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Millions of Brits back boycott, finds poll commissioned by Israel lobby group

Image of protesters supporting the BDS movement outside Downing Street during Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to the UK on September 9 2016
Image of protesters supporting the BDS movement outside Downing Street during Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to the UK on September 9 2016

Millions of British adults boycott Israeli goods, according to a poll commissioned by Israel lobby group BICOM and carried out by Populus.

The survey suggests that despite efforts by pro-Israel groups and British government ministers to smear, and undermine the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, support for boycott remains largely unchanged.

That conclusion was buried, however, as BICOM sought to spin the survey’s results, the third in what have become annual polls commissioned by the lobby group on ‘British Attitudes Towards Israel’.

Last week, BICOM breathlessly announced that “the number of British people who do not support economic boycotts of Israel has soared over the last year, according to exclusive new polling.”

BICOM head James Sorene claimed that the poll “shows a very significant shift against the idea of boycotting Israel.” He added: “In a year where we have seen several public figures attempt to explain their hatred of Israel as a political position, the judgement of the British people is stark.”

Meanwhile, Simon Johnson, head of the Jewish Leadership Council, claimed that the “findings of this report are positive and encouraging”, and a testimony to “the work of various organisations to better inform the British public about the ongoing situation in the Middle East.”

But is this enthusiasm borne out by the numbers? Let’s take a look.

This year’s poll featured two boycott-specific questions, both of which were also asked in 2014 and 2015, and introduced by the following: “In response to events in Israel and Gaza, some people have been calling for a boycott of goods and produce from Israel.”

Respondents were then asked to express agreement or disagreement with the following statement: “A boycott would hurt both Palestinians and Israelis because a successful Palestinian economy needs a strong Israeli economy alongside it as its largest trading partner.”

Not exactly a neutral set up. Everyone from the World Bank to Palestinian human rights groups are clear that the Israeli occupation is the main obstacle to Palestinian economic growth – and the boycott call is backed by Palestinian trade unions, agricultural workers and others.

Unsurprisingly, only 6 per cent of those polled expressed disagreement with this statement. But this number is also consistent with the previous two years (7 per cent in 2015, and 6 per cent in 2014) – so no change there.

The second statement related to boycott was as follows: “I don’t boycott goods or produce from Israel & find it difficult to understand why others would single out Israel to boycott given everything else that’s going on around the world at the moment.”

This is laughably loaded, yet 12 per cent of those polled still disagreed – the same as last year, and a slight increase from 2014. In other words, despite the biased framing, 12 per cent of British adults –roughly six million people – apparently boycott Israel and/or support those who do.

Now interestingly, BICOM this year dropped two boycott-related questions. Previously, respondents were posed this statement: “An economic boycott of Israel would increase Israel’s willingness to negotiate with the Palestinians.” In 2015, 23 per cent agreed, and in 2014, 24 per cent agreed.

In addition, respondents had also been posed the following statement: “I would be more likely to boycott goods and produce from Israeli settlements in the occupied territories.” In both 2014 and 2015, 25 per cent expressed agreement with this.

BICOM head James Sorene did not respond on Twitter to my question about why these two questions were dropped from this year’s survey.

Aside from the three Populus surveys commissioned by BICOM, there have been a few other polls in recent years that gauged the strength of support for a boycott of Israel.

In 2009, a YouGov poll for The Jewish Chronicle found that 29 per cent of British adults thought boycotting goods from Israel in protest at its policies towards Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip would be a good idea (41 per cent were against, and 30 per cent didn’t know).

Three years later, the paper commissioned a YouGov poll specifically on the issue of cultural boycott, with 27 per cent of respondents agreeing that British entertainers should not perform in Israel (and 17 per cent saying Israeli artists should not be welcome to perform in Britain).

One further interesting poll to note – last year, in an Ipsos MORI poll of British Jews, 24 per cent said ‘yes’ to the following statement: “I would be prepared to support some sanctions against Israel if I thought they would encourage the Israeli government to engage in the peace process.”

Based on the above, along with the BICOM-commissioned annual polls in the last three years, anywhere between 6-30 per cent of British adults either themselves boycott Israel or are supportive of such measures, with the likely figure in the upper end of that range.

Yet even taking the lowest figures – produced by loaded questions from an Israel lobby group – there are still several million British adults backing a boycott of Israeli goods and produce.

