Saturday, June 9, 2007

Israel's New Anti-Boycott Task Force

Tzipi Livni's Campaign of PR and Retaliation

(a Professor of History at West Chester University)

"On June 8th Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni announced that the Israeli government was forming a "task force" to combat the academic boycott. This is not their first attempt at such an endeavor. A year or two ago Jerusalem commissioned Benjamin Netanyahu to argue its case against the boycott. It seems that effort came to naught.

Now, with a big step taken in the direction of boycott by the British faculty union, and a host of other UK unions and organizations considering endorsement of the boycott, the Israeli government is trying again. The task force, which is characterized as a "public relations" endeavor, will be headed by Foreign Ministry Deputy Director General for Europe Rafi Barak and have among its members folks from both the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Education. There will also be representatives from the Histadrut (which will attempt to interface with foreign unions) and heads of Israeli universities and colleges.......

The boycott movement, in its academic and other manifestations has no power to intervene in the Occupied Territories and make stop Israeli killing, robbing and ethnic cleansing. It only has the power to bring the reality of this barbarism to the rest of the world and insist that as many people as possible shun Israel because of its behavior. Make it a pariah state as once was done to its apartheid cousin country South Africa. Ms Livni's blind callousness and her feeble attempts at "public relations" cannot stop this process. Indeed, her hypocrisy will only serve to make the boycott stronger."

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