BDS Malaysia on Singapore-Israel research collaboration

BDS Malaysia is utterly dismayed and disappointed with the signing of the research collaboration between the Singapore National Research Foundation and Hebrew University of Israel to form the Singapore-Hebrew University Alliance for Research and Enterprise (SHARE), during Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s visit to Israel.

BDS Malaysia would like to bring to the attention of PM Lee the fact that 170 Palestinian civil society organisations, including those representing academics, within historic Palestine and in the diaspora, have called on the world to show solidarity with and support for boycott, divestment and sanctions efforts against Israel. They also called on the international academic community to:

1. Refrain from participating in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions;

2. Advocate a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at the national and international levels, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to these institutions;

3. Promote divestment and disinvestment from Israel by international academic institutions;

4. Work towards the condemnation of Israeli policies by pressing for resolutions to be adopted by academic, professional and cultural associations and organizations;

5. Support Palestinian academic and cultural institutions directly without requiring them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or implicit condition for such support.

This BDS call has also been supported by Jewish academics and activists. In 2014, over 200 Jewish academics and activists issued a statement calling for the dismantling of Israel’s apartheid regime throughout historic Palestine, in solidarity with the Palestinian call for BDS.

In reality, the effects of Israeli occupation and oppression of Palestinian academia are many and severe.  Palestinian scholars do not enjoy the same rights to academic freedom as Israeli scholars. Israel controls the entry of books into the occupied Palestinian territories and does not refrain from bombing universities and schools in Gaza. Palestinian academics face severe restrictions on movement via the system of checkpoints, permits and ID cards.  The severe restrictions on movement also obviously make travel abroad difficult for Palestinian students and academics. This is compounded by restrictions on the entry of foreign scholars to Palestine by Israel. The entry of research equipment, spare parts, and material, is also tightly controlled by the Israeli government, making scientific research essentially impossible. In short, Palestinian scholars are prevented from engaging with each other and the world in virtually all fundamental aspects of academic pursuit and research.

PM Lee mentioned Albert Einstein’s visit to Singapore in 1922. Surely PM Lee is aware then that Einstein said, “I should much rather see reasonable agreement with the Arabs on the basis of living together in peace than the creation of a Jewish state. Apart from the practical considerations, my awareness of the essential nature of Judaism resists the idea of a Jewish state with borders, an army, and a measure of temporal power no matter how modest.  I am afraid of the inner damage Judaism will sustain – especially from the development of a narrow nationalism within our own ranks, against which we have already had to fight without a Jewish state”. (http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/01/einstein-on-palestine-and-zionism/).

BDS Malaysia therefore calls on the Singapore government to join hands with the global BDS movement to isolate Israel as long as Israel continues to commit human right abuses towards the Palestinians.

Prof. Mohd Nazari Ismail, PhD.
Chairman
BDS Malaysia

BDS Malaysia is inviting renowned Australian Jewish anti-Israel academic Professor Peter Slezak from the University of New South Wales to Malaysia

BDS Malaysia is inviting renowned Australian Jewish anti-Israel academic Professor Peter Slezak from the University of New South Wales to Malaysia from 16th to 23rd April, 2017 to give a series of talks on the topic of `Why The World Should Boycott Israel”. 

You can read more about Prof Peter Slezak here: https://sites.google.com/site/jewsagainstracistzionism/slezak

 

If you wish to help us in this latest project of ours, please donate to our cause by sending your money to:

 

Account name: Boycott Divestment Sanctions Malaysia

Bank: Maybank 

Account number: 5643 2460 7522

 

Please inform our treasurer Puan Rozini after you have banked in your money at  +60 12-201 8036

Not all Israeli Citizens Are Equal

Washington

I am a Palestinian who was born in the Israeli town of Lod, and thus I am an Israeli citizen. My wife is not; she is a Palestinian from Nablus in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Despite our towns being just 30 miles apart, we met almost 6,000 miles away in Massachusetts, where we attended neighboring colleges.

A series of walls, checkpoints, settlements and soldiers fill the 30-mile gap between our hometowns, making it more likely for us to have met on the other side of the planet than in our own backyard.

Never is this reality more profound than on our trips home from our current residence outside Washington.

Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion International Airport is on the outskirts of Lod (Lydda in Arabic), but because my wife has a Palestinian ID, she cannot fly there; she is relegated to flying to Amman, Jordan. If we plan a trip together — an enjoyable task for most couples — we must prepare for a logistical nightmare that reminds us of our profound inequality before the law at every turn.

Even if we fly together to Amman, we are forced to take different bridges, two hours apart, and endure often humiliating waiting and questioning just to cross into Israel and the West Bank. The laws conspire to separate us.

If we lived in the region, I would have to forgo my residency, since Israeli law prevents my wife from living with me in Israel. This is to prevent what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once referred to as “demographic spillover.” Additional Palestinian babies in Israel are considered “demographic threats” by a state constantly battling to keep a Jewish majority. (Of course, Israelis who marry Americans or any non-Palestinian foreigners are not subjected to this treatment.)

Last week marked Israel’s 64th year of independence; it is also when Palestinians commemorate the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” during which many of Palestine’s native inhabitants were turned into refugees.

In 1948, the Israeli brigade commander Yitzhak Rabin helped expel Lydda’s Palestinian population. Some 19,000 of the town’s 20,000 native Palestinian inhabitants were forced out. My grandparents were among the 1,000 to remain.

They were fortunate to become only internally displaced and not refugees. Years later my grandfather was able to buy back his own home — a cruel absurdity, but a better fate than that imposed on most of his neighbors, who were never permitted to re-establish their lives in their hometowns.

Three decades later, in October 1979, this newspaper reported that Israel barred Rabin from detailing in his memoir what he conceded was the “expulsion” of the “civilian population of Lod and Ramle, numbering some 50,000.” Rabin, who by then had served as prime minister, sought to describe how “it was essential to drive the inhabitants out.”

Two generations after the Nakba, the effect of discriminatory Israeli policies still reverberates. Israel still seeks to safeguard its image by claiming to be a bastion of democracy that treats its Palestinian citizens well, all the while continuing illiberal policies that target this very population. There is a long history of such discrimination.

In the 1950s new laws permitted the state to take control over Palestinians’ land by classifying them “absentees.” Of course, it was the state that made them absentees by either preventing refugees from returning to Israel or barring internally displaced Palestinians from having access to their land. This last group was ironically termed “present absentees” — able to see their land but not to reach it because of military restrictions that ultimately resulted in their watching the state confiscate it. Until 1966, Palestinian citizens were governed under martial law.

Today, a Jew from any country can move to Israel, while a Palestinian refugee, with a valid claim to property in Israel, cannot. And although Palestinians make up about 20 percent of Israel’s population, the 2012 budget allocates less than 7 percent for Palestinian citizens.

Tragically for Palestinians, Zionism requires the state to empower and maintain a Jewish majority even at the expense of its non-Jewish citizens, and the occupation of the West Bank is only one part of it. What exists today between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is therefore essentially one state, under Israeli control, where Palestinians have varying degrees of limited rights: 1.5 million are second-class citizens, and four million more are not citizens at all. If this is not apartheid, then whatever it is, it’s certainly not democracy.

The failure of Israeli and American leaders to grapple with this nondemocratic reality is not helping. Even if a two-state solution were achieved, which seems fanciful at this point, a fundamental contradiction would remain: more than 35 laws in ostensibly democratic Israel discriminate against Palestinians who are Israeli citizens.

For all the talk about shared values between Israel and the United States, democracy is sadly not one of them right now, and it will not be until Israel’s leaders are willing to recognize Palestinians as equals, not just in name, but in law.

What is Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) against Israel?

BDS is a call by more than 170 Palestinian civil societies, first issued in 2005,  http://bdsmovement.net/call for global solidarity and Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.

 

What is the inspiration for BDS?

 

BDS is inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement. Indeed,  Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu of South Africa, Nobel Laureate 1984, who fought so long and so vigorously against apartheid in South Africa, supports BDS. Tutu has said that the situation in Palestine reminds him of conditions in apartheid South Africa: https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/south-african-church-leaders-endorse-israeli-apartheid-week

 

What are the goals of BDS?

 

That Israel meets its obligation to recognise the Palestinian people’s inalienable right to self-determination and fully complies with the precepts of international law by:

 

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the Wall 2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and 3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194

 

BDS against Israel is by specific political parties or politicians.

 

No. BDS Malaysia is a non-partisan movement, part of a global movement. BDS Malaysia does not involve itself with partisan Malaysian politics, whether BN, PAS, PKR, DAP, Amanah, or others. Similarly, the BDS movement globally is a non-partisan movement that has been embraced by scholars, activists, non-governmental organisations, municipalities, pension funds.

 

Is BDS against Jews?

 

No, BDS is NOT against Jews. Indeed, in 2014, over 200 Jewish activists issued a statement calling for the dismantling of Israel’s apartheid regime, throughout historic Palestine, in solidarity with the Palestinian call for BDS ( http://mondoweiss.net/2014/07/jews-apartheid-israel )

 

Is BDS anti-semitic?

 

No, BDS is not anti-semitic. The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is explicitly anti-racist. Omar Barghouti, a leading Palestinian figure in the BDS movement, “BDS is a universalist movement that categorically opposes all forms of racism, including Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. This is not negotiable. We should never welcome racists in our midst, no matter what.”

 

Yonatan Shapira, an ex-Israeli air force pilot has said, “I’m a member of Boycott from Within –people from Israeli society who support boycott…I look at the guidelines of the BDS movement, and I feel totally comfortable”.

 

Isn’t boycotting Israel, but using Facebook, or a product from a company founded by a Jewish person hypocritical?

 

BDS uses boycott as a tactic to pressure Israel, for example by targeting companies that work with the state of Israel to oppress Palestinians. BDS does NOT target all Jews worldwide, nor companies founded by Jews simply because they were founded by Jews.

 

Yes, I oppose Israel’s actions, but why aren’t you boycotting the United States or other countries that do bad things?

 

BDS against Israel is a specific tactical call by Palestinian civil society. Supporting BDS does not mean supporting, or not supporting, other boycotts. When deciding on whether to support a boycott, the boycott should be assessed on its own merits. Supporting BDS against Israel does not mean that one cannot also oppose injustices elsewhere. As Nelson Mandela explained, “boycott is not a principle, it is a tactic depending on circumstances”

 

Additionally, with Palestine, as with South Africa in the past, we have a call by those suffering oppression for boycott. Palestinian society has asked the world to support this non-violent method.

 

Yes I oppose Israel’s actions, but a boycott would undermine attempts to change Israeli society from within.

 

There are courageous people in Israel who oppose their state’s actions, for example, Israeli human rights organisations such as B’Tselem. We want to support these people. As stated above, BDS does NOT target Jews. Nor does BDS target all Israelis. However, Israelis in the state of Israel have to realise that actions have consequences, and that their state cannot continue to act with impunity. BDS is a non-violent method to pressure the state of Israel, to demonstrate that actions have consequences. The very purpose of non-violent direct action tactics such as boycott is to compel a community that has constantly refused to negotiate in good faith, to do so. If one opposes violence, and also opposes BDS, then what else is left?

 

Boycotting Israelis, for example Israeli athletes, for the actions of the Israeli state is not fair.

 

This misunderstands what BDS is about. BDS does not target individual Israelis. It targets Israel, its institutions, and representatives in all fields. Companies that operate in Israel, especially in support of the Israeli state and its oppression of Palestinians, are also targeted. Individual Israeli athletes, who are not representing Israel, for example, an Israeli playing professionally for a European football club, are not targeted.  

 

Yes I oppose Israel’s actions but sports and politics should not mix.

 

It is not possible to have normal sport in a society under occupation.

 

Palestinian national team member Mahmoud Sarsak was detained for 3 years without trial or charge. Zakaria Issa, a striker in Palestinian national team was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment in 2003. Muhammad Nimr a striker in the Palestinian youth football team was detained from 2007 to 2009. https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/adri-nieuwhof/how-israel-derails-promising-careers-palestinian-football-stars

 

Furthermore, the movement Palestinian athletes, as with all Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories, is highly restricted, via the system of checkpoints, ID cards, permits. Commuting is time-consuming, and very difficult, due to often arbitrary decisions by individual Israeli soldiers. Therefore, even going to sports training daily can be extremely difficult for Palestinian athletes. It has been estimated that Palestinians lose 3 million working hours per day to travel (American Anthropological Association Task Force Israel Palestine, 2015)

 

Yes I oppose Israel’s actions but academia, and academic freedom of speech, should not be affected by politics, no?

 

The effects of Israeli occupation and oppression of Palestinian academia are many and severe.  Do Palestinian scholars not have the same rights to academic freedom as Israeli scholars? Most offensive of all to academic freedom, Israel controls books that enter the occupied Palestinian territories, and does not refrain from bombing universities and schools in Gaza.

 

As with all Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories, Palestinian academics face severe restrictions on movement via the system of checkpoints, permits, ID cards. This, for example, makes field work impossible.

 

Additionally, this severe restriction of movement, and blockade, makes it almost impossible for Palestinians from one area, for example Gaza, to study in another, for example the West Bank. Therefore, Palestinian universities are becoming “provincial”, losing the broad diverse student and academic body that is a fundamental characteristic of universities. Whereas there are now no Gazans studying at Birzeit University in the West Bank, 20% of students used to be from Gaza. Also, students from Gaza studying at Bethlehem University have been prevented from doing so.

 

The severe restrictions on movement also obviously make travel abroad difficult for Palestinian students and academics. This is compounded by restrictions on the entry of foreign scholars to Palestine by Israel. Therefore, in total, Palestinian scholars are prevented from engaging with each other and the world, fundamental aspects of academia.

 

The entry of research equipment, spare parts, and material, is also tightly controlled by the Israeli government, making scientific research essentially impossible.

 

Finally, to date, not a single Israeli university has protested the ongoing destruction of Palestinian education by the Israeli government, whereas every Israeli university supported the 2014 bombing of Gaza (https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/warrior-students-how-israeli-universities-are-supporting-war-crimes-gaza)

 
 

Surely art & culture should not be politicised?

 

In human society, art and culture are essential parts of politics, politics is an essential part of art and culture. Culture does not, and cannot, stand aloof in a vacuum. Indeed, the Israeli government uses culture as a tool, as demonstrated by the Israeli Foreign Ministry in 2005, “we see culture as a propaganda tool of the first rank, … do not distinguish between propaganda and culture”.

 

Palestinian cultural events have been forcibly cancelled, cinemas, theatres, cultural centres have been repeatedly ransacked, closed down on various spurious reasons, in a deliberate attempt by the Israeli government to silence the Palestinian cultural voice. For example, the Palestinian National Theatre, El-Hakawati, the only theatre in Jerusalem / Al-Quds that caters to Palestinians has long been targeted as part of the Israeli government’s attempt to undermine Palestinian heritage and culture. http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/12/palestinian-national-theatre-el-hakawati-east-jerusalem.html#

 

The Palestinian vs Israeli issue is complicated, both sides have done bad things?

 

This FAQ is not the appropriate place for a long discussion of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, for that see, for example, http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/ Instead, this FAQ’s focus is on current events, and the need for BDS.

 

The Israeli sociologist Baruch Kimmerling has described Israel’s oppression of Palestinians as “politicide”, “a process that has its ultimate goal the dissolution of the Palestinian people’s existence as a legitimate social, political and economic entity”.

 

The repeated attacks, and continuing blockade, against Gaza, even to the extent of targeting hospitals and ambulances, murdering professors (eg Dr Bashir Al-Hajjar, assistant professor of nursing, murdered whilst travelling in a UNRWA vehicle) in 2014, are only the most overt examples of Israeli aggression.

 

More insidious are the checkpoints restricting movement, unequal access to and seizure of land and water, the demolition of Palestinian homes, the Israeli settlements and settler only roads, the destruction of centuries, even millennium old Palestinian olive groves, the torture, the imprisonment of children, detention without trial: including of members of the Palestinian Legislative Council

 

Should Malaysians visit Israel?

 

BDS does not encourage visits to Israel. Israel’s regime gains from their visit legitimacy and uses it to erode the official boycott of their state, using these visitors as a back door towards normalization. Regardless of the noble intention of individuals or the benefit Palestinians may gain from Muslim and/or Arab brothers and sisters, or anyone in solidarity with Palestinians, supporting the tiny Palestinian economy in Jerusalem — and therefore contributing to their steadfastness in the occupied city — the harm done outstrips these benefits, especially the political normalization aspect.

 

What are the criteria for deciding on boycott targets, which corporations to be boycotted?