That is not, however, the message BICOM wishes to communicate. Indeed, the questions on boycott posed by the organisation suggests that the lobby group is more interested in scoring propaganda points than achieving a realistic assessment of the British public’s views on boycott.

BICOM, and the likes of the JLC, need to prove to their own constituencies (that includes increasingly vocal extremists) that they are doing a good job in combating Palestine solidarity activism, and at the same time, to show that the job’s not done yet (i.e. donor outreach).

Thus, like last year, BICOM’s polling suggests a nervous pro-Israel lobby, and a resilient body of support for BDS amongst the British public – and as BICOM is certainly aware, millions of boycotters is fertile ground for a significant, grassroots campaign.

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  • Fasdunkle

    I generally tend to boycot products from apartheid states such as Pakistan, Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar etc – TBF, it’s quite easy as they don’t really make much

    • scorpion

      Whatboutery, were any of these countries mentioned in the BICOM report? NO they weren’t so nice try but no payout from HASBARA central!

  • James Mendelsohn

    “BICOM head James Sorene did not respond on Twitter to my question about
    why these two questions were dropped from this year’s survey.” Bad karma: when I asked Ben White, on Twitter, whether he was still supporting Malia “Zionist-led media” Bouattia, he blocked me.

    Meanwhile, Ben White himself white-washes the violent intimidation of Jewish students in the UK. (Google “Ben White inverts reality, justifies violent intimidation.”) The prospect of “a significant, grassroots campaign”, as Ben puts it, is not a pretty one.

    • America Firster

      Can U cite some of these violent incidents you claim have taken place?

      • James Mendelsohn

        As I said above, Google “Ben White inverts reality, justifies violent intimidation.” (MEMO does not allow commentators to post links.)

        • America Firster

          I did and found nothing. That’s it?

          • James Mendelsohn

            You didn’t find the article? It is top of the results for Google. Here it is in full (minus hyperlinks). See point (2) in particular.

            “On the Middle East Monitor site, the freelance journalist and anti-Israel activist Ben White has written this piece about the recent disruption, by pro-Palestinian students, of an event
            hosted by the University College London Friends of Israel Society, at
            which the Israeli activist Hen Mazzig was the speaker. Some reports of
            what happened are available here, here (£), here, here, here and here.
            A cursory glance of White’s article will show that he puts a very
            different spin of events, essentially blaming pro-Israel activists for
            “smearing” pro-Palestinian students, rather than blaming the latter for
            the violent intimidation of the former.

            Ben White, of course, has previous: he has (among many other things) claimed to “understand” why people may be anti-Semitic; he has seemingly decried police action against those planning to blow up a synagogue; he has called for a boycott of an Israeli theatre company on the basis of Howard Jacobson’s face; he has recently defended Malia “Zionist-led media” Bouattia. Yet even by his standards, his recent MEMO article is an absolutely shocking piece of “journalism”. Four comments will suffice:

            (1) In his third paragraph, White cites UCL’s statement, dated 28 October,
            which described the protest as “non-violent”. However, he neglects to
            mention that UCL issued an update to their statement on 30 October,
            stating that they had indeed received allegations of violence and
            intimidation. Since White’s own piece is dated 2 November, it is
            difficult to see how he could have been unaware of the update – particularly as it is available at the same link as the original statement.

            (2) Some of the very articles that White himself links to describe, among other things, how a female Jewish student was assaulted
            (i.e.: held against a door for two minutes); how the Friends of Israel
            group was forced to move from its original venue to a different room,
            and how its members were chased across the campus by pro-Palestinian
            students; how the speaker had to leave out of a rear entrance for his own safety; how pro-Israel students had to leave in threes, under the watchful gaze of the police, and then had the words “Shame shame”
            chanted at them. By any reasonable standards, these things constitute
            the violent intimidation of pro-Israeli students, not to mention the
            suppression of free speech on a university campus. Yet White simply
            airbrushes these details out of his account.

            (3) White quotes a veteran pro-Israeli activist
            as saying that “I cannot in all honesty say I felt particularly
            threatened or anxious. It was pretty much water off the proverbial
            duck’s back.” Tellingly, however, he omits the same activist’s very next
            words: “However here is the rub. It was very real and
            intimidating for inexperienced Jewish students, especially the freshers,
            who had never experienced such visceral hate and nor of course should
            have to.”

            (4) In summary, it is hard to resist the conclusion that Ben White
            has no objection to the violent intimidation of pro-Israeli students
            (and others) – most of whom will be Jews and which will include many if
            not most Jewish students – on a UK campus. He would rightly be appalled
            if pro-Palestinian students received similar treatment from pro-Israeli
            representatives. And yet he wonders why he himself is so frequently
            accused of being anti-Semitic.”

      • John Thunderer

        He can’t – because there is no violent intimidation of Jewish students in the UK.
        The most recent example of racist/religionist harassment in the UK involved the deputy leader of Britain First (a racist/fascist group) being fined for yelling abuse at a Moslem women.
        Mendelson is another hasbara mind-washed individual who does not know the real truth.
        Still, he is probably quite happy living inside his own little bubble – like the street-protesting Clinton supporters.

        • James Mendelsohn

          You have no idea who I am or what I know.

          • scorpion

            As you zios like to brag and boast so much why don’t you tell us?

          • scorpion

            Why does the Fascist, racist Britain First movement have a Jewish Division?

            Seem to have forgotten about Jo Cox being murdered by a Brtitain Firster

          • James Mendelsohn

            Why should I, “scorpion”?

  • James Mendelsohn

    “BICOM head James Sorene did not respond on Twitter to my question about
    why these two questions were dropped from this year’s survey.” Bad karma: when I asked Ben White, on Twitter, whether he was still supporting Malia “Zionist-led media” Bouattia, he blocked me.

    Meanwhile, Ben White himself white-washes the violent intimidation of Jewish students in the UK. (Google “Ben White inverts reality, justifies violent intimidation.”) The prospect of “a significant, grassroots campaign”, as Ben puts it, is not a pretty one.

  • John Thunderer

    So the surveys are even less truthful than before.
    What did anyone expect after Regev was appointed ambassador to London?

    • Mike Abramov

      I wish I understood what you are talking about. Explain.

      • John Thunderer

        Paid-for surveys are worthless, especially those commissioned by BICOM.
        Like Mark Regev, they simply act as paid-for mouthpieces for Netanyahu and all the other extremist zionists.
        Have they frightened you into thinking of aliyah yet?

        • Mike Abramov

          OK – so if you pay for a survey, it must result in what you have paid for. So, how does the BDS movement know that their success (what success?) is truly genuine?

          if it wasn’t for the Israeli PM Hamas would have murdered hundreds by now.

          As for aliyah, I would go tomorrow if circumstances allowed. I wouldn’t then need to be talking to you lot then.

          • John Thunderer

            Bye, Mike!
            I hope you will feel happy living on land stolen from the Palestinians.

          • Mike Abramov

            The amount of times I have heard the expression ‘stolen land’ as if this was the only part of the globe where a land dispute existed. India/Pakistan, N.Ireland/Rep. of Ireland, Morocco/Western Sahara and of course Kurdistan.

            Israel gave back Gaza. That is now in the hands of Hamas, a terrorist group.

            However…….

            Israel gave back the Sinai to Egypt. Both countries now have diplomatic relations.

            Israel and Jordan have had open border for nearly 30 years.

            May I suggest you discuss ways forward in a constructive and mutually agreeable way rather than run-off the usual cliches.

          • John Thunderer

            Mike: the more you write, the more it becomes apparent that you have been hasbara mind-washed.
            Israel is the real terror state of this world.
            It was founded on terrorism and continues in existence through terrorism.
            Pointing towards Hamas is ludicrous. They do not possess nuclear weapons. They do not have an advanced air force with killer drones. They do not have an advanced navy. They do not have an army, with all the latest US technology, including tanks and artillery pieces. Guess who fits that description?
            ‘…gave back Gaza’? It was never “theirs” to ‘give back’ in the first place. The only reason they moved their illegal occupiers out was because it was too much trouble to protect them and they were designated to be put in places like Ariel, from where a “finger” of stolen land is being steadily extended eastwards towards the Jordan River in order to divide up the West Bank so that the Palestinians are denied any opportunity of having their own state. The same strategy is being pursued from Jerusalem towards the Jordan Valley so that what little land remains under Palestinian control will eventually become little better than three separate “Indian” reservations, as seen in the USA.
            As for the border between Israel and Jordan being ‘open’. Really? Try telling that to any Palestinian, who has to have an exit visa from Gaza or the West Bank and an entry visa to enter Jordan – if they can get it.
            All your remarks betray the fact that you are living inside a hasbara-induced bubble which in no way reflects the appalling treatment being meted out daily to Palestinians by Israeli army and occupier thugs.
            The reason ‘Israel gave back the Sinai to Egypt’ (ignoring the question as to why you think it was theirs to so-call “give back” in the first place) is because it is largely valueless to the zionists in Tel Aviv.
            In return, they now have a complicit Egyptian regime to do their bidding in assisting in the oppression of Gaza and to ensure that Gaza will be largely uninhabitable by the 2020s.
            The Tel Aviv regime you admire and want to be an apologist for is one of the world’s truly vile regimes.
            I feel sorry for you and all the other hasbara mind-washed dupes inside and outside that fascist state.

          • Mike Abramov

            John – my learned friend Peepsqueek is ahead of me.

            Nothing in your rebuttal is new. It is the same old recycled ‘Zionists are bad and Hamas are good’.

            So what you are advocating for Gaza is that they have an equal number of tanks, planes, rocket launchers, soldiers et al. Of course in this way there will be an equal war and it doesn’t matter who gets killed as long as Hamas wins. You are a lunatic sir.

            Where is the suggestion of dialogue and debate between the two communities? Or, is the solution all out war?

            Gaza was captured in 1948 when 6 Arab nations went to war with Israel ‘to wipe Israel off the map’…and they lost. In 2005, Israel returned Gaza with a complete infrastructure in place, a plethora of greenhouses and two synagogues….which Hamas immediately had blown up.

            As for Jordan, they are already looking after 2,000,000 Palestinians most of whom were born in Jordan but have refused Jordanian citizenship. The refugee camps are their homes. Why?

            As for ‘vile regime’, I guarantee you that if the Arabs won in 1948, the Palestinians would still be stateless because the south of Palestine would be Egypt and the north Syria and in your own words, the Palestinians would be subjugates of a fascist regime’..

            Look up the word FASCIST and you will NOT see democratic in the definition. This tells me that you lack a knowledge of the English language.

          • John Thunderer

            I did not advocate anything for Gaza.
            It was ‘captured’ as a result of zionist aggression against the Palestinians.
            This is linked in with all the Palestinians not only in Jordan but throughout the Middle East, including Gaza.
            They were driven out of their homes and lands by zionist terrorists in the Haganah, Irgun and Stern Gangs.
            Their Nakba looting, raping and murdering is what caused Palestinians to flee in terror from the zionists.
            The zionists then demolished more than 500 villages and ten towns so that there was nowhere to return to.
            Any Palestinians attempting to return home were labelled infiltrators and shot on sight by the Israelis.
            Everyone knows this and the fact it was this terrorism which created Israel and has been sustained by it.
            As you know, no Gazan or West Bank Palestinians vote in Knesset elections but are ruled by their laws.
            They also are forced to pay Israeli taxes yet the principle of no taxation without representation is ignored.
            For Palestinians, fascism is the only applicable ideology where Israeli racist supremacism is concerned.
            Ultimately, the situation in historic Palestine will have to be resolved through a single secular state.
            The sooner the zionists abandon their racist beliefs and start to apply real democracy, the better.
            They will have to give up on their apartheid system of rule over the Palestinians and treat them as equals.

          • Mike Abramov

            Are you sure what you are saying is factually correct. If so, says who?

          • John Thunderer

            About what?

          • Mike Abramov

            The entire diatribe. The accusation that Zionists are racists, the Zionist aggression, the allegation of looting and raping by Zionists, Palestinians being shot on sight if they came home, Zionists are racist supremacists and Israel is apartheid.

            Prove it!

          • John Thunderer

            I don’t need to.
            Professor Ilan Pappé and other illustrious Israeli historians have already done so.
            If you are still capable of reading, read his The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine (2006).
            It will provide you with all the proof any reasonable-minded person could possibly need.

          • Mike Abramov

            I know and have met Ilan Pappe. There is the left-wing version of Israel’s history and ‘other versions’. if you dig a bit deeper in to who Ilan Pappe’s past, he was yet another victim of parents who had the baggage of anti-Semitism (they fled Nazi Germany) with them throughout his childhood.

            This applied to many left-wing historians of Israel.

