Boycotting Jews Does Not Help Gazans.

From Ha’aretz (the article seems to be missing the first few paragraphs):

Jewish group in Italy slams boycott initiative of Jewish-owned shops
By The Associated Press

Mayor Gianni Alemanno for condemning the boycott. Alemanno, a right-wing politician, had gone shopping on Thursday in a Jewish-owned clothing store to show his opposition to the boycott.

Politicians and mainstream unions also condemned the boycott announced by the FLAICA-CUB group, which claims to represent thousands of workers in shops and malls.

While praising the mayor’s strong reaction, Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Paris wrote in a letter to Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi saying the union should be prosecuted for inciting racism, intimidation and other crimes.

“A campaign to boycott Italian Jews would be a clear repetition of Benito Mussolini’s measures,” wrote Samuels, referring to the anti-Semitic laws passed in 1938 during the fascist leader’s regime.

Rome’s Jewish Community has also said it would take legal action. Italy has laws banning discrimination.

The ANSA news agency reported police on Friday seized banners hung up in the north of Rome that contained insults against Jewish leaders and called Alemanno a Zionist executioner.

On Thursday the FLAICA-CUB union called in a statement for a boycott of businesses linked to the Roman Jewish Community. It suggested shoppers should focus the protest on clothing stores, many of which are traditionally owned by members of the capital’s small Jewish community.

Since Israel began its offensive in December, anti-Semitic acts have increased across Europe and attacks have been reported against Jews and synagogues in France, Sweden and Britain.

First off, why are our supporters always right-wingers? Is the Left really so afraid of complexity?

Anyway, the operative word here is Jews. Italians aren’t boycotting Israeli products (which itself is a form of collective punishment), they’re boycotting Jewish-owned businesses. As in: “Hey, those people in another country are doing something shitty! They belong to your ethnic group – which has a reputation for being evil! Therefore, you must be personally responsible!”

How does punishing some random person who happens to live near you help Gazans? How does it bring us closer to a viable Palestinian state?

And what makes you think that fostering hostility towards Jews won’t heighten support for Israel? Remember what happened when the US and Israel tried to make Gazans feel ashamed of being Gazan?

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5 Responses

  1. Hopefully they won’t boycott the centuries-old Jewish business that has long made the dinnerware for the Pope.

    I’m always pleased when countries that want to whitewash their past and place blame for calamity entirely on one European nation pretend to have some kind of moral high-ground. This, of course, doesn’t apply only to Italy.

  2. countries that want to whitewash their past and place blame for calamity entirely on one European nation pretend to have some kind of moral high-ground. This, of course, doesn’t apply only to Italy.
    Truth.

    The right is who’s in power in Italy but since it said major unions also opposed the boycott I don’t think you can say they are alone.

    AFAIK there’s been a rise of racism there in general, violent attacks against Roma in particular have been particularly viscious in the past couple of years, even ethnic food can’t get a break, so there’s that.

  3. Italians aren’t boycotting Israeli products (which itself is a form of collective punishment)

    While I completely agree that boycotting Jewish businesses is unhelpful and anti-Semitic, I don’t think it’s fair to say that boycotting Israeli products is a form of collective punishment. Rather than restating the reasons for which the description is inaccurate, I’d like to direct you to this site, about the academic boycott of Israel.

  4. So why is it that no one seems to be talking about a boycott of American academics? My country is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people around the world, along with the virtual enslavement of millions more. Yet no one bats an eye when I and my fellow Americans seek work abroad.

  5. I’m not a proponent of a full academic boycott, but I think it should be noted a lot of their supporters are focused more on things like partnerships with institutions and exchange programs than say, all Israeli citizens individual work. Though some have, most of the activism I see prioritizes divestment from and boycott of institutions more directly profiting from occupation.

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