 

When boycott is used a tactic, and not as a principle, firstly, a key criterion is the degree of complicity of a corporation with the Israeli Zionist regime, whether the corporation works directly, hand in glove, with the Israeli Zionist regime to oppress Palestinians for example. Another criterion would be the potential for success. Linked to that is the potential for forming a broad, cross-movement coalition, across the entirety of Malaysian society, such that the boycott would be supported by Malaysian society as a whole. It should always be remembered that boycott is used as a tactic to force the Israeli regime to comply with the goals of BDS: ending the occupation, equality, right of return.

 

You have made many assertions in this FAQ, can you supply evidence for them?

 

This FAQ is not meant to be an academic paper, however, references can be supplied on request. Briefly, the assertions in this FAQ have been sourced primarily from Palestinian and Israeli human rights organisations and activists, and the American Anthropological Association Task Force Israel Palestine, 2015.

Soalan Lazim BDS Malaysia

Apa itu Boikot, Lupus & Sekat (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions – BDS) terhadap Israel?

BDS adalah satu panggilan global oleh lebih daripada 170 gerakan masyarakat sivil Palestin yang mengajak orang ramai bersolidariti bersama Rakyatnya (http://bdsmovement.net/call) melalui boikot dan sekatan (pengguna, akademik & budaya) terhadap Israel.

 

Apakah inspirasi disebalik penubuhan BDS?

Ilham penubuhan BDS datang daripada melihat kejayaan gerakan anti-aparteid seumpamanya di Afrika Selatan. Penerima Nobel Laureate (1987), Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, yang sekian lama & penuh bersemangat berjuang menentang aparteid dulunya, turut menyokong BDS. Tutu pernah menyatakan bahawa keadaan penduduk Palestin mengingatkan beliau kepada situasi di Afika Selatan ketika zaman aparteid: https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/south-african-church-leaders-endorse-israeli-apartheid-week

 
 

Apakah objektif BDS?

Matlamat BDS adalah untuk memberi tekanan berterusan kepada Israel sehingga rejim tersebut memenuhi kewajipannya mengiktiraf hak mutlak Rakyat Palestin untuk menentukan nasib mereka sendiri. Israel juga haruslah mematuhi kesemua ketetapan yang telah diputuskan undang-undang antarabangsa dengan:

 
  1. Mengakhiri & menarik diri dari semua wilayah Arab yang didudukinya secara haram serta merobohkan Tembok Pemisah (Apartheid Wall).

  2. Mengiktiraf hak asasi Rakyat Israel berketurunan Arab-Palestin untuk menikmati kesamarataan hak.

  3. Menghormati, melindungi & mempromosikan hak pelarian Palestin untuk kembali ke tanah air mereka sepertimana termaktub dalam resolusi PBB 194.

 
 

Adakah BDS terhadap Israel dipelopori parti serta ahli politik tertentu sahaja?

Tidak. BDS Malaysia adalah sebahagian daripada satu gerakan antarabangsa yang bersifat berkecuali. Tidak kira samada BN, PAS, PKR, DAP, AMANAH atau lain-lain parti, BDS tidak terlibat sama sekali dengan sebarang bentuk politik berpartisan Malaysia. Begitu juga keadaannya bagi BDS Antarabangsa, yang antara lain, turut disokong oleh ahli akademik, aktivis, NGO-NGO, majlis perbandaran tempatan, serta pelbagai persatuan, agensi & individu lain diseluruh dunia.

 

Adakah BDS menyerang/ menentang orang Yahudi secara umum?

Tidak, BDS bukanlah bersifat anti-semitik. Malah, Jawatankuasa Kebangsaan BDS Palestin (Palestinian BDS National Committee – BNC) jelas adalah anti-perkauman. Hakikat ini dikuatkan menerusi kenyataan Omar Barghouti, salah seorang pemimpin utama gerakan BDS di Palestin, yang menyebut, “BDS merupakan satu gerakan sejagat yang menentang semua bentuk perkauman termasuklah sikap Islamofobia & anti-semitik. Tiada kompromi dalam hal ini. Walau apapun yang terjadi, janganlah kita membuka pintu kepada orang-orang yang bersikap perkauman”.

 

Yonatan Shapira, bekas juruterbang tentera Israel, pula menyebut, “Saya adalah ahli boikot dari dalam – maksud saya, sebahagian dari kalangan orang-orang di Israel yang menyokong usaha BDS ini. Mulanya saya agak risau tidak diterima, tapi sesudah membaca garis panduan BDS, saya berasa cukup selesa untuk terus bersama dalam perjuangan ini”.

 

Bukankah memboikot Israel, tapi menggunakan Facebook atau apa-apa produk yang dihasilkan orang Yahudi tindakan hipokrit?

BDS menggunakan boikot sebagai salah satu taktik untuk memberi tekanan kepada Israel. Contohnya dengan menyasarkan syarikat-syarikat yang bersekongkol dengan rejim Zionis menindas Rakyat Palestin. BDS tidak secara sembarangan menyasarkan semua orang Yahudi di seluruh dunia, mahupun syarikat-syarikat yang dimiliki mereka hanya atas alasan mereka orang Yahudi.

 

Betul, saya juga menentang kekejaman Israel, tapi kenapa negara-negara lain seperti Amerika Syarikat contohnya, tidak turut di boikot?

BDS terhadap Israel adalah satu bentuk panggilan bersifat taktikal oleh masyarakat sivil Palestin. Menyokong BDS tidak bermaksud anda hanya boleh menyokong kami & tidak dibenarkan menyokong gerakan boikot lain. Anda harus mengambil kira baik buruk sesuatu boikot sebelum membuat keputusan untuk menyertainya atau tidak. Pada masa yang sama anda memberi sokongan kepada BDS, anda juga bebas, malah digalakkan, menentang ketidakadilan yang berlaku ditempat lain. Memetik kata Nelson Mendela, “Boikot bukan suatu prinsip, ia adalah satu taktik yang diatur mengikut keadaan”.

 

Tambahan lagi, isu Palestin, seperti juga di Afrika Selatan dahulunya, melibatkan panggilan boikot oleh orang-orang yang ditindas itu sendiri. Sehubungan itu, masyarakat sivil Palestin melalui BDS, mengajak masyarakat dunia membantah secara aman kekejaman Israel terhadap Rakyat Palestin.

 

Saya membantah kekejaman Zionis, tapi bukankah memboikot mereka akan membantutkan lagi usaha mengubah hati & minda masyarakat Israel?

Ada dikalangan masyarakat di Israel yang mula berani tampil membantah tindakan & kekejaman yang dilakukan kerajaan mereka, contohnya seperti pertubuhan hak asasi manusia, B’Tselem. Golongan seperti inilah yang harus kita bantu. Mengulangi kenyataan kami sebelum ini, BDS TIDAK menyasarkan orang Yahudi mahupun penduduk Israel secara pukal. Walaubagaimana pun, Rakyat Israel juga harus sedar & faham bahawa setiap tindakan ada akibatnya & negara mereka tidak boleh dibiarkan melakukan kekejaman sewenang-wenangnya.

 

BDS merupakan bantahan secara aman bagi menekan pihak Israel. Ia bertujuan menunjukkan kepada mereka bahawa kekejaman & penindasan mereka terhadap penduduk Palestin ada akibatnya.

 

Tujuan utama menggunakan taktik membantah secara aman melalui boikot adalah untuk memaksa satu pihak yang berterusan enggan berunding dengan niat yang baik untuk mengubah cara mereka. Jika seseorang itu menentang keganasan & juga menentang usaha BDS pada masa yang sama, apa lagi yg boleh dilakukan untuk membantu Rakyat Palestin?

 

Bukankah memboikot athlet Israel untuk tindakan rejim Zionis sesuatu tindakan yang tidak adil?

Ramai yang salah anggap, BDS tidak menyasarkan mana-mana Rakyat Israel secara khusus. Sasaran utama BDS adalah negara Israel, institusi-institusi dibawah naungannya serta wakil-wakilnya dari segenap bidang – termasuklah sukan. Antara yang turut menjadi sasaran adalah syarikat-syarikat yang beroperasi di Israel, terutamanya yang bersekongkol dengan mereka untuk terus menindas masyarakat Palestin. Atlet Israel yang bukan mewakili negara mereka dalam acara sukan TIDAK akan menjadi sasaran boikot.

 

Saya sokong untuk menentang kekejaman Israel, tapi politik & sukan sewajarnya dipisahkan.

Ianya mustahil untuk menikmati sukan dalam keadaan di mana sesuatu masyarakat itu berada dibawah pendudukan haram.

 

Sebagai contoh, pemain bolasepak kebangsaan Palestin, Mahmoud Sarsak, telah ditahan selama 3 tahun oleh Israel tanpa sebarang dakwaan. Nasib yang lebih teruk menimpa penyerang bolasepak kebangsaan Palestin, Zakaria Issa, pada 2003 apabila beliau pula dipenjarakan selama 16 tahun. Muhammad Nimr, penyerang pasukan bolasepak muda kebangsaan, juga ditahan tanpa dakwaan dari tahun 2007 hingga 2009. (Sumber: https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/adri-nieuwhof/how-israel-derails-promising-careers-palestinian-football-stars).

 

Tambahan lagi, dengan penggunaan sistem pusat pemeriksaan, kad pengenalan khas, serta permit, pergerakan atlet khasnya serta seluruh penduduk Palestin amnya amatlah terhad. Perjalanan dari satu tempat ke tempat yang lain mengambil masa yang panjang akibat pemeriksaan rambang yang dikenakan sewenang-wenangnya oleh tentera Israel. Tidak hairanlah jika atlet Palestin mendapati ianya sukar walau pun hanya untuk menghadiri sesi latihan. Kajian juga mendapati Rakyat Palestin, secara terkumpul, terbazir lebih 3 juta jam waktu bekerja setiap hari hanya untuk perjalanan.

 
 

Saya mengecam tindakan Israel, tetapi wajarkah kebebasan bersuara ahli akademik serta bidang akademik amnya dipolitikkan?

Sudah terdapat banyak contoh kesan penjajahan & penindasan Israel ke atas Palestin terutama dalam bidang akademik. Tanya diri anda, tidakkah seadilnya ahli-ahli akademik Palestin mempunyai hak yang sama dengan rakan-rakan sekerja mereka di Israel? Paling hina diantara semua usaha Israel untuk menghalang kebebasan akademik adalah kawalan ketat keatas kemasukan jenis buku yang boleh dibaca/ diakses. Malah, sejarah membuktikan Israel tidak ada masalah langsung untuk mengebom sekolah, universiti serta lain-lain institusi pembelajaran dengan sewenang-wenangnya.

 

Seperti yang diketahui, pergerakan Rakyat Palestin amnya dan ahli akademik khususnya, amatlah terhad. Ini menjadikan kerja-kerja lapangan bagi tujuan kajian contohnya, amat sukar malah hampir mustahil untuk dilakukan.

 

Sekatan pergerakan serta kepungan askar Israel keatas bumi dan rakyat Palestin amatlah kejam dan menyukarkan pelajar dari Gaza contohnya, untuk ke Tebing Barat untuk belajar. Akibatnya, tidak banyak kepelbagaian dalam demografi pelajar serta persatuan pelajar di universiti-universiti di Palestin sedangkan kedua-duanya adalah ciri utama mana-mana universiti pun. Hari ini, sudah tiada lansung pelajar dari Gaza yang menuntut di Universiti Berzeit, Tebing Barat, sedangkan 20% dari penuntutnya dahulu terdiri dari kalangan pelajar dari Gaza. Mereka juga telah dihalang dari meneruskan pengajian mereka di Universiti Bethlehem.

 

Sekatan pergerakan yang melampau ini juga menyebabkan pelajar serta ahli akademik di Palestin sukar untuk menuntut ilmu di luar negara. Seolah-olah ingin mematikan saki-baki peluang & harapan yang ada, Israel menyekat pula kemasukan ahli akademik dari luar ke Palestin. Kesimpulannya, Israel menyekat serta menghalang ahli akademik serta pelajar di Palestin daripada berinteraksi diantara mereka apatah lagi dengan kalangan bijak pandai dari luar. Interaksi inilah yang menjadi tunjang bagi memantapkan bidang akademik tetapi malangnya, Israel merasakan Rakyat Palestin tidak berhak menikmatinya.

 

Tidak keterlaluan untuk mengatakan ianya hampir mustahil untuk melakukan kajian saintifik di Palestin akibat sekatan tidak munasabah yang dikenakan Israel keatas barang-barang, peralatan kajian serta alat ganti yang sememangnya amat diperlukan.

 

Selain itu, tiada satu universiti Israel pun yang membantah pemusnahan sistem pendidikan Palestin oleh pemerintah Israel; malahan, semua universiti Israel menyokong pengeboman Gaza pada 2014 oleh tentera Israel. (Sumber: https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/warrior-students-how-israeli-universities-are-supporting-war-crimes-gaza)

 

Baik, tapi tidak mungkin seni & kebudayaan juga harus dipolitikkan bukan?

Dalam ketamadunan manusia, seni & kebudayaan merupakan aspek penting dalam politik, begitu juga sebaliknya. Hakikat ini, ironinya, pernah disokong sendiri oleh kerajaan Israel melalui kenyataan Menteri Luarnya pada 2005 yang menyebut, “kami melihat budaya sebagai salah satu alat propaganda utama,….budaya & propaganda berpisah tiada”.

 

Majlis-majlis kebudayaan, wayang, teater, dan pusat-pusat kebudayaan sering kali digeledah & ditutup secara paksa tanpa apa-apa alasan munasabah oleh rejim Israel. Tindakan tersebut tidak lain, bagi menghalang Rakyat Palestin dari menyuarakan & mengekspresikan kebudayaan mereka. Sebagai contoh, Teater Kebangsaan Palestin, El-Hakawati, satu-satunya teater Palestin di Baitul Maqdis (Jurusalem)/ Al-Quds sudah sekian lama menjadi sasaran rejim Israel dalam usahanya untuk memusnahkan kebudayaan & warisan masyarakat Palestin. (Sumber: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2015/12/palestinian-national-theatre-el-hakawati-east-jerusalem.html).

 

Isu Palestin vs Israel adalah rumit, bukankah kedua-duanya bersalah dalam melakukan kekejaman?

Bahagian ‘Soalan Lazim’ ini bukan tempat yang sesuai untuk memperdebatkan isu ini. Ia akan mengambil masa yang panjang & memerlukan platfom yang berbeza. Sebaliknya, disini kita lebih fokus kepada isu-isu semasa & keperluan mengadakan BDS. Walaubagaimana pun, jika anda berminat untuk mengetahui lebih lanjut tentang perkara tersebut, anda boleh layari http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/ .

 

Ahli Sosiologi Israel, Baruch Kimmerling, pernah membahasakan kekejaman Israel terhadap Palestin sebagai ‘politicide’ (pembunuhan politik). Maksudnya, satu proses yang bermatlamat untuk melenyapkan kewujudan Rakyat palestin sebagai satu entiti sosial, politik & ekonomi yang sah”.

 

Serangan bertali-arus dan kepungan berterusan Israel ke atas Gaza sehingga ke tahap berani mensasarkan hospital & ambulan serta membunuh para professor (e.g. Dr Bashir Al-Hajjar, Penolong Professor Kejururawatan yang dibunuh rejim Israel sewaktu beliau sedang memandu menggunakan kenderaan milik UNRWA) hanyalah beberapa contoh kekejaman secara terang-terangan yang dilakukan oleh Israel.

 

Lebih kurang diketahui, tetapi juga teruk, adalah kewujudan pusat-pusat pemeriksaan yang menyekat perjalanan penduduk, ketidakadilan pemilikan serta pengambilan tanah & sumber air secara paksa & tidak sah disisi undang-undang, perobohan rumah-rumah Rakyat Palestin, pembinaan penempatan haram Rakyat Israel serta jalanraya khas untuk penduduknya, pemusnahan ladang-ladang zaitun warisan yang beribu tahun sejarahnya, seksaan & gangguan berterusan, pemenjaraan kanak-kanak, serta penahanan tanpa perbicaraan: termasuk dari kalangan ahli Majlis Perundangan Palestin.

 

Wajarkah Rakyat Malaysia melawat Israel?

BDS tidak menggalakan sebarang kunjungan ke Israel. Rejim Israel mendapat manfaat pengiktirafan melalui kesahihan kunjungan tersebut & menggunakannya sebagai alasan bagi melemahkan usaha boikot ke atas mereka. Para pengunjung akan diperagakan kepada dunia seolah-olah tiada apa berlaku & kewujudan mereka di Palestin adalah terjustifikasi & sah. Kunjungan ini juga akan digunakan sebagai alasan membiasakan orang ramai dengan penjajahan & pendudukan haram mereka di bumi Palestin.   

 

Tidak kira apa pun tujuan murni atau banyak mana pun manfaat yang ia boleh berikan kepada penduduk Palestin, kemudaratan hasil dari kunjungan itu akan membayangi kesemua kebaikan yang bakal diperoleh.

 

Apakah kriteria untuk membuat keputusan mengenai sasaran boikot, syarikat untuk diboikot?

 

Apabila boikot digunakan sebagai taktik, dan tidak sebagai satu prinsip, kriteria utama adalah tahap penglibatan sebuah syarikat dengan rejim Zionis Israel, sama ada perbadanan itu berkerjasama langsung, dengan rejim Zionis Israel untuk menindas rakyat Palestin. Kriteria lain ialah potensi gerakan boikot untuk berjaya, dan bersamaman itu, potensi untuk membentuk gerakan yang luas, yang akan disokong keseluruhan masyarakat Malaysia. Patut diingat bahawa boikot ini digunakan sebagai taktik untuk memaksa rejim Israel untuk mematuhi kehendak BDS: menamatkan penaklukan, kesaksamaan, hak untuk kembali.

 

Banyak dakwaan telah dilemparkan dalam bahagian ‘Soalan Lazim’ ini, bolehkah BDS membuktikan kesemuanya?

Tujuan bahagian ‘Soalan Lazim’ ini bukan untuk dijadikan kertas kajian akademik. Walaubagaimana pun, jika ada permintaan untuk rujukan, pihak kami berbesar hati menyediakannya.

 

 

Sumber rujukan utama yang digunakan dalam menyediakan ‘Soalan Lazim’ ini adalah dari maklumat yang dikumpul & direkodkan oleh para aktivis serta organisasi-organisasi hak asasi manusia di Palestin & Israel. Maklumat dari laporan Pasukan Bertindak Israel-Palestin 2015, Persatuan Antropologi Amerika Syarikat (American Anthropological Association Task Force Israel-Palestine, 2015) turut dijadikan sumber rujukan.

Why Zionism Is Not and Never Will Be Part of My Jewish Identity

March 31, 2016 by Annah Anti-Palindrome
 
When I was a kid, Zionism – the political ideology responsible for the development and protection of a Jewish nation-state, currently known as Israel – made sense to me.
 
Growing up as a member of the only Jewish family in a rural, mostly Christian town was Not Fun.
 
Kids were mean and sometimes violent, neighbors called CPS on my parents because of their failure to “ensure the salvation of their children’s souls” (as in, they didn’t take us to church or have us baptized), and teachers in grade school would tell me to take off my Star of David necklace because they thought it was a pentagram and “there would be no devil worship in the class room!”
 
As children from low-income households navigating legitimate feelings of scarcity, sharing snacks with other kids at lunchtime was unthinkable amongst most of my peers. But because my siblings and I were Jewish, not sharing meant we were “stingy” or “greedy,” and we were ridiculed and punished accordingly.
 
The only reprieve I felt was when I was at synagogue in the company of other Jewish kids.
 
I remember it felt so good to not be the only Jew within a sixty-mile radius! It was there that I developed some of my first ride-or-die friendships. My everyday identity as a singular, cultural outcast evaporated inside those temple walls, and being allowed to see myself as a part of something larger, even if only for a few hours a month, was a life-saving experience.
 
It was also at synagogue, however, that I underwent some really intensive, foundational Hasbarah education.
 
I remember sitting in a room with dozens of other Jewish kids as the rabbi alternated between playing us excruciatingly graphic documentaries about the Holocaust, and Israeli propaganda cartoons.
 
Before playing us the Holocaust videos, our rabbi would smugly say things like, “You are all old enough to know the truth: This is what we, as Jews, can expect from the world we live in. Everyone is jealous because we are God’s chosen people. Jews have been persecuted since the beginning of time as a result of that jealousy. The Holocaust is only one example.”
 
After watching these films, we would be put into discussion groups and asked to brainstorm tactical strategies to “ensure the safety of Our People” for future generations.
 
When the rabbi called the class back together he would simply say, “Jews will never be safe anywhere, which is why the state of Israel is so important.” He would then immediately cue the Israeli tourist propaganda to quell our newly budding terror.
 
Now, it doesn’t take much to scare the shit out of a kid. And quite honestly, when I’d leave temple and go back to the horrors of my culturally Christian hometown environment, the idea of a designated safe-haven for Jews sounded pretty good.
 
But little did I know, the “safe haven” I was being taught about was not only unsafe for Jews, but also that it existed as the direct result of an indigenous population’s massacre and displacement. 
 
Disillusionment
 
As I grew older and began to build close friendships with kids of color – kids who were also treated like shit at school by students and teachers alike – it became clear to me what navigating the deepest dredges of oppression actually looked like.
 
Although things were pretty uncomfortable for me growing up in a culturally Christian town, as a person with white privilege, I could usually slide under the radar and avoid (at least) the most violent of scrutiny.
 
Conversely, I’d witness my friends of color get regularly harassed by the town cops. They were always being frisked and detained for not having citizenship papers on them, and they were constantly having their homes and families torn apart during local ICE raids.
 
One day, in my pre-teen naiveté, I suggested to one of the rabbis at temple that since brown folks also seemed to be really abhorred by the world, maybe they, too, should be allowed to seek refuge and safety in Israel.
 
