Johansson responded by stepping down from her Oxfam role. From afar, it looked liked she’d received very poor advice; that someone who is paid good money to protect her interests hadn’t done the necessary research before she’d accepted the role and that she’d unwittingly inserted herself into the world’s most intractable geopolitical conflict. By the time Oxfam raised the issue, she was going to get flak if she did step down, flak if she didn’t. Was the whole thing just a bit of a mistake?
But she shakes her head. “No, I stand behind that decision. I was aware of that particular factory before I signed it.” Really? “Yes, and… it still doesn’t seem like a problem. Until someone has a solution to the closing of that factory to leaving all those people destitute, that doesn’t seem like the solution to the problem.”
But the international community says that the settlements are illegal and shouldn’t be there. “I think that’s something that’s very easily debatable. In that case, I was literally plunged into a conversation that’s way grander and larger than this one particular issue. And there’s no right side or wrong side leaning on this issue.”
Except, there’s a lot of unanimity, actually, I say, about the settlements on the West Bank. “I think in the UK there is,” she says. “That’s one thing I’ve realised… I’m coming into this as someone who sees that factory as a model for some sort of movement forward in a seemingly impossible situation.”
Well, not just the UK. There’s also the small matter of the UN security council, the UN general assembly, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Court of Justice… which all agree that they’re in contravention of international law. Half of me admires Johansson for sticking to her guns – her mother is Jewish and she obviously has strong opinions about Israel and its policies. Half of me thinks she’s hopelessly naive. Or, most likely, poorly advised. Of all the conflicts in all the world to plant yourself in the middle of…
"When I say a mistake," I say, "I mean partly because people saw you making a choice between Oxfam – a charity that is out to alleviate global poverty – and accepting a lot of money to advertise a product for a commercial company. For a lot of people, that’s like making a choice between charity – good – and lots of money – greed.”
"Sure I think that’s the way you can look at it. But I also think for a non-governmental organisation to be supporting something that’s supporting a political cause… there’s something that feels not right about that to me. There’s plenty of evidence that Oxfam does support and has funded a BDS [boycott, divest, sanctions] movement in the past. It’s something that can’t really be denied.” When I contacted Oxfam, it denied this.
Ziozifteh needs to be ejected into space asap
OUR CAMPUS JUST PASSED BDS!!!!
UWindsor students’ alliance just passed a BDS motion in a referendum, 798 to 585 against. So they join the Regina, York, Carleton, Trent and UToronto in Canadian schools that have passed BDS in one form or another.
This is great news that isn’t getting enough attention congrats all.
I take Israel apologism really personally. Back in 2006 bombing of Lebanon I saw so many radical leftist types and anti-war types either fight with me publically or were silent and very quietly disassociated with me, it killed about 90% of the friendships that I had. Up untill that point I really thought that it was all a matter of education and knowledge of very basic facts and that I could just talk people-at least the ones that weren’t totally obtuse and that I know-into seeing other people as human beings. That year changed all of that and I have no tolerance anymore for people that feign that they just can’t figure it out.
But honestly I never thought we’d ever get to the point where this much of the left would change on this issue. Like that they’re able to take a side at all never even mind following through on adopting bds; compared to where they were just ten years ago and that is kind of amazing? So I dunno, it’s a setback but that the vote was still as close as it was gives me a lot of hope.
But it makes me wonder about all the shitheads I disassociated with back then and if they changed and if they’re embarrassed about their shit opinions.
So a bunch of leftists believe that boycotts and shit are useless because they are ‘ethical capitalism’, and that they just normalize capitalism and economic systems of oppression. I actually used to believe that, but today I learned about a really good counter-example: the BDS-movement. (yeah I know I’m a shitty leftist for just now learning about the BDS-movement)
the BDS-movement advocates for boycotts, divestments and sanctions against israel in opposition to occupation and apartheid. And this movement is been quite successful in crippling quite a few Israeli corporations and is gaining momentum.
I think the idea that boycotting and such is ineffective is just an excuse for shitty leftists to avoid doing anything productive so they can continue to say “oh I can’t help but take part in this oppressive industry because capitalism is overwhelming”. There are ways for you to make change within capitalism. the BDS-movement proves it. Now shut up and stop being lazy.
Vikas, you bring up an excellent point. The BDS-movement is an ineffective way to demonstrate against the apartheid going on against Palestinians in Israel. But these zealous pompous self rightenous ‘Leftists’ have a convoluted, vauge understanding of the capitalist mode of production, which is why they end up bring staunch defenders of the movement. The movement brings a huge amount of awareness and proliferates this type of definace against the Israeli government but boycott is a petty bourgeois action.
The BDS movement is very similar to the situation in Africa—it is generally assumed that it was this mass sanction that actually was able to extripate the South African regime, but the truth is that the boycott played a diminitutive role—the role of the black working class, who had to face not only economic barriers but also the results of bourgeois decadence. It was the role of the black working class, who place their faith in the COSATU, the South African Communist party, and the ANC who was able to conflagrate this resistance. Unfortunately, due to the concilatotory polciies of the ANC, the nation still remained in the clutches of capital, just with a black president. Still, what happened to South Africa? Racism is even more prevalent than the apartheid, just on a subtle scale. Black workers are treatly with amonistory and are underpaid, under-appercrated, etc.
In a way, the BDS movement strengthens Zionism and the Israeli bureaucracy. The BDS movement treats Israel as one entity—all the Jewish workers, bosses, leaders, masses, etc. as advocates of oppressing Palestinians. Furthermore, the logic made behind this is that it is necessary to boycott the whole economy—the whole commodity production in Israel in order to actually fight against apartheid. The Jewish working class has no interest in desecrating Palestinians—nor do they want to actually support the bosses, who cut from their checks, their pensions, etc., in waging war on these helpless people—who may also be their co-workers as well! The body of the working class in Israel is either Jewish or Arab workers!
When Marx talked about the “Irish question”, he basically said that the Irish worker was a supplement to the English worker—the capitalist uses the former for cheap labor for a perennial production of capital. As a result of the Great Famine that occurred in Ireland (and wiped out the majority of the peasants while the rich man lived in luxury), they were inclined to come to England or America. The capitalist class—who is in fact a monolithic group, with having no race or ethnicity, are pander for the desire of capital—a plethora of it as well. Thus, the capitalist class intensifies the hatred between the English and the Irish workers; you are probably wondering why I am bringing up something like this is because this question is applicable to the settings in Israel. The capitalist class—who are Jewish and Arabs—also even Americans (lol), is there to mitigate and spill the fuel in intensifying hatred between these two groups—although at the end, both the Jewish and Arab workers are being plundered by this class. At the end of the day, they both see that most of their checks goes towards igniting war under the false premise of ‘security’.
The BDS movement does not understand that. Boycotting is ineffective because you are boycotting goods—this is indeed an ethical, moralistic approach towards consumerism. Those products are made by the hands of the Jewish and Arab workers. Hate or love them, those academics are being paid every week for their jobs. This blanket boycott is ridiculous; it is a petty bourgeois moralist understanding of the economy and leads to dire consequences. Some of those dire consequences is alleviating and stimulating hatred and animosity between two groups who are disillusioned in their situations.
Instead of boycotting commodities, there needs to be a complete workers’ boycott of the Israeli regime—a total defiance against the caricatures, the bosses and the puppets of the state apparatus. The only answer to an end of this apartheid is not the BDS movement, but a revolutionary liberation of the Jewish and Arab working class and negating the mode of production into socialism.
look at how these tumblr leftists pull theory out of their worthless asses in order berate and lecture oppressed peoples on the proper way to liberate themselves.
this jayaprada actually claims that bds strengthens zionism because something called “the jewish working class” doesn’t want to desecrate palestinians. to support their claim, they don’t cite anything specifically about the situation in palestine. no, they turn to some white dude who lived in the 1800s talking about a completely different situation. i’m sorry but just because marx said it, doesn’t make it universally applicable biblical truth.
unfortunately, this narrow, myopic lens in which ethnicity, religion, and other sociopolitical interests are thrown out the window in favor of a simplistic class analysis has dire consequences. consequence such as claiming that bds increases hatred, which places the blame on the palestinians for daring to create a grassroots movement to highlight and resist against the normalization of their occupation.
it wouldn’t be nearly as bad if the alternative solution weren’t such pig-ignorant bullshit. jayaprada wants palestinian and jewish workers to UNITE against the capitalist bosses. are they aware of hadash, the arab-jewish communist party? are they aware that this party has existed in some form or another since the beginning of the state of israel? are they aware that this party currently holds only four seats in the knesset out of 120? obviously it hasn’t worked. and palestinians are under precisely zero obligation to wait around for your ideologically correct solutions to magically start working.
the next time, you pieces of shit decide to pontificate about issues you clearly have no fucking clue about, don’t. if this is the type of bullshit you’re all gonna spew, keep palestine out of your filthy mouths.
This also does not take into account that the Israeli Jewish working force HAS and still DOES help in the dispossession and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.
The Haganah was practically built from the Histadrut (Israeli trade union federation), David Ben Gurion was a prominent leader in the Histadrut, a hero of the Israeli working class. I don’t even need to say anything about him and his cherished legacy.
The Histadrut was also well known for their role in recruiting members to join the Israeli military, and has produced many a commander that would later on go to further oppress Palestinians.
Other “admirable” actions carried out by them includes the ban on Arab labor and the penalization (often violently) of anyone hiring an Arab. This actually caused displacement among Arabs pre-1948 as they were forced to leave to find work, due to demographic shifts and racist discriminatory policies encouraged by the Histadrut.
As a response, the Arabs attempted to form their own unions. For this they of course needed permission from the mandate government, and you know who stood there in opposition and lobbied against them? The Histadrut.
Why did they lobby against them? Oh because it’s sectarian and against the spirit of worker solidarity, meanwhile Arab workers were still banned from working in any Jewish area.
So please, spare me any talk about worker solidarity between Israelis and Palestinians. Every single Jewish Israeli worker out there benefits from Apartheid and ethnic cleansing. It’s ignorant and naive to think otherwise.
I just wanted the full text of this on my tumblr.