25.9.06

More on the boycott of Israel

Irish academics call for a boycott of Israeli universities.
Other boycotts:
Ken Loach
Individual boycott
The Ontario workers union boycott
The Dubai Life boycott (Please go on their site and sign it)
The British lecturers boycott of Israeli academics
The US presbyterian church divestment
The Church of England boycott divestment
The British architects boycott
The Palestinian campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel
The BIG campaign boycott (UK): the non violent response to Israeli apartheid and occupation.
Boycottisrael.co.uk: Links containing informations on different boycott campaigns and on cthe ompanies who support zionism.
Mazin Qumsiyeh has a site with a wealth of information on boycotts of Israel and divestments as well as a list of the companies we should boycott.

Please inform me of additional boycotts I am unaware of.
Special thanks to Furgaia

16 comments:

FurGaia said...

The following may be helpful:

The Big Campaign (UK)

Boycott Israel to end the military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza

Also Mazin Qumsiyeh has compiled a list of various campaigns of boycotts and divestment, some of which may be inactive though. I have not checked all of them.

Sophia said...

Thanks Furgaia. I will add these to my post.

Battal Agha said...

And you really think that this will add something?? Look at you PC, it must have some major components "made in Israel". So what? You will throw away your PC?? Come on - wake up and move on...

FurGaia said...

battal agha, it is not a question of eliminating ALL targeted products from our environment. Of course, that is not possible! But that is not a reason for us not to try ... unless we do not mind being a supporter, albeit passive, of the Occupation and its atrocities.

I would answer your comment by referring you to the following:

Why an Economic Boycott of Israel is Justified?


Also: The Effects and Significance of Sanctions

A. The Domestic Economy and the Lower Classes

It is not the case that all Israeli citizens are violating international law or actively attacking the Palestinians. Sanctions should be considered carefully, so as to minimize the targeting of innocents. Sanctions against Israel will force it to rely more heavily on its domestic economy, at least until political advancements will justify alleviating the sanctions. Because the domestic economy is associated with the lower-classes of the Israeli society, international sanctions, divestment and boycotts will actually affect the higher-classes in Israel the most.

If we examine the expenses of the fifth of the population at the low end of the earnings scale, we find they spend 7% of their income on fruit and vegetables, compared with only 3% by the tenth of the population with the highest earnings. Meanwhile, 35% of the expenses of that bottom fifth are spent on housing, compared to only 25% by the top tenth.62

On the other hand, imports remain the realm of the highest earners. The top 10% of earners in Israel spend about 9% of all their expenses on trips abroad, over 102 times the ratio of expenses spent on trips abroad by the bottom forty percent of the population put together.63

This goes to show that the economic elite in Israel is far more vulnerable to international sanctions, at the same time that it holds the power to improve the Palestinians’ situation.64 The only ways that Israel’s wealthy could maintain their luxurious lifestyle under a boycott would be to disconnect from Israel or to influence Israeli policies and make the boycott irrelevant.

B. Complicity with the Occupation

Another important consideration regarding sanctions is the issue of moral complicity. Many people might view a boycott on Israeli goods (or even only on goods from the settlements) as an extreme measure. Others may consider a boycott an outside interference in what is essentially a local conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

However, one should also take into consideration the consequences of buying Israeli goods. The profits made by Israeli companies contribute to the taxes collected by the Israeli government and to the purchase of arms. Companies who produce goods on stolen Palestinian land increase in their business volume with every purchase. These purchases thus contribute to the incentive to grab more land from the Palestinians and to increase the population in the settlements.

Supporting the Israeli economy is a political statement that should not be taken lightly. It involves taking at least a measure of responsibility for human- rights’ violations committed by Israel.

C. The Psychological Impact

Although this publication focuses on the economic aspects of sanctions, one must not discount the significance of the psychological effects of sanctions, which may be even more important.

It is not realistic to expect widespread sanctions on Israel in the near future, yet even small and targeted campaigns can have far-reaching results. The sanctions keep the occupation in the political discourse, and make Israelis feel uneasy abroad. Israeli soldiers, settlers, and officials should feel that their actions against the Palestinians label them as pariahs in the international community – that they must distance themselves from the crimes committed against human rights and international law if they are to be received in the world as civilized and respected people.

In addition, many Israelis prefer to claim ignorance of international- law violations committed by Israel. Sanctions serve as an educating force – educating both Israelis and the international community, and forcing Israelis to take responsibility for what their government is doing. [Source]
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For more information, visit CanPalNet

FurGaia said...

Sophia, you are most welcome!

L.M. said...

I'm very glad that furgaia added this additional information. For the record, I have a huge problem with blanket calls to boycott cultural productions as if I could presume that every individual artist and filmmaker is firmly on-side with Israel's policies. But in all fairness most of the links provided by Sophia are precise in their targets. (with the exception of the Palestinian Filmmakers, Artists and Cultural Workers call for a cultural boycot.)

Sophia said...

l.m.

I will probably disappoint you but I don't make a difference between a cultural boycott and an economic one. Here is my argument

L.M. said...