          • John Thunderer

            Then you will also know that he received such sinister death threats against himself and members of his family for exposing the true history of Israel that he was forced to leave Israel and gain sanctuary in Britain.
            Implying he is antisemitic or affected in some odd way by it is just plain silly.
            I have met him too – when I chaired a public meeting he addressed – he is a thoroughly decent individual.

          • Theo Anonis

            Hello Mike. We meet again, my friend.

            This article delves into the possible skewed results from a survey on BDS and British views on boycotting Israel products.

            A little background on me. I was a huge supporter of the boycott of SA during my university years. It was an effective and peaceful tool of resistance. Whether the boycott I promoted actually had an impact, I can’t say, but, it did, lead to exposure of the Apartheid practice, which brought some elements of popular culture to get involved. This lead to government sanctions because the voices of the people began to get louder. And when
            governments get involved, those are the big hitters, and that is when things changed in SA.

            Israel isn’t worried about Boycott or divestment. It’s the sanctions that have it worried because only governments can sanction. When that happens, the wheels fall off and Israel is forced to capitulate and make peace. But, it’s the Boycott and divestment that leads to sanctions so they are pressing as hard as they can to end people’s right to choose peaceful protest.

            Back to Gaza. Though settlers were removed from Gaza, enclosing it, and allowing so little in or out of Gaza, effectively turns it into a prison. Those in Gaza, held captive have no other option than to try and survive. The rights of occupied people everywhere (The Occupied Palestinian Territories, Kashmir, Kurdistan, Tibet, Western Sahara, etc) are universally recognized as the right to resist their occupation. Even by violent means. Ask those of Timor Leste prior to 2001, how they resisted the occupation of their island by Indonesia (which is another occupation I personally made an effort to expose).

            Gaza’s captors (the IDF, and government of Israel) are seen as the cause of their anguish and suffering (and there is plenty of international confirmation of this).

            Yes, Israel gave back the Sinai in exchange for peace, but Israel did not surround the Sinai. Did not restrict movement or products from Sinai. They did not control, land, sea and air over the Sinai as they have done
            in Gaza.

            I think a little perspective and leeway would be beneficial in this discussion.

          • Mike Abramov

            My Dear Friend,

            I too had great sympathy for the blacks in Apartheid South Africa. Many of the supporters of the ANC were Jews.

            I have digested your comments and appreciate the thought you have put in your reply. Israel has a problem with Gaza (Hamas). From 2007 Hamas has been creating a strategy of guerrilla war against Israel. The missiles against the town of Sdorot, Tunnels in to both Israel and Egypt and a policy of total destruction against Israel.

            The similarities between Hamas and the IRA of the 1970s are remarkable in so far as they both believe that murder and guerrilla warfare are a justified way of attacking one’s enemy.

            Very little is mentioned about the victims of Hamas, but a friend has just returned from Sdorot having lived there for many years because life in an air raid shelter was becoming too much.

            So, what is the solution?

          • Theo Anonis

            Hello Mike. I believe we are two very rational people and equating Hamas with the IRA is reasonable and I can see the parallels. Both were/are disrespectful of innocent lives. But Hamas, I believe, exists because the Palestinians of Gaza see them as protectors.

            They became militarized (originally, they were humanitarian) as a response to military occupation and grew more prominent after the second intifada. Much in the same way that past resistance movements grew out of military occupations. Whether it was the IRA, the French underground, or even something more familiar to me, the Greek resistance to occupation by Italy, and subsequently, Germany during WWII. Prior to that, the Greek resistance that grew out of the occupation by the Ottoman Turks. The Greeks during these times would have been deemed terrorists by their occupiers. I believe this to be true.

            Can we agree, that a transition to peace would benefit both the Jews of Israel, throughout all of Israel, not just the south, and, the Palestinians.
            This can be achieved only through dialogue with honesty as the foundation of the discussion.

            Currently, both sides are playing political games, and posturing for the world, which is simply not beneficial and is costing lives.

          • Mike Abramov

            My Dear Theo,

            You have restored faith in me. If you read some of the replies I have had, you will see that their exists a tirade of hatred towards Israel and the Jews.

            I do not have a problem with Muslims. Arabs or anyone. I do have a problem with needless violence and murder to justify a political cause

            Yes, I quite familiar with Greek history of the 19th and 20th century and your struggle against the Ottomans. After the death of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman empire went in to slow decline and the rest is history.

            Keep in touch on this site and God less you.

          • peepsqueek

            Whose land are you living on John, and how was that land acquired? I hope you are not being a hypocrite. If human rights was the primary issue here, why single out Israel in a sea of Islamic Countries with abysmal human rights records?

          • John Thunderer

            I paid cash for it from the person who owned it before me.
            You can’t say that about the land stolen by zionists in – and since – 1948.
            What Israel has done in Egypt, Syria and Lebanon is equally unspeakable – make no mistake.
            Their aggression against Jordan was largely unnecessary – as most senior generals know.
            I also disapprove of Israel’s deal with Genie Energy in the stolen Golan Heights too.
            Their complicity in activities carried out by the Saud dynasty makes them equally inhumane too.
            Indeed, they have been behind most of the real trouble and human rights abuses in the Middle East.
            I hope – for your sake – you never experience their indefinite administrative detentions.
            Palestinian children – largely innocent little kids – know all too well what they are. Do you?

          • peepsqueek

            The first enduring Jewish agricultural settlement in the Modern Palestine was founded not by European refugees, but by a group of old-time families, leaving the overcrowded Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. According to the Turkish census of 1875, by that time Jews already constituted a majority of the population of Jerusalem and by 1905 comprised two-thirds of its citizens. The Encyclopedaedia Britanica of 1910 gives the population figure as 60,000, of who 40,000 were Jews.

            In 1878 they found the village of Petah Tikva in the Sharon Palin, a village that was to become known as the “Mother of Jewish Settlements” in Palestine. Four years later a group of pioneer immigrants from Russia settled in Rishon le-Zion. Other villages followed in rapid succession. All land sales, under the Ottoman Empire, had to be approved by Islamic Courts. Non Muslims paid extra taxes therefore it was good business.

            Most of the land purchases involved large tracts belonging to absentee owners. Virtually all of the the Jerzeel Valley, for example, had belonged to only two people in 1897, the eastern portion to the Turkish Sultan, and the Western part to a rich banker in Syria, Sursuk the Greek. Most of the land had not be cultivated previously and considered uncultivable, This is supported by the Peel Commission Report.

          • John Thunderer

            The old-time families lived peacefully alongside everyone else in historic Palestine.
            It was the zionists who caused all the trouble with their racist supremacist attitudes.
            They were contemptuous of non-zionist Jews too.
            Anyone considered to be assimilationist was their enemy.
            If it was not for the zionist interlopers, Palestine would be a far more peaceful place.

          • peepsqueek

            In case you did not know, the Jews had to take a lower status under the Islamic Empire and pay a special tax. Jews also had to live under 2,000 years of Christian love in Europe, hence the need for a tiny homeland.

            In the year 1900 there were only 53 independent states on the planet. Today there are 193 independent States and one of them happen to be a tiny Jewish State, 57 Countries are declared Muslim States at the United Nations, all members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the largest voting bloc at the UN General Assembly.

          • John Thunderer

            I do know about the jizya tax, which applied not just to Jews but also to non-Muslims like Christians.
            That is the problem when your whole world is so utterly Judeo-centric – you forget other people even exist.
            A better time was when Palestine was ruled by Britain under a League of Nations (UN) Mandate.
            Then, all groups were largely treated equally and could live alongside one another in harmony.
            It was largely the zionist agreement with the nazis through the Ha’avara Agreement that upset that.
            Personally, I do not agree with any state being religious; I believe they should all be secular.
            That way, all belief systems and ethnicities enjoy equal protection under a system of laws.
            That is what is needed in present-day historic Palestine if the conflict there is ever to be resolved.
            Zionism is clearly way past its sell-by date today.

          • peepsqueek

            Well, welcome to the Middle East, where all the Countries, with the exception of Israel are signatories to the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights:

            Article 19: “There shall be NO crime or punishment EXCEPT as provided for in the Sharia.”

            Article 24: “All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Sharia.”

            Article 25: “The Islamic Sharia is the ONLY source of reference for the explanation or clarification of ANY of the articles of this Declaration.”

          • peepsqueek

            Well, welcome to the Middle East, where all the Countries, with the exception of Israel are signatories to the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights:

            Article 19: “There shall be NO crime or punishment EXCEPT as provided for in the Sharia.”

            Article 24: “All the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic Sharia.”

            Article 25: “The Islamic Sharia is the ONLY source of reference for the explanation or clarification of ANY of the articles of this Declaration.”

