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Boycott Calls Against Israel

Hadar Kotef Protests Being Called a BDS Activist

Following a post on Hadar Kotef, we received an email from her, see below. Kotef protests being called a BDS activist, but there in nothing in the petition to support her claim. 

First, Most of the signatoris to the petition, if not all, comprise of well known BDS activists of both academic and non-academic spheres. It was published on the website of "BOYCOTT! SUPPORTING THE PALESTINIAN BDS CALL FROM WITHIN". 

BOYCOTT! was established by a number of Israeli BDS activist faculty, including Kobi Snitz, Rachel Giora and Anat Matar. Since its inception in 2009, BOYCOTT?! activists have supported Omar Barghoutti’s PACBI.

The same petition appears under USACBI, the American Boycott site that has lead the BDS campaign against Israel.

It should be noted that petitions and articles carried on the BOYCOTT!! and USACBI are routinely used to promote BDS initiatives.

The petition appears also under the title “Israeli Citizens Denounce Their Government: Call on the World’s Governments and Civil Society Organizations” on the Canadian Global Research.

Second, the language of the petition is highly defamatory in describing Israeli society at large.  For instance, the signatories of the petition describe themselves as “the voices of conscience and dissent in light of the hostility, self-righteousness and racism which dominate it.”

Third, the petition uses erroneous and misleading language. It describes the Operation Cast Lead in Gaza as a “massacre” of 1400 Palestinians.   As well known, many of those killed were actually Hamas and Islamic Jihad fighters who took up positions among the civilian population.  The use of civilians as human shield – a tactic that is outlawed by the Geneva Conventions – has forced the IDF to develop strategies that minimize but, unfortunately, cannot eliminate civilian casualties.  To call, the war in Gaza a “massacre” is an egregious misrepresentation of reality. 

The reference to Mavi Marmara is likewise misleading.  A number of subsequent investigations found that a hard-core group of Islamist activists on the ship with possible connections to Al Qaeda initiated the confrontation with the IDF.  While the Israeli intelligence was faulted for failing to predict the encounter, the action taken by the soldiers was considered to be self-defense and not a “crime” as the petition alleged.  

The reference to “1.5 million prisoners in the open-air prison set by Israel, prisoners whose sole “crime” is being Palestinian in the Gaza strip“, is another instance of an extremely one-sided narrative.  Operation Cast Lead was a response to an unprovoked and year-long barrage of rockets on Israeli territories from the Gaza Strip that Israel left unilaterally in 2005. The military operation was  not to commit a “crime” against Palestinians as Palestinians, but an act of self defense against illegal shelling.

Fourth, the petition calls “on the world’s governments and civil society organizations to take concrete and immediate steps in pressuring Israel from interfering with the ship MV Rachel Corrie.   The phrase “to take concrete and immediate steps in pressuring Israel” is essentially a plea to sanction Israel.  Kotef who devotes her research to Israeli checkpoints in the territories, is probably not acquainted with international relations.   If she was, it would have been clear to her that International Relations theory and praxis indicates that “taking steps” to pressure requires some type of coercive action against a country that is the target of the said pressure.

But then again, the parallel universe of critical studies that Kotef inhabits – along with many of her colleagues in the Minerva Center for Humanity – has its own vocabulary and logic. It is this logic that allows Adi Ophir, the director of the Lexicon Project there to compare  Israel to Nazi Germany.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: hagarko@gmail.com <hagarko@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 7:26 PM

First Name : Hagar Kotef
E-mail : hagarko@gmail.com
content : Dear Academia Monitor Editor's 
Yesterday, you issued an email concerning my work and political views. I do not seek to enter here a futile argument about your way of presenting some facts and some half facts, but I do want to note that there is one mistake in the email you sent. Since this mistake appears in the subject line, it is especially significant: I do not, and never was a BDS activist. Moreover, I never explicitly, publicly, or, as a matter of fact, in private (not that it should matter) supported the academic boycott. You cannot find my signature on the calls of the BDS. If you had read the petition to which you have referred as a proof, you could have seen it DOES NOT concern the boycott. I demand that you will issue an email correcting this statement immediately, and anyway, no later than tomorrow (April 2nd) or, you will be subjected to a legal suit. 
All best, 