His answer would begin the unraveling of a story that shifted my perspective forever. He looked down at me intently and said, “If they are not Jewish, they are of no concern to us.”
 
In true Zionist fashion, he went on the usual tirade about “the unique and specific plight Jewish people have faced throughout history,” driving home the importance of spending our energies looking out for ourselves and each other before anybody else.
 
We were always encouraged to reflect on the atrocities of the Holocaust as proof that Jews needed an autonomous, national homeland in order to stay safe from the world’s impending doom.
 
As I got older, though, I learned that some of my (non-Jewish) friends also came from families with histories of displacement and mass genocide (Western expansion, the Trail of Tears, slavery and Jim Crow, to name a few). And yet nobody ever advocated for them to have a national homeland in order to ensure their safety.
 
This conversation happened when I was twelve years old, and it awoke in me the initial stirrings of distrust and skepticism.
 
It wasn’t until much later, when I learned about the occupation of Palestine, that my entire belief system would crumble around me.
 
The Breaking Point
 
In the mid-90s, during the Oslo Peace Negotiations, I began seeing images on the news of Israeli military tanks bulldozing entire Palestinian villages, Israeli soldiers denying Palestinian families access through checkpoints to seek proper medical care, and mobs of Palestinian children being held at gunpoint by Israeli soldiers for having thrown rocks at encroaching, armed cavalries.
 
We all know that the US media shows us only a fraction of what’s actually happening in the rest of the world, and given that the US generally portrays Israel in a favorable light (do to its vested interest in maintaining a military base in the Middle East), I can only imagine that those images were just the tip of a much larger iceberg.
 
This is when I realized that I had been being lied to for a majority of my adolescent life.
 
At no point during my religious education had anyone ever mentioned that the indiscriminate massacre and displacement of Palestinian people was necessary for Israel to exist! At no point did anyone mention that maintaining and expanding an exclusive Jewish state requires the ongoing ethnic cleansing and military repression of Palestinians!
 
Israel continues to insist that these are actions carried out in the name of “self-defense.”
 
But today, the number of Israeli casualties on average continues to be disproportionately less than those of Palestinians – yet Israel refuses to recognize Palestinian violence as a reaction to Israeli policies and practices, particularly those of occupation, land confiscation, and police state rule.
 
This is exactly the kind of denial and complacency that Zionist ideology breeds.
 
How Zionism Hurts People (Including Jews)
 
While I did find a necessary sense of kinship and safety through attending temple as a child, it was through Zionist ideology that my fears and anxieties about anti-Semitism were enhanced and exploited.
 
The state of Israel relies on the nationalist loyalties of Jews all over the world – loyalties that are secured through the manipulation of our very real senses of collective, historical trauma.
 
Further, beyond the blatant, unapologetic displacement of Palestinian people, Zionism creates a hierarchy of justice that even privileges certain Jewish lives over others.
 
As a nation founded by mostly European settlers (Ashkenazi Jews), racism against Jews of color in Israel is also rampant. Discrimination against Arab Jews, Ethiopian Jews, Indian Jews, Mizrahi, and Sephardic Jews can be seen through Israel’s institutional policies, media portrayals, educational systems, immigration laws, housing and resource accessibility, and so on.
 
When my grandfather, an Egyptian Arab immigrant and Sephardic Jew, moved to Israel from the US in the late ‘90s, he had to deal with so much shit that he eventually decided to move back to the States after only a few years. This decision, given the heightened state of post-9/11 anti-Arab racism, says a lot.
 
Contrary to the messages of Hasbara and Israel’s international, commercial front, Zionism is not an ideology rooted the politics of liberation.
 
Zionism discourages Jews from participating in or identifying with broader global resistance movements and instead advocates for a focus on exclusive, insular protection at the expense of non-Jewish lives.
 
Since Israel – the geographical mecca for Jewish insularity – requires the oppression of another group of people to exist, it will never be a safe haven for anyone.
 
Next Steps in Decolonizing Our Minds
 
All too often, I hear people insist that opposing the state of Israel is somehow inherently anti-Semitic. I’ve actually been told before (by Jews and Goys alike) that my anti-Zionist politics make me a bonafide “self-hating Jew.”
 
This is a classic way to shut down a crucial conversation.
 
We should be skeptical of any movement that centers the protection of European settlers at the expense of a land’s indigenous population.
 
Conversations and critiques about this shouldn’t have to stop just because someone utters the word “Holocaust.” If you ask me, there’s something seriously wrong when we’re forbidden from taking a stand against both anti-Semitism and imperialist repression simultaneously.
 
We have (rightfully) organized against forms of apartheid, institutional racism, colonial violence, and genocide all over the world throughout history (in the US, South Africa, South and Central America, Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur, and more).
 
We also need to take a stand against the state sanctioned violence that’s inflicted against Palestinians by the Zionist state of Israel.
 
Beyond ideological reframing, here are some other tactical steps you can take in support of the Palestinian freedom movement:
 
Get involved with IJAN (International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network) or JVP (Jewish Voice for Peace)
Support the Palestinian BDS campaign (boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel)
If you are Jewish and thinking about taking your “birthright” trip to Israel, consider doing Birthright Unplugged instead!
Because in order to be effective in the fight against any system of oppression, decolonizing our minds is the first step.
 
***
 
The sense of safety and community I found at temple when I was a kid is something I will always be grateful for.
 
Through gaining perspective about the harmful impacts of Zionism, I’ve been able to both appreciate my Jewish community, as well as take a stand against the violent injustices inflicted by the state of Israel.
 
Separating Zionism from my Jewish identity has allowed me to make the bold assertion: Israel’s violent, imperialist campaign against Palestinians – not on my behalf, not in my name.