          • peepsqueek

            “That is the problem when your whole world is so utterly Judeo-centric – you forget other people even exist.” — I am a student of history. How can the Jews forget other people exist, especially when the banner of Islam flies over 99.9% of the Middle East land mass? The problem is that you would be happy if the banner of Islam flew over 100% of the Middle East land mass. It flies over the West Bank, the birthplace of David, Solomon, and Jesus. Attempt to get near the birthplace of Muhammad and see what happens to you if you are not Muslim.

          • John Thunderer

            In view of what I said above about my preference for a single secular state, how are you able to conclude from that that I ‘would be happy if the banner of Islam flew over 100% of the Middle East land mass’?
            That should also suggest to you that I do not support so-called sharia “law” either.
            Neither do I support church “law”, talmudic “law” or any other pseudo-religious “law”.
            I only support secular legal and political systems – none else.

          • peepsqueek

            But you would single out Israel for boycott in a sea of Islamic Countries with abysmal human rights records. There is a name for that. Where is your balanced scale. How many Islamic Countries are you boycotting?

          • John Thunderer

            None because – unlike Israel – they are not illegal apartheid states.

          • peepsqueek

            “That is the problem when your whole world is so utterly Judeo-centric – you forget other people even exist.” — I am a student of history. How can the Jews forget other people exist, especially when the banner of Islam flies over 99.9% of the Middle East land mass? The problem is that you would be happy if the banner of Islam flew over 100% of the Middle East land mass. It flies over the West Bank, the birthplace of David, Solomon, and Jesus. Attempt to get near the birthplace of Muhammad and see what happens to you if you are not Muslim.

          • scorpion

            we will gladly pay for you to go to Birobidzhan, where the Jews were given a state!

          • Mike Abramov

            Interesting. Where is that?

          • scorpion

            Siberia!

  • Mike Abramov

    I was beginning to miss Ben White’s crass articles. Welcome back Ben.

    BICOM is what Israel needs. A point of view that is constructive to a ‘balanced’ argument.

    Firstly, BDS appears to have closed Soda Stream. Somewhere between 80 and 160 Palestinian employees lost their jobs. The atmosphere in Soda Stream, where Israelis and Palestinians worked together, was quite cohesive and based upon some reports, many Palestinians cried when they lost their jobs resulting in a loss of income as well as the dignity of having employment. Well, if that is what BDS want, you are succeeding.

    Secondly, I put it to Ben White that if he had a serious medical condition that required not only Israeli medical products, but an Israeli doctor too, would he suddenly put his politics to one side, or die?

    • America Firster

      Right. Sodastream was all about giving Palestinians good paying jobs.

      • Mike Abramov

        Thank you. The problem is convincing the BDS movement

        • America Firster

          Sarcasm. Ever heard of it? Jesus Christ.

          • Mike Abramov

            My belief in the integrity of a respondent has just been shattered. You are the second person who believes that Palestinians are ‘selling out’ to the Israelis just so that they can feed and clothe their children.

            Here is another piece of sarcasm. Dip your hands in your American bank account and ‘cough-up’ the loss of income and dignity that these victims of BDS policy have suffered. You should be ashamed of yourself.

          • America Firster

            Your pretense that Sodastream was about giving Palestinians good jobs is sick. You racist SOB.

          • Mike Abramov

            Racist I am not. I am a humanitarian that is trying to get the psychopaths that send me vile comments to see reason. I may be a Zionist too, but your reply is indicative of a narrow-minded person who has focused all their hatred on just one issue in the entire world in order to vent your mis-guided hatred on the only democracy in the entire Middle East.

            Where else can Arabs be openly gay? Where else is there an open parliament with a PR system of voting in the Middle East? Where else do Jews, Muslims and Christian sit in the same classroom at school?

            If you would prefer the dictatorship of Hamas where Sunni Arabs dominate Gaza and where boys are not allowed to grow their hair passed their collars or be openly gay, then send your hard earned cash to them.

            As for the SOB comment, I am used to that type of response from someone who has no argument except insults..

          • America Firster

            Racist never know that they are racist. Anyone who supports a nation that favors one race of people over another is a racist. Not hard to follow. Do you need a list of 50 laws on Israel’s books that favor Jews at the expense of non Jews? R U unaware that every Jew in the world has the right of “return” to a place they never lived while millions of Palestinians cannot return home? Is that no argument?

