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Opinion // Why I, as a Proud

Israeli, Want the World to
Boycott Us
With much difficulty, I am asking my fellow citizens to lead the
call for an international boycott, because otherwise our
country will be lost forever.
Ilana Hammerman |  Jan 29, 2017 3:37 PM

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Demonstrators in Paris calling for a boycott of Israel, in 2014. Credit: AFP

● Israeli lawmakers move to ban settlement-boycott advocates from

entering country
● 'How would Israelis feel if another country decided not to let
them in because they advocate for settlements?'
● American Jews and Muslims seek to heal ties, spur Israeli-
Palestinian peace

“Boycotts for political reasons are a legitimate tool that falls under
the protection of freedom of political expression,” a Haaretz
editorial declared recently (“Entry prohibited to critics,” January
17). This was written following the Knesset Interior and
Environment Committee’s approval for the second and third
readings of a bill that would prohibit the granting of entry visas or
residency permits to foreign citizens who call for a boycott of Israel
or the settlements. 1/8
28/12/2017 Why I, as a proud Israeli, want the world to boycott us - Opinion - Israel News |
Therefore, I invoke
Israel News the
All authoritative statement by Haaretz to call
upon Israeli citizens who belong to the peace camp to appeal to the
ISIS IDF refuseniks Trump - Western Wall Trump 2017 Rachel Ray Linda Sarsour
international community to impose a boycott on Israel.

I am not a foreign citizen, and it is not to foreigners I am appealing.

I don’t know if I am breaking any of the nondemocratic, illegitimate
laws that are being passed in Israel in order to deny me and those
who share my opinions – all of us Israelis – our freedom of
expression, and our human and political endeavor to act.

However, I do know this: I am connected body and soul to this

country, where I was born 72 years ago and to which I gave my best
years in professional and public office, and I am still not willing to
break free of it. Honestly, I do not have any other country.

As an Israeli citizen and a woman engaged in public life, I declare

that the state does not respect my basic right to live according to my
conscience. The Judaism it is forcing upon me is not my Judaism.
Furthermore, the nationalist and racist fanaticism of the
government (led by its interior, culture and education ministers) is
becoming more and more extreme, and contrary to the values I hold
most dear. These iniquities are an internal concern of Israeli society
and I have the right – and for now, at least, also the possibility – to
fight for their correction from within society.

Intervention required

However, the fact that Israel consistently violates the conventions of

international humanitarian law also justifies intervention by the
international community.

These conventions did not come into being so that every individual
country and its citizens could do with them as they saw fit. They
were written in the wake of lessons learned from World War II,
during the course of which millions of civilians were killed, arrested,
expelled and displaced from their homes. They were intended to
reduce harm, and to protect the civilian populations living in
occupied lands.

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Israel is holding the territories of the West Bank and controlling the
fate of the millions of its Arab residents through occupation and
military government. By doing so, it is violating all the basic
principles of these conventions. It is settling its own citizens in
those territories; destroying the property of individuals and
communities there; expropriating public and private land for its
own needs and the needs of its citizens; and consistently and
systematically imposing collective, punitive measures on the
Palestinians. It is restricting their freedom of movement and civic
activity, and incarcerating tens of thousands of them in prisons in
its sovereign territory: some 1 million Palestinians have been 2/8
28/12/2017 Why I, as a proud Israeli, want the world to boycott us - Opinion - Israel News |
by Israeli
News security
All forces since 1967, via military law or with
no trial at all.
ISIS IDF refuseniks Trump - Western Wall Trump 2017 Rachel Ray Linda Sarsour

All these violations of human rights have been carried out not in
times of war and not in the course of just a year or two, but rather
during 50 of the near-69 years of Israel’s existence. You don’t need
to be a lawyer or military expert to understand that this systematic
policy has no legal or security justification: open eyes and common
sense are enough to comprehend that it is driven by ideological
reasons – be they hidden and deceptive (like before), or explicit and
callous as they are now.

So, as an Israeli citizen and a woman who is engaged in public life

here, I have long seen it as my right and duty to open my eyes and
look – and also to document these illegal blows to people’s lives,
property, dignity and freedom that my country and its soldiers,
authorities and officials are delivering only a few kilometers from
my home.

And in recent years – in face of the indifference of most Israeli

citizens – I have also seen it as my right and duty to issue a call to
violate the orders and laws involved in delivering these blows. I also
disobey those orders and laws myself: For example, I visit
Palestinians in the territories, despite the red signs prohibiting me
from doing so; and occasionally I smuggle a Palestinian worker to
his job, a woman and her children to the beach, or family members
to a relative in an Israeli hospital.


An interview wit… Israeli-Arab sing… Jerusale

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01:42 02:55 00:54

Yet while I do these things wholeheartedly and willingly – for

political and moral reasons, and the desire to help persecuted
people who are in distress – it is with a huge amount of emotional
difficulty and pain that I make this call for Israelis to appeal to the
international community to impose a boycott. Furthermore, I am
doing this only for political-pragmatic reasons.

That’s because Israel is not the country that most deserves to be hit
by a boycott. In the 20th and 21st centuries, there were and still are
sinners a hundred times worse. Some of the greatest atrocities of the
modern era were perpetrated by a number of European countries in
acts of slaughter, oppression and occupation in their colonies in
Asia and Africa. And within its borders, the Soviet Union wiped out
millions of people through murder, hunger and torture. Other
horrors were perpetrated by the United States, which dropped the
atomic bomb on Japan and used chemical weapons in Vietnam.

