- Under the UN Charter, other international law, and principles
of sovereign equality, all states are equal. None are more or less legitimate
- Under the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and
Duties of States, Israel qualifies as one. It has:
- a fixed recognizable territory;
- a permanent population;
- a functioning government; and
- the capacity to have relations with other countries.
- At issue isn't its legal nation state legitimacy. Its
lawless ideology is illegitimate. It's corrosive, destructive, racist,
extremist, undemocratic and hateful. It claims Jewish supremacy, specialness
and uniqueness as God's "chosen people."
- It espouses violence, not peaceful coexistence. It chooses
confrontation over diplomacy. It employs strength through militarism, intimidation,
and naked aggression. It's contemptuous of moral values and ethical principles.
- According to Joel Kovel, it's "a machine for the
manufacture of human rights abuses." Alan Hart calls it "the
real enemy of the Jews," and no wonder. It's a monster threatening
its host and all humanity, especially in partnership with its Washington
- In his June 30, 2011 article titled, "Israel and
the Issue of Delegitimization: An Analysis," Lawrence Davidson said:
- "....Israel's imperial and discriminatory policies
are not a function of the ethno-religious definition of the state. But
what happens if Israel's tactics and policies are not just opportunistic,
but indeed structural?"
- "What if the behavior of the government flows from
the very nature of a country designed first and foremost for a specific
group," alone? "If that is the case, you cannot separate out
criticism of this or that policy from criticism of the very character of
the Israeli polity. The state and its behavior are inseparable."
- At issue is Israel, or any state, established for a specific
group only, discriminating against and segregating its minorities, governing
this way by law and practice, and spurning civil and human rights, as well
as other democratic values in the process.
- As a result, Israel's structure and practices lack legitimacy.
It's not just occupation, says Davidson, it's how it treats Israeli Arabs
(one-fifth of its population) and "Zionism as a guiding socio-political
ideology that is illegitimate."
- As long as it persists, Israel "will constantly
be hoisting itself with its own petard," ably assisted by civil society
worldwide. The Global BDS movement for boycott, divestment, and sanctions
shows notable successes. Others will follow until Israel complies with
international law and human rights principles for Occupied Palestinians,
Israeli Arabs, and Palestinian diaspora refugees.
- Its achievements raise serious concerns in Israel with
good reason. Davidson calls the movement "the very best long term
strategy for those who wish to force Israel to rid itself of what makes
it truly illegitimate - its Zionist ideology."
- Not according to the Tel Aviv-based Reut Institute's
(RI) November 25 report headlined, "2011: The Year We Punched Back
on the Assault on Israel's Legitimacy," saying:
- "Israel and its allies have achieved small but significant
'triumphs.' " Admitting that "dangerous" delegitimization
momentum continues, efforts "from international forums to university
campuses" persist against it.
- Much more, it says, must be done "to harness the
support of liberal and progressive circles. Their denunciation of delegitimization
is (important to enlist) because they hold the banner of universal values
and human rights...."
- Unexplained was how gaining their support is possible
while Israel spurns international law, discriminates against Israeli Arabs,
practices apartheid, and governs Palestine repressively as a colonial occupier
despite worldwide condemnation.
- Acceptance by civil society demands obeying international
law, respecting human and civil rights, embracing other democratic values,
ending its repressive occupation, and treating all its citizens equally.
Nothing less will work. It's a lesson Israel, its ideological followers,
and defenders never learned.
- Third Annual BDS Conference
- On December 17, it was held at Hebron's Children's Happiness
Center '"to expand Palestinian civil society's active implementation
of BDS as an effective and popular strategy of civil resistance, that is
deeply rooted in the Palestinian struggle."
- Since founded in July 2005, BDS gained worldwide recognition
and support in pressuring Israel through economic, cultural and academic
- At issue are liberation, independence, self-determination
within 1967 borders, the right of return, East Jerusalem as its capital,
a just peace, and world recognition as a sovereign state with full de jure
- Many challenges remain. Over 450 attendees discussed
them and successes to date, including through interactive discussions and
workshops. Topics included:
- promoting BDS as effective popular resistance;
- boycotting Israel internationally: successes, challenges
and prospects; and
- boycotting Israel locally: realistic programs and challenges.
- Simultaneous workshops followed for students and youths,
women's organizations, civil society institutions, formal labor (ministries,
municipalities, and governorates), private sector groups, popular committees
against the Separation Wall and settlements, and international BDS.
- European BNC coordinator Michael Deas discussed successes
on the continent, saying:
- "BDS is now the main framework for solidarity."
By maintaining momentum, "we are very close to closing the European
market to Israel."
- According to Adam Horowitz, journalist and BDS activist,
conditions in America are much different because of the Israeli Lobby's
power, availability of few Israeli products, and inadequate financial support.
Nonetheless, progress has been achieved, including boycotting Ahava products
and attracting new members.
- Discussion also focused on encouraging Palestinians to
boycott Israeli products and buy their own. Also to get Palestinian businesses
to support BDS. Economist Ibrahim Shikaki noted no lack of effective alternatives,
just inadequate political will to end Palestine's economic dependency on
- Sustaining cooperative, unified efforts for common goals
is how great victories are won. Palestinians have millions of worldwide
supporters. Dedicated BDS activists globally stand resolutely with them
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive
Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central
time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy