↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Friday, February 20, 2009

Haroon Siddiqui: Obama's role, and ours, in the Mideast

During the Israeli offensive in Gaza, Klein called for an economic boycott of Israel – "the kind of global movement that put an end to apartheid in South Africa." While Israel is not South Africa, she wrote, "there are deeply distressing echoes: the colour-coded IDs and travel permits, the bulldozed homes and forced displacement, the settler-only roads."

In the interview, she dismissed the argument that a boycott would cut off dialogue with Israel:
"It actually increases communication. As soon as you talk about a boycott, the question is: `Why?' Then you have to explain it, and have a conversation. That conversation needs to happen." Klein said that pro-Israeli forces have bullied North Americans into silence. "People are afraid to talk." Most media, including "large swaths of the Canadian media," are complicit. They provide "propagandist" pro-Israeli coverage and stifle debate. "Much of it has to do with not wanting to open themselves up to the attacks.

"It's a triumph of bullying.

"Every editor who runs anything sympathetic to Palestinians has to make that calculation, do I want my week ruined, in terms of the guarantee of a bombardment by the very organized media-messaging machine? Add to that the fear of being accused of being anti-Semitic, and you get silenced." For similar reasons, the anti-war movement has not backed the Palestinian cause wholeheartedly. Also, "one of the things that the pro-Israel side has been very, very good at doing is using the complexity of the conflict against the critics. "I see it in economics as well: `You don't understand this. It's too complicated for you. It's an experts-only debate. Go back to your corner.'"


Post a Comment

<< Home