Re: Call for a cultural boycott of Israel

From: Zev Robinson (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Dec 06 2006 - 23:42:58 PST

"dear karen treanor:
did you read john berger's letter? an excerpt: "i'm convinced, in
any case, that its application should not be systematised; it has to
come fro a personal choice based on a personal assessment...." as an
example, i wouldn't boycott screening the work of the israeli
filmmaker avi mograbi:"

That's not much of a boycott is it? If I don't see mel gibson movies but go
see Clooney movies, then I'm not exactly boycotting American cultural
products, I'm choosing what I want to see.

I oppose Israel's policy towards the Palestine and the Palestinians, but I
also recognize that the situation in the Middle East is extremely complex,
probably more complex than anywhere else in the world, with different
nationalities, religions, ideologies, factions and sub factions confronting
each other, often with extremes of violence.

I can also recognize that criticism of Israel is not the same thing as being
anti-semitic, but anti-semitism often hides behind it.

Israel can only pursue it's policies with the aid and support of the United
States, and any boycott of Israel should go hand in hand with a boycott of
the United States, which I hear nothing about. John Berger, being the good
Marxist that he is, should know that, and yet doesn't talk about being
published only by small publishers who take a stand against American foreign
policies. And while we're at it, we should boycott the UK for it's support
for the war in Iraq, and might as well throw in any other country that
doesn't democratically elect it's government, or develops weapons of mass

Otherwise, calling for a cultural boycott of Israel is the equivalent of
calling for a cultural boycott of South Vietnam during the war there.

Economic boycotts are one thing, but I'm against cultural boycotts, culture
is a way of developing dialogue, developing empathy, developing peace.
Instead of calling for boycotts, the call should be for cross-cultural,
cross-national, and cross-religious exchanges and dialogue.

Zev Robinson

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