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exchange with Johann Hari re sanctiopns on Israel

 
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joe emersberger



Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Posts: 513
Location: Windsor, Onatrio, Canada

Post Post subject: exchange with Johann Hari re sanctiopns on Israel Reply with quote

Mr. Hari.
i read and agreed with your recent article about Israeli aggression against Gaza, but why not call for sanctions? How will the cost benefit analysis of the Israeli state ever be changed if they continue to be generously funded and supported by the US and, increasingly, the EU? While I agree that the people of Gaza [have] no right to fire rockets indiscriminately, I do not see how anyone can reasonably argue that they have no right to target the Israeli military in response to a blockade that clearly targets civilians. The wisdom of doing so may be questioned - but not their right to self defence.
Joe Emersberger .


In a message dated 12/30/2008 1:22:16 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, J.Hari@Independent.co.uk writes:

Hi Joe - it depends what kind of sanctions. I absolutely support making all aid to Israel conditional on stopping these abuses (which would probably mean their cancellation) and boycottign companies like Caterpillar, that provide bulldozers used in the West Bank. But boycotting all israelis would, I think, be counterproductive,. since (say) academics are the most left-wing, pro-=peace Israelis, who would agree with you and me on Gaza; shutting them out helps nobody.

Best wishes

Johann


Johann.
Thanks for replying.
I disagree with you about an academic boycott. The Israeli historian, Ilan Pappé, for example, supports an academic boycott and noted that it and similar measures

http://peacepalestine.blogspot.com/2005/04/ilan-pappe-in-support-of-academic.html

"will not change the [Israeli] position in a day, but it will send a clear message that [the premises of Zionism] are racist and unacceptable in the 21st century . . . They would have to choose."


This article by Justin Podur takes a probing look at the arguments for and against an academic boycott.
http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/17261


This article reminds us "Ilan Pappe and the late Tanya Reinhart had left Israel because it had become intolerable for them (Pappe had also been effectively boycotted by the Israeli academy)"

A key point is that it is important to distinguish a boycott of Israeli academic institutions versus a boycott of individual academics. Here is a piece by an Israeli activist making that distinction and calling for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

http://www.flwi.ugent.be/cie/Palestina/palestina329.htm

He makes the point

"Even disinvesting in firms, such as Caterpillar, that supply Israel with instruments of oppression, may well hurt some innocent people. This cannot be a valid objection to the boycott. Would we oppose a campaign for disarmament on the grounds that it would deprive some workers of employment? But deliberately aiming punitive measures at individuals irrespective of their personal guilt is quite a different matter: it is morally repugnant. "

He goes on to explain how a boycott could be modified to ensure that it does minimal harm to those academics who least deserve it.

Regardless where you stand on this Johann I would applaud you addressing these issues in your column. It is precisely the kind of debate that apartheid supporters do not want to see take place.

Joe Emersberger
Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:43 am
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joe emersberger



Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Posts: 513
Location: Windsor, Onatrio, Canada

Post Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your e-mail. I;ll check out those links. I did write a piece about this about a year ago - you can find it on my website www.johannhari.com
Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:09 pm
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