On the Israeli Boycott Ban

by Richard on July 15, 2011

Velveteen Rabbi presents a view from the diaspora

Those of us chutz l’aretz (outside the land of Israel) are impacted by this law only in an emotional and spiritual sense. The Knesset can’t legislate what we say or do in the Diaspora. But this is a development which should deeply concern those of us who are emotionally and spiritually invested in the ideals of what we imagine a Jewish state should be.

I hope that the passage of the Boycott Law will offer Diaspora Jews an opportunity to have real conversations about what boycotts and other economic actions mean. I’m often surprised that, in American conversations about BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions), people rarely draw a distinction between boycotting or divesting from Israel writ large, and boycotting or divesting from companies which operate in the settlements and/or which profit from the occupation.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1

Robert 07.15.11 at 12:42 pm

ou’ve put your finger on something there. So many people conflate ‘Israel’ with ‘Palestine’, and fail, as you say, to distinguish between a legal state and an illegal occupation.

2

PamBG 07.15.11 at 12:43 pm

OK who wants to start the vitriol against Rachel?

3

Earl 07.15.11 at 2:04 pm

The simple fact is that Israel does not need permission from anyone to possess its land. It possesses its land in the exact same way that the surrounding arab nation states possess their land, by force of arms. Opinions offered by old europe, the u.n., etc. are irrelevant. Currently bds is one of the weapons used by those who stand against Israel. It is singularly unimpressive. When the surrounding arab nations consider that they are able to do so, they will again attack Israel. The green line will be as irrelevant then as it is now.

4

Avraham Reiss 07.17.11 at 6:40 pm

“people rarely draw a distinction between boycotting or divesting from Israel writ large, and boycotting or divesting from companies which operate in the settlements and/or which profit from the occupation.”

Certainly no “vitriol”, but a woman claiming to be a “Rabbi” is less than a joke. That, according to orthodox Judaism. nothing she says in the name of Judaism bears any authority whatsoever. (I am not a rabbi, so I have no authority on such matters, either).

As for differentiating between settlements and other parts of Israel, this displays a basic lack of knowledge of halachic, legalistic Judaism, which in itself raises the question “how can this person claim to be a rabbi with so little basic knowledge?”

But it’s not in any way personal, because I’m guessing that most male Reform “rabbis” would offer similar opions. The point being that were one to place these people in front of a page of the Talmud - which is mostly in ancient Aramaic - they would all begin to stammer.

Yet the way the Jewish nation is expected in these times to relate to the areas gained by Israel in a defensive war, is dictated by Halacha - Jewish Law. Law that any decent Christian can understand:

Numbers 33, 53
And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell
therein: for I have given you the land to possess it.

Deuteronomy 11, 31
For ye shall pass over Jordan to go in to possess the land which the
Lord your God giveth you, and ye shall possess it, and dwell therein.

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