February 23, 2008

Right to return is a civil right

David T of Harry's Place has an article in today's Jewish Chronicle. In it he tells readers the "real motive of the boycotters". He's a lawyer, you know? He knows the law. So how did he manage to write this:
The BDS initiative takes the form of a call for an international boycott to advance three broad goals: ending [Israel’s] occupation and colonisation of all Arab lands and dismantling the wall; recognising the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.
Well easy, that is precisely the position of supporters of BDS - boycott of, divestment from and sanctions against Israel. But then he writes this:
Make no mistake. The main goal of the BDS movement is not the advancement of Palestinian civil rights.
Why are the BDS people calling for those rights - return, equality, etc - that most people associate with civil rights if they don't actually want Palestinians to have civil rights? The trick here is in the word advancement.

David T (né Toube) is a zionist. He believes in Jewish supremacy in Palestine and he knows that Jewish supremacy is incompatible with civil rights for the Palestinians. He knows that with Israel able and more than willing to repress Palestinians who show anything like steadfastness or even show their faces Israel does not have to make concessions for the time being. Therefore Palestinians can be denied their rights, even their right to life. But if Palestinians accept their lot, accept that most remain in exile, accept that those currently under occupation could see the end of Israeli ground troops and accept aerial occupation a la Gaza then they can have a semblence of advancement towards civil rights but not civil rights as such.

Maybe I should have pointed out that he said a lot of stuff in between the boycotters demands and his assertion that they don't want civil rights for Palestinians at all. He is still smarting from the One Voice debacle where there was to be a concert promoting Palestinian acceptance of the settlement blocks. This is what the thoroughly dishonest David T calls the "middle ground". Between what and what? He doesn't say.

He does say however that Israel cannot deliver on civil rights for Palestinians that westerners take for granted in the countries that support Israel the most. He does that in an article complaining about people calling Israel an apartheid state.

And yet it's Israel's insistence that it cannot allow equal rights to non-Jews that makes people conclude that Israel is indeed an apartheid state. Why doesn't the no longer mysterious Mr t just admit it?

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