Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Debunking pro-Israeli arguments against boycott

There have been noble attempts by civil society groups, in and outside the US, to boycott the US. However, such boycotts have never truly been consolidated nor have their positions been coherently articulated. More important, the power of the US, the nature of its political system and internal social fabric, and its control of the world through numerous military bases that, on a map, look like a science fiction alien takeover of Earth, demands other strategic and pragmatic considerations. To think of strategies for ending Israeli apartheid and occupation in the same way as US occupation and imperialism is to have a naive understanding of the dynamics of power in both contexts.

Nevertheless, because of the special relationship between Israel and the US, one can think of the boycott of Israel as a way to boycott a US satellite in the Middle East. By changing the nature of the regime in Israel, ending the occupation and recognizing and promoting the Palestinian right of return, this could begin to reverse US policy elsewhere in the world by exposing the failed policies of the US government. In other words, the special US-Israeli relationship means that the boycott of Israel has the potential to significantly impact US policy elsewhere and shift the balance of power in the region. 

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