Maybe it's because the modern left is intolerable…
He's a good bloke, the fact that he doesn't want Israeli's to die is perfectly fine.
And if you want to go past that law or ignore the Israel part, you’ll never reach a broad public. And then it's a cult. Then it’s pointless, in my opinion. We're wasting time. And it's only a wasting of time. It becomes — and I know it's a strong word, and I hope I won't be faulted for it, but it becomes historically criminal, because there was a time where whatever we said, it made no difference. Nobody was listening. You could shout whatever you want — who cares? But now, actually, we can reach people. There is a possibility. I’m not saying a certainty. I'm not even saying a probability. But there is a possibility that we can reach a broad public. And so, we have to be very careful about the words we use, and we have to be very careful about the political strategy we map out. Otherwise, we're going to squander a real opportunity. And I don't want to squander it.
It's because the modern left is moralistic as fuck.
The fact that Palestine is always the litmus test to see if you're a "true" leftist or not (i.e. "do you support a one-state solution or no?") is kind of disturbing TBH. The Left doesn't denounce someone as pro-imperialist if they don't favor an independent Kurdistan, or if they're skeptical about Mugabe. The Left doesn't even talk about other territorial disputes such as Kosovo, Kashmir, Ukraine, Chechnya, Yemen, Islamic territories in the Philippines, Tibet and Uyghurstan, and all the other break-aways or places where there's military occupation. The Left barely talks about Native American struggles anymore too. What makes the Palestinians special snowflakes as far as anti-imperialism is concerned?
I was active in the BDS Movement when it first started (early 2009). I agree with everything Finkelstein is saying.
From my own experience, I saw sectarianism brewing in the movement right from the start. You had people who wanted to boycott everything connected with Israel (which would have been impossible unless you're willing to live like Ted Kaczynski), and people who only wanted to boycott products made in the settlements such as Ahava Cosmetics… You had people who insisted that activists should protest Israeli musicians and performers coming to town (no joke, we protested an Israeli dance troupe at UCLA) and others who thought doing so was a fucking joke (which it was).
The problem with BDS is that it was, and still is, far too focused on little things like pop culture. Seldom do they target big corporations which are profiting immensely from the occupation. Instead, a lot of them insist that the only way for the Palestinians to win is if Western activists go after Israel primarily on an ideological level, hence why protesting an Israeli artist or tossing Israeli hummus off the shelves at a local supermarket would be legitimate; you're "de-conditioning" the public from seeing Israel's existence as "normal".
And honestly, BDS isn't going to do shit if the Palestinians don't have a good enough leadership. I hate to play this card as an anarchist, but politics do matter in this case. Supposing the Knesset collapses from all the boycotts, you're not going to see a One Democratic State magically emerge from the ashes; that all depends on the actions of the Palestinians and how they organize to seize power. So far, the Palestinian leadership is shit, sellouts and whatnot. They'd have no means of rising up and storming the Knesset assuming a "collapse" scenario were to happen.
So yeah, even I can see a use for a vanguard party at this point.
This seriously baffles me. Literally every radical group treats Palestine like it takes precedence over every other global issue. It's really bizarre and I could never understand why. Why are Israel's actions against Palestine considered genocidal while a whole host of other imperialist bloodbaths get almost no attention?
My hypothesis is that the Left loves the Palestinian issue because 1. it's one of the last remaining anti-colonial struggles out there, and those who were born post-1970 assume they can apply all the radicalism that went on in Africa and Asia during their decolonization struggles to the Palestinians, and 2. it's the one issue where nearly everyone on the Left sees eye-to-eye. Sure, they may disagree about whether or not to support Hamas or whether or not Israel should exist, but not a single person on the Left will take Israel's side over that of the Palestinians.
I also think this is why the modern Left applies the "genocide" label so loosely to Israel's crimes in Palestine, but barely at all to the USA's crimes in Iraq (which were arguably far, far worse).
How about the liberation of Kurdistan or Columbia doesn't receive as much support as Palestine from the left?
when did it become a crime on the Left to take five minutes and consider how people will perceive your actions?
because there's no familiar boogeyman to blame. you won't get edge points in America attacking Turkey.
Not to mention, attacking a Muslim nation like Saudi only feeds into the xenophobia of the Right ("all Muslims are barbarians!"), despite the fact that the vast majority of Muslims despise the Saudis.
maybe we should do that, to get rid of the "regressive left" meme. drawing attention to Saudi Arabia I think would also show people that jihadism isn't just springing up from the ground, it's being promoted by someone with an agenda.
Here's some food for thought: one of the people who organized it is now a big name in the BDS Movement, gaining controversy for using university resources to advocate boycotting Israel (something which I'm not opposed to, but he himself is a horrible human being).
Yes, and as well to show how many of these jihadi groups started off as Western-backed in order to oppose secular left-leaning leaders and groups in the ME.
I think edginess is actually a huge factor im the left's support of Palestine. It hits that perfect edge sweet spot where normies won't outright rebuke you but your ideological enemies will get triggered af (being anti israel without being anti semitic).
It's a mixture of having a strong moral high ground mixed with the right amount of edge that has many left wing activists jizzing themselves.
Politics always matters.
Sure, you can't ignore the role of the political.
In this case, it's even more crucial, because we're dealing with an anti-colonial struggle. Boycotting an Israeli performance artist will not strengthen Palestinian leadership. Tossing Israeli hummus on the floor of your school cafeteria will not bring down the apartheid wall. All of this amounts to a stunt.
If BDS wanted to be useful, they would target the military-industrial complex or demand sanctions on weapons to Israel.
are you fucking serious? Israel has the second largest military on earth and one of the largest nuclear arsenals, If it wasn't for bad PR they would've built a kosher Ottoman Empire by now. Do you honestly believe a boycott is going to "kill" them, when every single US candidate has to suck jewish dick to get in office? 1: Return of annexed land 2: End of occupation 3: Equal rights are perfectly reasonable demands when 5 million people are living there (compared to Israel's 8 million).
FYI a one-state solution would keep these land ownerships in place.
Antizionism is a spook m8.
Here's a recent interview with Finkelstein on the anti-semitism furore surrounding our well-behaved comrade :