February 20, 2014

The Anti-Zionist Challenge to the Jewish Establishment

 jews boycotting israel

There is a difference between speech and war. Both are forms of expression, to be sure. But the essence of the former is engagement, and the essence of the latter is destruction.

This distinction is apparently too subtle for many of Israel’s Supreme Court justices. On Sunday, the Court heard arguments on the constitutionality of the 2011 Anti-Boycotts law. The law allows targets of boycotts to sue boycotters for damages in civil courts, and empowers the finance minister to revoke the non-profit status of NGOs that engage in boycotts. It is being challenged by a consortium of foreign-funded, radical, anti-Zionist NGOs.
The essence of boycotts is destruction, not engagement.
True, boycotters express an opinion when they boycott their targets. But just so, armies express an opinion when they bomb enemy targets.

The question is not whether in levying boycotts, the boycotters are expressing a position. It is whether the primary purpose of a boycott is to express an opinion or to annihilate its target.
As a form of economic warfare, boycotts aim to harm the profitability of targeted entities and either force them to toe the boycotters’ line, or force them out of business. That is, the aim is either coercive or eliminationist.

As a form of cultural warfare, the goal of boycotts of cultural or academic institutions is to place their targets outside of polite society, and so annihilate them culturally, professionally and socially.

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