Dalit Baum (Haifa University) is among a group of radical academics who lead the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. She has participated in a large number of BDS events around the world where she offers workshops on BDS tactics to local activists. Her latest venture is the "Who Profits from the Israeli Occupation," a group dedicated to "exposing Israel's profits from the occupation of Palestinian lands and resources." Who Profits is part of a broader radical-leftist movement of "supporting corporate accountability" in the West. Baum and her colleagues provide information to expose "corporate complicity in the occupation of Palestine" and pressure companies to terminate their involvement in Israeli economy. Who Profits has been successful in pressuring a number of companies to withdraw from projects in Israel.
Even by the standards of her "fraternity," Baum holds extreme views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In her view, Israel is an evil, apartheid state that needs to be punished by the international community; as for the Palestinians, she holds them to be innocent victims of ongoing, brutal Zionist aggression who need all the sympathy the world can offer. This one- sided view is shared by the "corporate accountability movement" which has never pressured companies that do business with some of the most repressive regimes in the world.
Speaking Event: Who profits from the Israeli occupation and how can we make a difference?
Who profits from the Israeli occupation? What economic interests further entrench the colonization and exploitation of Palestinian land and resources? How can we influence corporate policies in Palestine – and through this work weaken and isolate the occupation?
Dalit Baum, Ph.D., is a feminist scholar, teacher, and activist in Israel. She is a co-founder of "Who Profits from the Occupation"(www.whoprofits.org), an activist research initiative of the Coalition of Women for Peace in Israel. During the last four years, "Who Profits" has become a vital resource for dozens of campaigns around the world, providing information about corporate complicity in the occupation of Palestine.
Currently, she is with Global Exchange in a new program, "Economic Activism for Palestine," which aims to support existing corporate accountability campaigns in the U.S. as well as help new ones through education, training, networking and the development of dedicated tools.
University of San Francisco. San Francisco, CA 94117.
Cowell Hall, Room 107 (see map http://www.usfca.edu/campusmap/
). Cowell is in the middle of lower/main campus near the library and Kalmanovitz Hall and across from the large construction area.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Wed, 2011-11-09 18:00
Wed, 2011-11-09 19:30
Dalit Baum, Ph.D., is a co-founder of "Who Profits from the Occupation", an activist research initiative of the Coalition of Women for Peace in Israel (www.whoprofits.org). During the last four years, "Who Profits" has become a vital resource for dozens of campaigns around the world, providing information about corporate complicity in the occupation of Palestine.
Dalit is a feminist scholar and teacher in Israel, teaching about militarism and about the global economy from a feminist perspective in the Haifa University and the Beit Berl College.
If you would like to plan a speaking event with Dalit, please contact her by email at: dalit [at]globalexchange.org or by phone at: (415) 400-9370.
- Who Profits from the Israeli Occupation - developing effective responses
- The business of occupation and corporate accountability - learning from our successes
- The feminist anti-occupation movement in Israel and BDS
- Activist workshop 1: Corporate research for effective campaigns: sharing our knowhow
- Activist workshop 2: Strategic target choice and corporate accountability campaigns
Mideast-security panel debates at ASU
More than 100 people gathered in a classroom at Arizona State University's Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law on Oct. 30 to hear an international six-person panel discuss "Achieving security and peace in the Middle East: A diversity of Jewish voices."
Moderated by ASU law professor James Weinstein, the panel, which was centered on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, featured spirited and contentious debate. Dalit Baum, a teacher at Haifa University and a self-described activist, pacifist and pragmatist, stated outright to the audience that she would not partake in such an event ever again without a Palestinian voice; and Miko Peled, son of Israeli war hero Matti Peled and author of "The General's Son," interrupted Devin Sper, author of "The Future of Israel" and a former Israel Defense Forces soldier, to challenge his knowledge of history.
In a room rife with disagreement, the opinions of Sper and Peled differed most.
Sper accused the Palestinians of conducting a genocidal campaign against the Jews for the last 50 to 100 years.
"Terrorism is not the Palestinian reaction to oppression, it's their chosen method of driving Jews from their native land," he said. "The Palestinians have to stop pretending to be victims of a conflict they've constantly provoked.
"If Israel were to disappear tomorrow ... would peace break out in the Middle East? ... Obviously not, because Israel is not the cause of the problem in the Middle East. The cause is the intolerance of Islam toward other religions and the endemic violence in Arab culture."
Meanwhile, Peled argued that the biggest obstacle to peace "is the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestine (by) Israel. ... Israel has dedicated (military) forces, billions of dollars and technology all to decimating the population of Palestine."
"I think it's important to realize that Jewish values and Zionist values shouldn't be mixed," he said. "Zionist values allow the dropping of 100 tons of bombs on a civilian population. ... Jewish values reprehend that, (they) abhor that.
"The problem is not the Jewish state. The notion of a Jewish state might be a good idea. The problem is having a Jewish state in a land where (about) half of the population is not Jewish."
Baum and Yonatan Shapira, a former IDF helicopter pilot, echoed Peled's sentiments, though less extremely.
"The Palestinian voice is always silent, it's always vilified, it's always absent," said Baum. "There are people whose lives are being crushed every day. Israelis live in fear, that's true. Americans live in fear of terrorism, too. ... But you cannot compare all that to the experience of someone who lives without any political rights or someone who lives without any civil rights, somebody whose life is governed by a foreign military occupation."
"You have no equality, no basic human rights, and it's all being done with the approval and the financial and military support of the United States of America," said Shapira.
In contrast, Rabbi Pinchas Allouche, spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Tefillah, a modern Orthodox synagogue in Scottsdale, cited the Jews' biblical right to the land and spoke out against accusations of Israeli occupation.
"The Jews are not occupiers of the land of Israel," he said. "They are not foreigners in the land of Israel. They are the original, natural inhabitants. There is no other nation in the world that has continuously inhabited a land for so long."
The key to peace, he said, is for the Palestinians to unequivocally recognize Jewish history, the Jewish people, and Israel as a Jewish state. At that moment, he said, all of the other conflicts will become trivial.
"Both sides (must) recognize the wholesomeness of the other," said Allouche. "We must not just accept the other for who he is but we must accept his dignity, too."
Amit Ron, an assistant professor at ASU's New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, used his time at the podium not to address his personal stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but to examine the nature of the arguments.
"The best strategy for the extremists is to portray themselves as moderates and to portray the moderates on the other's side as extremists," he said. "The moderates also have incentive to allow this to the extremists."
Moderates who are open to compromise align themselves with extremists as a negotiation tactic, Ron said, by requesting that the moderates on the other side sympathize with their difficulties.
What's more, he said, even if an agreement is reached, both sides have an incentive to take credit for peace and blame any failures on their opponent.
Mitch Rubin, a Phoenix attorney and event co-organizer, said he was pleased with the discussion.
"I felt like we had some substantive disagreements and each person was given a fair chance to express them," he told Jewish News. "It's fine to disagree, and we should air out our differences. Really, this should only be the beginning."
He said that he had planned to have a more balanced event, but several potential panelists declined invitations. The program conflicted with American Israel Public Affairs Committee's National Summit, held in Scottsdale Oct. 30-31.
Talks are under way to have another panel a few months from now in which there will be both Jewish and Arab involvement.
"I'm a lawyer," said Rubin. "I love how when you go to trial, you hear both sides and you get the truth by hearing all the participants speak."