Thursday, December 2, 2010

Jewish Federation of New Mexico's response to my UNM lecture vindicates BDS for justice in Palestine

By Ali Abunimah

"The New Mexico Jewish Link, the official organ of the Jewish Federation of New Mexico (JFNM) carries a lengthy article by Sam Sokolove, the organization's head, denouncing the November 7 speech I gave at the University of New Mexico (UNM) in Albuquerque (December 2010 issue, p.4 of the PDF)

Mr. Sokolove, you may recall, was at the forefront of a failed effort -- in which I was likened to a member of the KKK -- to have several UNM departments withdraw their endorsement for my lecture, which was attended by hundreds of people. Sokolove himself apparently did not bother to show up.

So naturally Sokolove addresses almost nothing of what I actually said.....

What Mr. Sokolove fears is the growth of support for BDS, especially among Jewish Americans. It is only in the context of trying to stave off this growing movement for justice and equality, that he is willing to acknowledge what he euphemistically calls "some bad Israeli policies."

BDS, we must always remember, is not an end in itself. It's a set of tactics -- like the Montgomery Bus Boycott, or the boycott of apartheid South Africa -- that is intended to bring about real change for the better. In this case, the goal is to end Israel's occupation and colonization of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, end Israel's systematic discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel and ensure full respect for the inalienable human rights of Palestinian refugees......"

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