Monthly Archives: September 2009

Gershon Baskin on right of return

On OpenDemocracy.

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Thoughts from an SPSC (Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign) supporter

One interest Palestinians, Israelis and Jews share (whether or not they realise it) is to ensure that the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign remain marginal in the movement to end the occupation of Palestinian lands.

This is the kind of support it attracts:

“anyone who is not boycotting Israel (both economically and culturally) is supporting Ethnic Cleansing!”

After that comes a call for American tourists to boycott Scotland, pledges to boycott the United States on grounds of its support of Israel, and the wild opinion “I would NOT describe the U.S.A as a democracy”.

The claim that Israel is conducting ethnic cleansing is false, and it’s also false and vindictive to assert that opposition to the total isolation of Israel is tantamount to support of ethnic cleansing. This person is clearly disaffected to the extreme. From what I know of the SPSC, he or she fits in well there.

More SPSC:

Other fault lines in Israeli society

British Greens tend only to pay attention to the Jewish-Palestinian fault-lines in Israeli society. But of course like any society – and particularly in the Middle East with its many different communities – there are others. The New York Times has a piece on Jerusalem’s Sabbath Wars between the secular and militantly orthodox (sexually segregating, sabbath enforcing) Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem.

“In a modest counterstrike on a recent weekday morning, eight non-Orthodox Jewish activists — six women and two men — got on a No. 40 bus heading from the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot D into town. The women sat down in the front rows. The men went to the back.

Ramot D is an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood where rigid religious rules are applied. The No. 40 is one of several public bus lines designated as “mehadrin,” or strictly kosher, where the men sit in the front and the women behind. The activists view this draconian interpretation of the modesty code practiced by Orthodox Jews as discriminatory, and the policy is being appealed in Israel’s Supreme Court.

Stern black-coated male passengers muttered their disapproval, but the Rosa Parks-inspired act of civil disobedience took place peacefully, largely because the bus driver, an Arab, decided not to try to enforce the rules.”