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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Why Meretz (USA) is with the Golan

On Sunday, I pointed out with some degree of bemusement that Meretz (USA) advocates boycotting products made by Jews in Judea and Samaria and not those made by Jews in the Golan Heights. Here is their rather innovative theory of international relations to explain their actions. The boycott statement did not make explicit reference to goods and services made in settlements in the Golan Heights.
The goal of this campaign is to end the policies of Settlement and Occupation in the West Bank by calling them out and achieve a two-state solution. Therefore, we have explicitly focused on boycotting products that are the direct result of the Settlement and Occupation policies and that impede the ability to reach a two-state solution with the Palestinian people. Peace with Syria is an important issue, and we believe a final Israeli-Syrian peace agreement will involve a full withdrawal from the Golan Heights. But, it is clearly settlement in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, with a settler population of roughly 500,000 that constitutes the more immediate threat to peacemaking, human rights, and Israel. In order to highlight this threat, and to avoid conflating the West Bank and Golan Heights issues, we did not reference goods and services made in the Golan in our targeted boycott.
In other words (and the assertions I made on Sunday of lots of Meretz voters in the Golan have been called into question - the Golan went for Kadima and Labor in the last election), we're not going to try to fight an issue on which there is a wall-to-wall consensus among Israel's Jews.

And why aren't they advocating boycotting 'east' Jerusalem?
Our opening statement in this campaign - http://www.meretzusa.org/buy-israel-%E2%80%93-don%E2%80%99t-buy-settlements-they%E2%80%99re-not-same refers to settlements beyond the Green Line. Notwithstanding Israel's annexation of parts of the West Bank and incorporation of them into the Jerusalem Municipality, Gilo and Ramot are beyond the Green Line - even though we recognize that, "a number of settlements could one day become part of the State of Israel should there be equitable land swaps under a final-status peace agreement." Gilo and Ramot, as well as Ma'aleh Adumim and some others, most likely fall into this category.
In other words, again, they don't want to argue with a clear Israeli consensus.

Okay, folks. Time to get to work on making keeping Judea and Samaria a consensus issue as well.

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