Tuesday, August 03, 2010

The summer just got a little hotter ...

The news from the northern Israeli border is a little bit distressing. There was an exchange of fire a few hours ago between the IDF and the Lebanese army. At this point it's not exactly clear how it all got started, or what the end result will be, but it's pretty much the last thing anyone in Israel wanted this summer.

And on a completely separate note ... I've met Bradley Burston and I respect him. He was a really nice guy when I interned at Haaretz and his columns are always well thought out and realistic. He's a pretty far to the left of me, but I usually find something interesting and truthful in what he writes.

However, this last article he wrote, I just don't get. He goes back and forth about how he respects people who want to boycott Israel, but he doesn't believe in boycotts. Then he brings in the recent stupidity with the ADL ... I'm just not sure what to take away from the whole thing. Examine the passage below:
The boycott was the decision by the Olympia, Washington Food Co-op, to remove Israeli products from the shelves of its two stores.

In a move as courageous as it was overdue, the co-op also featured and published online a pamphlet strongly opposing manifestations of anti-Semitism in leftist movements.
So I guess he's saying that the part about the boycott that he likes is that they denounce anti-Semitism. He then goes on to explain why doesn't support boycotts.
Something else angered me as well - not the fact that some of the people who advocated boycotting Israel were actually against the idea of having a state of Israel, but the fact that for tactical reasons, they refused to come out and say so.

I remain opposed to boycotts, Olympia's included, first because I oppose collective punishment of all kinds, whether practiced by Israel against Gazans, or by progressives against Israelis as a whole. I also believe that boycotts against Israel tend to be self-defeating and play into the hands of the right.
So boycotts are still bad, but being honest about them is important. It's even more important to denounce anti-Semitism, especially when many of your supporters engage in it.

Bradley, I like you, I really do, but I just don't get you on this one.

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