And today, if it were only possible to impose sanctions on China for

its cruel violations of human rights, and on Russia for its barbaric
involvement in Syria – that’s what should have been done. But it is 3/8
28/12/2017 Why I, as a proud Israeli, want the world to boycott us - Opinion - Israel News |
not possible.
Israel These
News are
All global powers upon whom the world is
dependent, not vice versa.
ISIS IDF refuseniks Trump - Western Wall Trump 2017 Rachel Ray Linda Sarsour

Israel, however, is a country whose economy is dependent on the

world and its conduct. An economic boycott – or at least sanctions
like those imposed on Iran – would almost certainly influence its
policy. It would even influence public opinion, with daily life
disrupted so that the public would finally need to think about the
reality in which it lives – if not about the actual injustices, then at
least about the powder keg it’s living next door to, and into which it
keeps sending sparks.

And so the way would be paved for finding a peaceful solution. This
is because it doesn’t matter where exactly justice lies in this conflict
– there’s no doubt that the greater strength lies with Israel’s
military might, not the Palestinians with their knife attacks and
truck-rammings – Israel is the side that is determining the reality
on the ground and altering it irreparably.

Yet it is fitting that the boycott call should come from within Israel
– from those many good citizens who live here and are fearful for
their fate and the fate of their country. Yes, the fate of their country,
not the fate of the Palestinians – both its physical and moral fate,
which is now in the hands of political forces who are leading it to its

Yes, these citizens are good and many – even though they are a
minority and the regime is leading their country with the support of
the majority of its inhabitants, who elected it in democratic

However, the minority is not obliged to respect this democracy. For

not only is there nowhere in the world where the decision of the
majority establishes a true basis for a democratic regime – and
certainly not in a place where it determines the fate of millions of
people who are not partners to it – but, even worse, it is liable to
lead to disaster.

Indeed, these citizens can clearly see such a disaster already

looming over their heads. Evidence of this can be found, for
example, in the numerous articles being written on the pages of
Haaretz: Gird your loins, they urge readers. Take to the streets, they
beg – as if the streets still belonged to us.

But these are empty words. It seems we were not born to gird loins
when faced with the violent public arena. So let’s take civic courage
and come out with a quiet, sober call to the international
community to impose a boycott on the State of Israel. Yes, the State
of Israel, not only the settlements, because for a long time there
have not been two economies: there is a single economy on both
sides of the Green Line (the pre-1967 borders).

Let’s do this with one single, simple desire: to ensure our existence
in this place. Because this, basically, is what we are talking about –
our existence, our lives. Otherwise, it will not be a life for us for very
long – for us, the few million – in an environment of tens of
millions, where our leaders have determined that we must forever
live by the sword.

If the cry to save Israel comes from our mouths, loud and clear and
well-reasoned, there will be those who listen to it, even though we
are a minority. 4/8
28/12/2017 Why I, as a proud Israeli, want the world to boycott us - Opinion - Israel News |
No reasonable person
Israel News All could accuse us of anti-Semitism and hatred
of Israel. After all, we are Jews and Israelis, and as Jews and Israelis
ISIS IDF refuseniks Trump - Western Wall Trump 2017 Rachel Ray Linda Sarsour
we wish to remain here – to stay here in order to live, not to die.

Ilana Hammerman
Haaretz Contributor

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16 David |  2017-02-15 15:41 0 0

democracy is about majority

15 Pegs King |  2017-02-03 14:08 0 0

Trump's turnaround on Israeli illegal settlements

14 John Watkins. (New Zealand.) |  2017-02-01 09:00 0 0

Boycott Israel.

13 TERRY |  2017-01-30 23:15 0 0

2 states

12 Sam |  2017-01-30 18:46 0 0


11 Gary Cohen |  2017-01-30 17:30 0 0

Boycotting Israel

10 BOAZ |  2017-01-30 10:23 0 0


9 Tommy Ire |  2017-01-30 02:20 0 0


8 SELMA |  2017-01-29 19:34 0 0 5/8
28/12/2017 Why I, as a proud Israeli, want the world to boycott us - Opinion - Israel News |
News All

ISIS IDF refuseniks Trump - Western Wall Trump 2017 Rachel Ray Linda Sarsour
7 Maurice |  2017-01-29 17:52 0 0
She is ready to join Hamas and Nazibullah (no content)

6 Florence |  2017-01-29 16:10 0 0

With you

Revoke.... |  2017-01-30 10:26 0 0


5 John(2) |  2017-01-29 15:21 0 0

The Best !

4 Binyamin Dissen |  2017-01-29 13:29 0 0

You alt-Leftists have been calling for boycotts of Jews for
decades (no content)

3 Ruedi Bosshart |  2017-01-29 11:19 0 0

Wonderful! Thanks a million Ilana Hammerman. When
you write:"Yes, these citizens are good and many" one
may wonder why Meretz, the only Jewish Party which
opposes the occupation entirely, only has 5 Seats in the
Knesset (no content)

2 Joe |  2017-01-29 09:53 0 0


1 Liz |  2017-01-29 08:15 0 0


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