Home
Search
עברית
Board & Mission Statement
Why IAM?
About Us
Articles by IAM Associates
Ben-Gurion University
Hebrew University
University of Haifa
Tel Aviv University
Other Institutions
Boycott Calls Against Israel
Israelis in Non-Israeli Universities
Anti-Israel Petitions Supported by Israeli Academics
General Articles
Anti-Israel Conferences
Lawfare
Anti-Israel Academic Resolutions
Lectures Interrupted
Activists Profiles
Readers Forum
On the Brighter Side
How can I complain?
Contact Us / Subscribe
Donate
Boycott Calls Against Israel
Scholars for Israel and Palestine (SIP) Call to Sanction Rightist Israeli Politicians
25.12.14
Editorial Note
 
 
The Jewish community on American campus has fragmented under the strain of responding to the political  developments in Israel.  While many have rallied against the BDS movement, others have embraced the idea that some form of sanctions to prevent Jewish settlement of the West Bank is required. 
 
The latest to organize are the Scholars for Israel and Palestine (SIP), associated with the Third Narrative, a Labor Zionist group fighting against what it perceives to be de facto annexation of the West Bank.
 
In a petition signed by some 200 scholars, SIP urges to impose “ punitive measures“ on a cluster of Israeli political leaders and public figures who lead efforts to insure [sic] permanent Israeli occupation of the West Bank and to annex all or parts of it unilaterally in violation of international law.”
 
Four political figures are targeted: Naftali Bennett, the head of the Bait Yehudi Party; Minister of Housing Uri Ariel; Moshe Feiglin, a Knesset member from the Likud; and Zeev Hever, head of the settlers movement and a former member of the Jewish underground.  

The four are singled out by SIP for pursuing “unjust, unlawful, and destructive policies in their most extreme and dangerous form.”

The petition states: “Annexationist policies pursued by these four individuals, and others like them… slam the door not only on peacemaking at present but for the foreseeable future. It is not sufficient to reiterate calls for negotiations. It is equally and urgently imperative to oppose the occupation itself, and especially those policies that seek to make it permanent and irreversible. It is necessary for the U S and the EU to go beyond verbal protest… [and] take active measures to penalize lawbreakers”
 
The academics propose “personal sanctions as elements of a larger campaign to preserve and advance the possibility of a negotiated peace, resulting in Israeli and Palestinian nation-states coexisting side-by-side.”
 
As a rule, the United Nations, the European Union, and the American State Department use personal sanctions against key players in activities that are considered rouge.   For instance, a number of  scientists known to have been engaged in Iran’s clandestine nuclear program have been subjected to a range of punitive sanctions, including travel ban.
 
There is virtually no chance that the State Department will sanction on Bennett and his colleagues.
 
Still, the SIP petition and The Third Narrative cannot be dismissed in the same way as the marginal Jewish Voices for Peace.  The academic adversary council of the Third Narrative includes a number of distinguished professors from elite universities, such as the philosopher Michael Walzer from Princeton University, and Cary Nelson, University of Illinois, and former chair of the Association of American University Professors.  They all denounced the BDS movement and Nelson, whose book The Case Against Academic Boycotts of Israel was reviewed by IAM, took a commanding role in fighting it.   At the same time, the underlying message of the petition is clear: settling the West Bank is against international law and those who break it in need to be penalized: “it necessary for the US and the EU to go beyond verbal protest… [and] take active measures to penalize lawbreakers.”
 
The Israeli authorities and their supporters in the United States have struggled to respond to the fragmentation of the Jewish community on campus.  As IAM recently reported, a Knesset committee accused Eric Fingerhut, the President of Hillel International of letting “defamers” of Israel to appear in Hillel-sponsored events.  On the other hand, the special anti-BDS committee created by the Heads of the Israeli Universities has announced its cooperation with Hillel International to fight the BDS drive.  
 
American Jews, on and off campus, are a voluntary community whose behavior is best described by Albert O. Hirschman in his seminal treatise Exit, Voice and Loyalty.  The basic concept is simple, when faced with objectionable goods, services, and policies, consumers or members of a political or ethnic group, will either voice their objection or exist.  Loyalty to the “ethnic brand” can delay the process, but not reverse it.   For many years now, Israel, the former symbol of ethnic identity, has been losing its luster as the 2013 Pew Survey  documented. Jewish students and faculty who find Israeli policies unpalatable have either exercised “voice,” that is, created alternative organizations (i.e. the Open Hillel movement, the Jewish Voices for Peace) or simply “exist,” that is disaffiliated emotionally and organizationally.  As a former Hillel director puts it, "the vast majority of Jewish students on campus are indifferent to any and all programs that Hillel sponsors... The students are busy with their studies, their social lives, their finances, university athletics, planning their careers, and a myriad of other things. Israel is not among their major priorities."
 
