Skip to content

The forces of change BDS vs J14

July 11, 2012

Israel inability to change its status quo in the West Bank and Gaza has become, as endless diplomats across the world political spectrum claimed, unsustainable. Not only there are no signs in the horizon challenging the military occupation and human rights violations but the unconditional support of AIPAC, the UK Board of Deputies, worldwide Zionist Federation and other powerful bodies dominated by right wingers and Arab haters do not offer anything positive to overcome Israeli policies in the oPt. Internally, the national unity coalition, instead of attempting to fight its own delegitimization, it works opposite in the opposite direction by allowing more settlement construction and perpetuating violations against Palestinians. Two days ago a report by religious Zionist former judge Edmund Levy stated there is no occupation and building in the West Bank is legal and should be encouraged. May this report be endorsed by the Knesset it will change the dynamics of this conflict to unprecedented levels.

What hope is there for Israelis and Palestinians to live under normalcy in any near future if an all-out-war is to be avoided before any dramatically shifts the geopolitics of the Middle East?

The J14 protests against social justice offer a small light of hope to change the dynamics of the country under this Zionist neo-liberalism attitude. Many would argue that the protest wont make a difference but three weeks ago the civil uprising became violent after the arrests of one of its leaders seeing the arrest 89 people. The week after the protesters were appeased and no other than a very orchestrated staged protest, with a massive security upgrade, walked down the streets of TLV rather peacefully extinguishing the violent sparks from the summer return of J14’s first week. Last Saturday it seemed a little more agitated, if not split into two different protests, where some odd thousand call for the welfare state to be dictated by universalistic militarism. J14 is in a process of transformation and yet to be defined but whether it challenge the wrongs of the country entirely is yet to be seen. After conversations with many Israelis they have assured they will use their military training to threat the government if their conditions are not met as they claimed to refuse to obey the state if politicians keep strangling them. Maybe just talk but nothing of the sort heard before.

The downside of the J14ers is the exclusion of 20% of the Palestinian population that makes it alongside the militaristic call from last week a rather grim scenario where only Jews’ social justice is relevant. Despite the Palestinian population will benefit from any social justice arrangements may those be offered to them, their lack of participation and exclusion make J14 not nationally cohesive. It is perhaps too early for the movement to include issues about the occupation, especially now that it is in the process of shaping its narrative. However, supporters to expand solidarity to include Palestinians either inside or outside the oPT are generally branded as anarchists, criminal, traitors or self-hating Jews – besides the police harassment and media refusal to cover their calls making a real case for social justice rather hard to digest. Only time will tell whether J14 will become a genuine platform for social or political justice or just a demand for the Jewish middle classes to obtain a fairer share of their taxes.

Israel’s J14 movement: Can it break out of the Zionist box? Palestinians fight for equality in J14

Another force of change is the BDS movement, a civil society movement attempting to bring accountability to Israel for its crimes in the oPt by boycotting, divesting and promoting the style of sanctions once worked against apartheid South Africa. BDS calls for an end to the occupation, equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel and a solution to the refugee problem. It was established in 2007 and so far it has had a fair deal of success – none that Israel should or is worried about but its causes distress internationally as it makes the Israeli international PR machine more difficult to operate freely. The movement is highly demonised in Israel as anti-Israeli rather than pro-Palestinian and consequently the Knesset has invested in an ‘anti-delegitimization’ campaign fruit of the Reut Institute to counter-balance BDS. The creation of the well known hasbara groups are the exclusive result of this campaign with money being poured into facilitating the ‘support for Israel’– making serious high profile campaigns denying Palestinian rights and existence but exposing them all as terrorists and foreign to their land. This is sadly today’s pro-Israeli narrative: the so-called Israel Right or Wrong and it is gaining ground so fast its popularity levels in the social media are incredible. Incitement on both is blatant but how will BDS making hard for local Israelis to support – also taking into consideration the law that fines Israel for calling any boycott on produce from any territory under Israeli control. As an external force it is important civilians rise issues politicians seem to be sleeping on but as opposed to South Africa what positive changes will BDS bring whilst the US gives 3 billion for military warfare to Israel on the yearly basis.

BDS alone is not enough to dismantle the security apparatus of the occupation, the settlements, outposts, to stop house demolitions in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. J14 has no interest at this stage to go in the political direction. While these forces shaped and work towads change The army continues its grip in this approaching to fascist society where almost half of its annual budget its dedicated to this military enterprise/security and the willing of the people is almost forgotten.

Even a two-state solution wont bring justice to the Palestinians today and will further indoctrinate the religious military Zionism sentiment becoming mainstream in Israel. The picture seems rather depressing…waiting more will only make it worse or will J14 or BDS liberate us from this burden?


From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: