the apartheid regime. Yet, we pushed on, with the results we all know. This is what we are witnessing today on Palestine: boycott is becoming increasingly institutionalized, while apoplogists (many of them normalization Arabs, `arab al tatbee`) try to convince the people that boycott does not help. Lets keep the pressure, until the execrable Zionist regime crumbles. And you know who's going to be sorry? Softy liberals who will eventually come round to it, la queue entre les jambes. But I shall point the finger at them and remind them of their wishy washy attitudes.


Leila said...

I'll speak as a half-baked softie here...

I'm a softie because I talk to Israelis - but I don't go to occupied Palestine.

I'm a softie because I don't speak up for war and arms, even in the name of legitimate resistance.

I'm a softie because I haven't told my Zionist acquaintance to her face that I reject Zionism. (this one may change soon).

I also think the academic boycott is problematic, because I think free transmission of ideas is more effective in the struggle than imposing bans on people and their writings.

I'm a softie for a bunch of other reasons.

But I have never, ever knowingly bought or consumed a food product made in occupied Palestine. I've had American friends tell me I'm a terrible person because of this. Look, I don't care what my friends do. But I just cannot buy cheese or halawah or chewing gum made in Israel without thinking of the Palestinians who lost their land so the Israeli factories could open for business, the Israeli collective farms could raise cattle.

I'm a peasant's daughter and when I look at a piece of cheese in a nice plastic tub, I think of the cow, the pasture, the farmer, and I think of who owned the pasture once and who owns it now.

I may be a liberal softie but I am not looking to buy Israeli products.

And yes, I think the winds are changing and I think they will have to do something different, and in my lifetime too. Will I live to see actual justice for the Palestinians? Not sure. But the winds of change are blowing.

Leila said...

PS just because I call myself a softie doesn't mean I am one for "normalization." Let's be clear. I am one who sits around eating hummus and singing kumbayah - in America. But I don't cross that border and I am not calling for normalizing trade etc. without real justice, real agreements and an end to aggression and violations of international law.