          • Mike Abramov

            Madame – if you are going to persist in calling me a racist, I will have no choice than to remind you that you live in a country that has an appalling history of racism since 1776. You get your own house in order before you dictate to me how I should feel. Disgraceful.

            However, I will not deprive you of an answer.

            Apart from the USA (the McCarthy era excepted) every country in Europe the Middle east and Russia have persecuted Jews. Why? I will tell you because it is bigots like you who insist that we have to do things your way and not our way.

            The Spanish Inquisition, The Pogroms, The Nazi era are just a few examples of destroying or expelling the Jew.

            Finally, we get a patch of desert in the ancestral homeland of the Jews in the Middle East. It is a Jewish homeland, but all are welcome. Christians Muslims and many other religions live in Israel. However, despite the fact that the Arabs own the entire Middle East barring Israel, it is not good enough.

            Do the Jews tell the Saudis that murdering Shia Muslims is a crime? No

            Do the Jews tell the Iraqis that blowing each other up is a crime. No….and nor do you.

            The Palestinian right of return is a self-inflicted piece of romance. They can return if they want to, but they want everything as it was in 1948.

            Your focus is the soft touch of Israel where despite many attempts Palestinian Arabs do not and will not accept a Jewish state.

            Why don’t you take on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where beheading and the whips are the order of the day for the non-conformist…and if you are a woman and you get raped…that is your fault.

          • John Thunderer

            Your comments show you are truly living in a mental hasbara la la land.
            Palestine is not a jewish homeland – whatever Balfour and Lloyd George might have said.
            It was not their land to give away to someone else.
            There is even controversy over whether or not Ashkenazim are even Jewish.
            You say the Palestinians can return if they want to.
            If you know anything about Israel law you will know that is not true.
            So, why do you insist on saying this?
            The Palestinians want a secular state, not a religious state.

          • John Thunderer

            So how many Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza got to vote in the last Israel general election?

          • Mike Abramov

            None. It was 1,000,000 Israeli Arabs that had that choice. Are you not aware that Abbas has had to postpone the Palestine elections until Feb’2017 because Hamas wanted to ‘corrupt’ the proceedings.

            You do need to differentiate between Israeli Arabs (democracy) and Palestinians (autocracy)

          • John Thunderer

            You confirm, then, that Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank do not vote in Knesset elections.
            Why not?
            They are ruled by Knesset laws and are taxed under those laws.
            What ever happened to no taxation without representation?
            Israel clearly is no democracy.
            It is an apartheid-style racist supremacist zionist fascist militaristic illegal regime.
            Even inside the 1948 illegal occupation racism rules.
            Just ask the criminal former mayor of Nazareth Ilit.

          • peepsqueek

            Don’t bring the Lord and Savior into this? -sarcasm intended!

    • noisy tappet

      None if this would arise if Israel quit strangling the Palestinian economy and blocking free movement and trade with the outside world.

      • Mike Abramov

        Sir/Madam – All it takes is for Israel to have a cast iron certainty that the movement between Israel and Palestine is free of suicide bombers, knife wielding assassins and insurgents. Then both economies can thrive.

        I don’t have a problem with Palestinians. They are victims of political intransigence. I do have a problem with one-sided opinions.

        • scorpion

          You also have a problem telling the truth as I have debunked most of the lies you spout as truth!

  • Mike Abramov

    I was beginning to miss Ben White’s crass articles. Welcome back Ben.

    BICOM is what Israel needs. A point of view that is constructive to a ‘balanced’ argument.

    Firstly, BDS appears to have closed Soda Stream. Somewhere between 80 and 160 Palestinian employees lost their jobs. The atmosphere in Soda Stream, where Israelis and Palestinians worked together, was quite cohesive and based upon some reports, many Palestinians cried when they lost their jobs resulting in a loss of income as well as the dignity of having employment. Well, if that is what BDS want, you are succeeding.

    Secondly, I put it to Ben White that if he had a serious medical condition that required not only Israeli medical products, but an Israeli doctor too, would he suddenly put his politics to one side, or die?

  • This is nothing new; according to a BBC poll taken two years ago, only 19% of people in the United Kingdom viewed Israel’s influence positively, compared with 72% who viewed it mainly negatively:
    https://downloads.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/country-rating-poll.pdf