Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Hillary Clinton Goes WAY Too Far in Support of Israeli Settlements

Objects may be wingnuttier than they appear
Look, I don't care if Ms. Clinton is pro-settlement. Even if that does put her well out of the American historical mainstream - her husband, the foul and odious GW Bush and her predecessor, the current occupant of the White House, have conceded as a matter of policy that the settlements are illegal and must ultimately be abandoned or traded for land for Palestine elsewhere. I don't even care if she's pro-Netanyahu - oh, she'll learn soon enough the folly of trying to hug a snake. Once again, just as her husband did, and just as her predecessor did.

But this just goes way too far. BDS is a purely economic, non-violent form of resistance. It is designed to pressure the Israeli government to end the occupation and the settlements - both policies are considered globally to be war crimes and violations of longstanding international law. It is well within every organization's rights to decide who they want to support economically, and what systems they want to invest in. It is perfectly reasonable to decide to withhold investment from companies that support apartheid. And, of course Clinton's primary point - that the Israelis are a 'vibrant democracy surrounded by hostile neighbors' ignores the fact that yes, the treatment of a large, stateless, occupied population in this manner - including denial of not just citizenship, but basic human rights - amounts to apartheid. Instead of addressing why Israel is not like white South Africa, she needs to explain how the Palestinian people are not like the black South Africans.

If it is not even acceptable to decide as a private organization or sovereign nation to boycott, divest or sanction a nation for internationally-agreed-upon war crimes, one wonders what she expects supporters of Palestine to do. No violent resistance. No economic resistance. No political resistance. Does she really believe that Israel is so special that they deserve this kind of special protection from reactions to their own policies? BDS is the most legitimate international non-violent form of resistance to Israel's settlement policies, and should be embraced by all, even those who don't agree, as the best form of push back against the occupation. There is no reason why any nation's policies should be exempt from international scrutiny.

An Additional Thought: When you think about it, the effect of American attempts to intimidate and bully nations and organizations considering BDS might very well be the diametrical opposite of what they hope. European nations and organizations already predisposed to a BDS program will very likely be further convinced when they see the US acting in its typical one-sided, irrationally unfair manner. They might just think "with such a powerful ally lined up in implacable opposition to Palestinian independence, the least we can do is add our voices - and our checkbooks - to what global opposition there is..."

1 comment:

  1. From what I've seen, the TTIP (European version of the TPP) has anti-BDS provisions in it.

    Seems Hillary is pretty sure she has the lesser evil vote locked up, and needn't even bother pretending.