Shaming, that is, describing divergent views as a manifestation of “Jewish self-hatred” is either not effective or counterproductive.  
 
Before a more coherent policy can be fashioned, there needs to be a better understanding between the two sides.







US academics urge sanctions against Israeli ‘annexationists’

Anti-BDS professors want US, Europe to impose punitive measures on Bennett, Feiglin and others pursuing ‘destructive’ policies

BY TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF December 13, 2014, 9:38 am

A group of Americans academics issued a call for the US and Europe to impose personal sanctions on Israeli politicians who promote the Israeli annexation of the West Bank and further settlement activity.

Scholars for Israel and Palestine (SIP) published a call, on the website of the anti-BDS organization, The Third Narrative, for punitive measures “on a cluster of Israeli political leaders and public figures who lead efforts to insure [sic] permanent Israeli occupation of the West Bank and to annex all or parts of it unilaterally in violation of international law.”

SIP points to four prominent Israeli figures who fit this description: Economy Minister and head of the Jewish Home party Naftali Bennett, Minister of Construction and Housing Uri Ariel from Jewish Home, Likud MK Moshe Feiglin, and the head of the settler movement of Gush Emunin “Amana” and former Jewish Underground member, Zeev (Zambish) Hever.

The four are singled out by SIP for pursuing “unjust, unlawful, and destructive policies in their most extreme and dangerous form.”

“Annexationist policies pursued by these four individuals, and others like them… slam the door not only on peacemaking at present but for the foreseeable future. It is not sufficient to reiterate calls for negotiations. It is equally and urgently imperative to oppose the occupation itself, and especially those policies that seek to make it permanent and irreversible. It is necessary for the U S and the EU to go beyond verbal protest… [and] take active measures to penalize lawbreakers,” the call read.

The petition goes into detail, explaining the choice of individuals. Bennett is cited for continuing to “press strongly for a policy of creeping annexation” and leading the struggle against the 2010 10-month settlement freeze when he was head of the Yesha Council. The freeze was called by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as an incentive to the Palestinians to negotiate. It failed.

Ariel is criticized for promoting a one-state solution, also known as a binational state, being a “consistent advocate of accelerated settlement building,” announcing construction tenders at inopportune times and calling for the building of the Third Temple on the Temple Mount.

Feiglin is blasted for his “straightforward and undisguised extremism” and for an “annexationist program [that] goes beyond Bennett’s,” while Hever is described as “one of the most persistent and influential organizers of settlement construction,” and is accused of building homes in outposts even the Israeli government considers illegal.

The 20 signatories of the petition include distinguished professors from UCLA, Columbia, Syracuse, Stanford and Princeton. Among the mainly Jewish academics is the renowned political theorist Michael Walzer.

The academics propose “personal sanctions as elements of a larger campaign to preserve and advance the possibility of a negotiated peace, resulting in Israeli and Palestinian nation-states coexisting side-by-side.”

SIP is affiliated with the Third Narrative, founded by the progressive Labor Zionist group Ameinu, which blasts the “morally indefensible status quo in the Palestinian territories” but posits that “too many of Israel’s left-wing critics cross the line that separates legitimate, productive criticism from polemical, inaccurate and unfair attacks.”

“The American left  — Jewish and non-Jewish — could use a third narrative, one that neither reflexively attacks nor reflexively justifies Israeli policies and actions,” they say.


=====================================================




ISRAEL: A TIME FOR PERSONAL SANCTIONS







By TTNMore Sharing Services

Scholars for Israel and Palestine (SIP)
Pro-Israel, Pro-Palestine, Pro-Peace

The perspective contained in the following statement are the collective thinking of the signatories, as developed through discussions of the SIP.  It does not represent the views of the SIP as a whole, The Third Narrative or any other institution.

For More Information about this Declaration by Members of the SIP, please contact: Professor Gershon Shafir, gshafir@ucsd.edu

Israel: A Time for Personal Sanctions
December 8, 2014

A central obstacle to a just peace between Israelis and Palestinians is the continuing occupation of the West Bank. Accordingly, we call on the United States and the European Union to impose personal sanctions on a cluster of Israeli political leaders and public figures who lead efforts to insure permanent Israeli occupation of the West Bank and to annex all or parts of it unilaterally in violation of international law.

There is a compelling current precedent for such moves. In response to Russia’s unilateral annexation of Crimea and its ongoing campaign of aggressive destabilization in eastern Ukraine, the United States and the European Union implemented, among other measures, personal sanctions—visa restrictions and foreign asset freezes—against government officials, public figures, and others who play especially significant roles in promoting and implementing violations of international law. (1)  We propose that similar personal sanctions be imposed on Israeli political leaders and other public figures who play central roles in Israel’s systematic, long-term violations of international law.

UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 allowed for a temporary Israeli occupation in the territories captured in the 1967 war, while calling for a negotiated peace settlement that would include Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories in return for recognition of Israel’s right, along with other states in the area, “to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.” These resolutions did not authorize permanent occupation, large-scale ongoing Israeli settlement in the occupied territories, or creeping annexation in the West Bank. Those policies plainly violate international law.

Continuing settlement and piecemeal annexation directly violate the Hague Regulations and the Fourth Geneva Convention, which regulate the conduct of belligerent occupations, and also violate the ban on acquiring territory by force which is one of the foundations of the modern international order. In addition, they deliberately aim to prevent the kind of negotiated peace settlement envisioned by Resolutions 242 and 338.  These policies threaten to lock both Israelis and Palestinians into an inescapable path toward catastrophe. They demand an urgent response.

That response, we believe, should not take the form of generalized boycotts and other sanctions that indiscriminately target Israeli society and Israeli institutions. Such measures are both unjust and politically counterproductive. In particular, campaigns for boycotts and blacklists of Israeli academia attack the most basic principles of academic freedom and open intellectual exchange.

Moreover, a response to Israel’s settlement and annexation policies should not suggest that Israel bears exclusive responsibility for the Israeli-Palestinian tragedy, or that, if pressured, Israel could solve it unilaterally. Achieving a just and durable negotiated solution requires constructive efforts by actors on all sides of the intertwined Israeli-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflicts. However, if the door is to be held open to the possibility of a just, workable, and peaceful solution, one requirement is to prevent actions that would sabotage it. For this reason, we propose targeted sanctions to focus on political actors engaged in such sabotage.

———-

We single out four powerful Israeli political leaders and public figures who promote these unjust, unlawful, and destructive policies in their most extreme and dangerous form. These four explicitly support policies of permanent occupation and unilateral annexation. They reject efforts to negotiate peace and actively sabotage US-led efforts to promote them. They advocate and implement unilateral actions designed to preclude a negotiated peace. They are therefore legitimate targets for personal sanctions by the US and the EU.

1. Naftali Bennett, the leader of the Jewish Home Party and Minister of Economy, Religious Services, Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs. From 2010 to January 2012, Bennett served as the Director General of the Yesha Council (the umbrella organization of municipal councils of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and previously in the Gaza Strip as well). He led the struggle against the 2010 settlement freeze. In February 2012, he published “The Israel Stability Initiative,” which flatly rejects any possibility of ending Israel’s occupation of the West Bank or allowing the creation of a Palestinian state. Instead, Israel would unilaterally annex and bring under its sovereignty Area C, which constitutes 62 percent of the area of the West Bank; Palestinian autonomy would be allowed in Areas A and B, but under the permanent security umbrella of the Israel Defense Forces and the Shin Bet. (2)  In November 2014 Bennett reiterated this program in a New York Times op-ed (3),  and as a member of the government coalition he has continued to press strongly for a policy of creeping annexation. (4) Recently he threatened to break up the government coalition unless Israel continues building new and expanded settlements. (5)

2. Uri Ariel, a Member of the Knesset from the Jewish Home Party and Minister of Construction and Housing. In the past, he served as the Secretary General of both the Yesha Council and the Amana settlement movement. He explicitly advocates having “just one state between the Jordan River and the sea, and that is the State of Israel.” (6) He has been a consistent advocate of accelerated settlement building. As Minister, he is responsible for issuing building tenders for housing east of the Green Line, such as the 1,400 housing units authorized this year to be built in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Moreover, Ariel sought to undermine US peacemaking efforts by announcing those tenders just four days after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s January 2014 visit to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. (7) Ariel has also confessed to informing Israeli settlers about Israel Defense Forces’s attempts to evacuate outposts that are illegal even under Israeli law; thus he has worked behind the back of the government of which he is a member. (8)  Finally, in July 2014, in a dangerously incendiary violation of long-standing Israeli policy, he publicly called for a Third Temple to be built on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif. (9)

3. Moshe Feiglin, a Member of the Knesset from the Likud Party and Deputy Speaker of the Knesset. Feiglin stands out for his straightforward and undisguised extremism. His annexationist program goes beyond Bennett’s. “The Feiglin Platform” of 2012 calls for complete annexation of both Gaza and the West Bank, and advances an unambiguous formula for permanent rule over a politically disenfranchised subject population. (10)  In July 2014, Feiglin also called for removing most Arabs from Gaza and replacing them with Jews to solve the housing crisis in Israel. To Palestinians “choosing to remain” there, and to Palestinians in the West Bank who have lived there their whole lives, he offers just “permanent resident status” – or citizenship on condition that they accept the supremacy of the Jewish way of life throughout the land. (11) Feiglin has already been banned from entering the UK on the grounds that his sweeping anti-Arab and anti-Muslim diatribes “propagate views which foment and provoke others to serious criminal acts and also foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.” (12)