You don't disappoint me with your arguments in the link above, but you haven't made the cultural argument for me. Being an exhibiting artist, I do know how an artist's participation in a state sponsored cultural events can skew an individual artist's intentions. It's also my experience that many of those types of exhibitions can be unspeakably dreadful and of little consequence to the larger discourse on contemporary art. Ideological and dogmatically political works generally are pompous failures, even if I am sympathetic to the causes, they do not serve the politics and they do not serve the art. (Guernica doesn't work for me either)

Without going into a long explanation of my thoughts in regards to my contemporaries, I can say that I am the most intrigued and inspired by the work of those who truly feel the tensions between who they are, as a part of a larger community and who they are as individual artists. It mirrors the profound issue about how we all participate in the world.

Withholding financial support is one thing, refusing to see, listen to or read a work by an artist due to their nationality is an impossibility for me.

Sophia said...

l.m.

I understand your point of view but I have some reservations.

I believe State sponsored art, which is relatively strong where I live in Canada, is not as common and open in other democracies as it is in Canada and I doubt very much that Isarel is the kind of democracy Canada is actually.
-As an artist, when you work with government funds but with no freedom to create whatever you want to create, you are actually condoning the practices of the state who is funding you and you become an accomplice of this state. I have no problem reducing funds for such artists.
-Most of the academic boycott against Israeli universities is directed against the sciences, natural and human sciences. In these two disciplines, there is a strong collaboration between the state, the army where all Israeli academics must serve before taking their jobs at the university and the state. If these people who are the most close to the structure of the army and the state- as we live already in a knowledge based society - don't speak against the horrors commited in their names or stau silent, they are accomplices.

I can go on but I have other duties waiting for me right now. i think the main point is: Is Israel the kind of democracy that allows its artists and academics the freedom allowed in western societies ? If it allows them this freedom then why they don't speak out and if it does not allow them this freedom then they can be considered as a product of the state and its ideology.

L.M. said...

The Israeli artists protesting the stance and policies of their government do exist. They are active and making powerful work.

In Canada (I live here too) all levels of funding institutions have an 'arms length' policy towards the work being supported. Decisions for disbursements are made at the peer jury level, so essentially politicians do not have control over arts councils, except for the over-all funding.

Sadly at some institutional levels, censorship is practised and it is usually directed at artists who do take on the Middle East as their subject matter, and at artists with work that may be critical of the corporate sponsors of some so-called public spaces. Artist run centres, the government & member funded parallel gallery system, are a different matter, we're pretty vigilant about anti-censorship issues and cognisant of our culture being diverse with strong international concerns. This is why your argument for cultural boycotts didn't win me over, it's the peculiar condition of artistic endeavours that they must be taken on for examination case by case. (but, otherwise, most of your argument is compelling)

Sophia said...

l.m.
Thanks for the link. I went to this site and was not able to see who are these people, what actions have they taken and so on...There is dissent in Israeli society, there is even dissent in the army. I think, sursprisingly, this is where the dissent is the strongest because the army are paying with prison time their refusal to serve in the occupied territories or in Lebanon. However, this dissent is very weak when you think how Israeli rallied massively rallied around their government decision to invade Lebanon, when you think that their major peace movement (Peace Now) is silent since the second intifada and advocated the war on lebanon. Dissent should become stronger in Israeli society in order to become effective and representative.

L.M. said...

I must respectfully respond to what I hope isn't an implied dismissal of these artists and one of many possible forms of protest shown in their gesture. The site, in addition to declaring their opposition to the policies of the Israeli government, includes a slide show of their work that you can click on to identify who these artists are. This is not a brilliant career move in a country whose population tends not to tolerate criticism in periods of severe conflict. (It's also not a career that gives you any more political power than an average citizen.)

I agree that not enough dissenting voices are being heard from Israel, and the ones that make the greatest impact are the protests from members of the Israeli army, but we know other forms of dissent are present and most of it is being drowned out by the big War Cry.

We can judge all sorts of protest gestures as too small or insignificant, but they do eventually reach a critical mass, and for that reason, should never be dismissed. With an across the board boycott of Israeli cultural voices we silence all communication (I believe that is the real function of culture for real artists. The production of an art product is incidental) For that reason I will never support that sort of santion, and it's really the only argument I'm making here.

Sophia said...

l.m.
I value every voice of dissent in israeli society. Those are the future conscience of the Israeli state. But as you say we need a critical mass in order for these voices to reach the dormant consciousness of the many.
I agree with you that culture is what makes communication possible. However, I still approve a cultural boycott, ecause the absence of communication is a communication in itself. It is a special type of communication and it is the voice of despair when everything else has failed and I think we are presently in this situation in palestine. People are suffocating and between chosing to keep the communication going on with wonderful artists or voice my despair, I choose to voice my despair and hope that somebody will hear it.

David said...

See Self-selection: anti-Semitic academics face extinction

g. said...

http://www.pacbi.org/

fatima said...

furgaia

Bravo , you make a lot of sense

 
Since March 29th 2006