Israeli Citizens Denounce Their Government: Call on the World’s Governments and Civil Society Organizations

Global Research, June 04, 2010

We are Israeli citizens and residents, Palestinians and Jews. We work in our society to raise the voices of conscience and dissent in light of the hostility, self-righteousness and racism which dominate it, but these efforts are not sufficient. In the wake of our government’s deadly attack on the Free Gaza aid ships, including the MV Marmara, and due to the continued cruel and illegitimate Israeli siege on the Gaza strip – we call on the world’s governments and civil society organizations to  take concrete and immediate steps in pressuring Israel to refrain from interfering with the ship MV Rachel Corrie, currently on route to Gaza, or any future vessel, sailing from international waters to the waters of the besieged Gaza strip.

The international community’s tragic failure in ending Israel’s impunity – especially after the massacre of more than 1400 Palestinians in Gaza over a year ago – is the key enabler of the latest crime performed by the Israeli government and military leaders, killing at least 9 people and wounding dozens. Only if its support, funding and international ties are put in jeopardy, will Israel reconsider its policy of violence and collective punishment against the Palestinian civilians and their many supporters from abroad.

MV Rachel Corrie is carrying cement, a material banned by Israel which is indispensable for the reconstruction of Gaza after much of its buildings have been destroyed during Israel’s latest assault on Gaza. MV Rachel Corrie’s name was chosen to commemorate the life of the international activist who was squashed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer in Gaza, on March 16th, 2003. Corrie was non-violently attempting to prevent the Israeli army from demolishing the home of local pharmacist Samir Nasrallah.

In memory of the dead and for the sake of the living – now is the time to set free 1.5 million prisoners in the open-air prison set by Israel, prisoners whose sole “crime” is being Palestinian in the Gaza strip. It would only be fitting that MV Rachel Corrie’s accomplished journey would serve both to commemorate the lives lost on the MV Marmara as well as to carry out the mission of breaking the siege on Gaza.

With justice and peace,

Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS call from within


and the following individuals:

1. Galit Altshuler 2. Elinor Amit 3. Zohar Atai 4. Xochilt Arizmendi 5. Hanna Aviram 6. Nitzan Aviv 7. Ruth Ben Asher 8. Lilach Ben-David 9. Nora Bendersky 10. Racheli Bar-Or 11. Ronnie Barkan 12. Yossi Bartal 13. Ronnen Ben-Arie 14. Ofra Ben Artzi 15. Smadar Ben  Natan 16. Haim Bresheeth 17. Guy Butavia 18. Smadar Carmon 19. Julia Chaitin 20. Rachel Chayut 21. Efrat Cohen 22. Isadora Cohen 23. Ron Cohen 24. Yaël Dagan 25. Yasmeen Daher 26. Judit Druks 27. Shiri Eisner 28. Hamutal Erato 29. Rona Even 30. Debbie Eylon 31. Pnina Feiler 32. Arie Finkelstein 33. Uri Fruchtmann 34. Racheli Gai 35. Rachel Giora 36. Neta Golan 37. Tsilli Goldenberg 38. Dalia Hager 39. Kadia Hajaj 40. Rosamine Hayeem 41. Shir Hever 42. Rachel Leah Jones 43. Yael Kahn 44. Liad Kantorowicz 45. Hagar Kotef 46. Ronit Lentin 47. Eytan Lerner 48. Yael Lerer 49. Tom Mehager 50. Susanne Moses 51. Naama Nagar 52. Ofer Neiman 53. David Nir 54. Norah Orlow 55. Alex Parushin 56. Shai Carmeli Pollak 57. Michal Pundak 58. Hili Razinsky 59. Deb Reich 60. Amit Ron 61. Yael Ronen 62. Eran Roseman 63. Albert Rosenblatt 64. Yehoshua Rosin 65. Michal Sapir 66. Ayala Shani 67. Adi Shechter 68. Ruth Sirton 69. Yasmeen Sivan 70. Inbar Tamari 71. Lea Tsemel 72. Michel Warschawski 73. Uri Weiss 74. Elian Weizman 75. Eleanor Wesley 76. Karen Zack 77. Uri Zackhem 

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