4. Zeev Hever, also known as Zambish, Secretary General of Amana since 1989.  Since 1978, Hever has been one of the most persistent and influential organizers of settlement construction. Amana taxes settlers to enable its subsidiary, Binyanei Bar Amana, to become the major builder of houses in outposts that even Israeli governments view as illegal. In 1984, Hever was arrested as a member of the Jewish Underground and sentenced to 11 months in prison for attempting to plant an explosive charge in the car of Dr. Ahmed Natshe, a Palestinian leader from Hebron. Since then, he has abandoned direct participation in violence, but not the path of systematic illegality aimed at rendering any negotiated peace agreement impossible. (13)

———-

Annexationist policies pursued by these four individuals, and others like them, have created a genuine emergency. They slam the door not only on peacemaking at present but for the foreseeable future. They rule out the prospect for any two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Therefore, it is not sufficient to reiterate calls for negotiations. It is equally and urgently imperative to oppose the occupation itself, and especially those policies that seek to make it permanent and irreversible. It is necessary for the U S and the EU to go beyond verbal protest. They must take active measures to penalize lawbreakers. Well-aimed sanctions can play a constructive role in this respect if they focus on figures who bear the greatest responsibility for policies that deepen and extend the occupation and render the march to catastrophe increasingly inescapable. Therefore we propose personal sanctions as elements of a larger campaign to preserve and advance the possibility of a negotiated peace, resulting in Israeli and Palestinian nation-states coexisting side-by-side. Only such an outcome can offer both Israelis and Palestinians the basis for a free, secure, and hopeful future.

The undersigned are members of the Scholars for Israel and Palestine, affiliated with The Third Narrative (14):

Gershon Shafir
University of California, San Diego

Jeff Weintraub
Independent Scholar

Michael Walzer
Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

Todd Gitlin
Columbia University

Sam Fleischacker
University of Illinois at Chicago

Alan Wolfe
Boston College

Alan Jay Weisbard
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Rebecca Lesses
Ithaca College

Joe Lockard
Arizona State University

Zachary J. Braiterman
Syracuse University

Irene Tucker
University of California, Irvine

Michael Kazin
Georgetown University

Steven J. Zipperstein
Stanford University

Jeffry V. Mallow
Loyola University Chicago

Ernst Benjamin
Independent Scholar

Rachel F. Brenner,
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Chaim Seidler-Feller
University of California, Los Angeles

Jonathan Malino
Guilford College

Miriam Kastner
University of California, San Diego

Barbara Risman
University of Illinois, Chicago

Elaine Leeder
Sonoma State University

Jonathan Zasloff
University of California, Los Angeles

Susan Neiman
Einstein Forum, Potsdam

David Rush
Tufts University

Deborah Achtenberg
University of Nevada, Reno

Yomi Braester
University of Washington

Howard Wettstein
University of California, Riverside

——————————————–

(1)  http://www.consilium.europa.eu/uedocs/cms_data/docs/pressdata/EN/foraff/145571.pdf
(2)  “Naftali Bennett’s Stability Initiative”, 26 December 2012 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n1oFOEY_6lM).
(3)  Naftali Bennett, “For Israel, Two-State Is No Solution”. New York Times op-ed, 6 November 2014 (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/06/opinion/naftali-bennett-for-israel-two-state-is-no-solution.html?_r=0).
(4)  David Remnick, The settlers move to annex the West Bank—and Israeli politics. The New Yorker (21 January 2013)
(5)  http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.622901
(6)  http://www.timesofisrael.com/housing-minister-no-more-settlement-freezes/
(7)  http://foreignpolicyblogs.com/2014/01/13/israel-announces-new-settlement-construction-amid-u-s-peace-efforts/
(8)  http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/second-israeli-mk-admits-to-having-given-settlers-information-on-idf-movements-1.406191?localLinksEnabled=false
(9)  ttp://www.timesofisrael.com/minister-calls-for-third-temple-to-be-built/
(10)  http://www.jewishisrael.org/the-feiglin-platform/
(11)  http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/15326#.VH6HmJt0xej
(12)  http://www.haaretz.com/news/britain-bans-likud-s-moshe-feiglin-from-entering-country-1.241081 & http://website.thejc.com/home.aspx?AId=58606&ATypeId=1&search=true2&srchstr=feiglin&srchtxt=0&srchhead=1&srchauthor=0&srchsandp=0&scsrch=0
(13)  http://www.haaretz.com/news/features/the-organization-behind-illegal-west-bank-outpost-construction.premium-1.523823
(14)  http://thirdnarrative.org/




Back to "Boycott Calls Against Israel"Send Response
Top Page
    Developed by Sitebank & Powered by Blueweb Internet Services
    Visitors: 243772330Send to FriendAdd To FavoritesMake It HomepagePrint version
    blueweb