Boycott only way to force home the pressure
However, to be truly effective such a boycott needs to extend both to cultural and sporting boycotts and demonstrations – note the recent disruption of a concert by the Jerusalem Quartet, all of whom are ex-members of the IDF – and the peaceful confrontation with zionism in our own workplaces, communities and even our trade unions.
Too many on the “progressive” wing of British politics remain enamoured with a highly fictionalised account of the early years of the state of Israel and remain deluded as to how reactionary the likes of the Israeli Labour Party and trade union federation Histadrut both were then and certainly are now.
To be a zionist needs to become as shameful a position as being in favour of apartheid South Africa.
Response sent today:
In the aftermath of Israel’s murderous attack upon the Gaza flotilla, it is only right and proper that socialists should be discussing ways of forcing Israel to lift its blockade of Gaza and to enter into serious peace negotiations with the Palestinian people and their representatives, including Hamas.
However, proposals like Paul Simon’s (M Star June 5-6) are not the way forward. He calls for “peaceful confrontation with zionism in our own workplaces, communities and even our trade unions,” concluding that “To be a zionist needs to become as shameful a position as being in favour of apartheid South Africa.”
For the sake of brevity, I will leave aside the false and simplistic analogy between Israel and apartheid South Africa and simply ask the question: what (since 1948), is “zionism”? As far as I can make out, the only meaningful definition of the word these days is support for the right of the state of Israel to exist in some shape or form. That being so, the vast majority of Jews in Britain and the world are “zionists”, including left-wing peace activists like Uri Avneri of Gush Shalom, whose articles frequently appear in this paper.
How could Simon’s call for ” peaceful confrontation with zionism” in workplaces, communities and trade unions, not turn in practice, into a Jew-hunt? We need to be building solidarity between Palestinians (and their supporters) and progressive Jewish people here and in the Middle East - not stirring up hatred that will result in further division, and (quite possibly) racist attacks upon both Jews and Muslims.