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'Boycott, Divestment And Sanctions'

The only strategy against Israel now is pressure from the outside in the form of BDS
Pranay Sharma INTERVIEWS

The historian at the University of Exeter, UK spoke to Pranay Sharma, excerpts from which appeared in print

Is Israel becoming a rogue state and is the international community totally powerless to rein it in?

It is becoming a rouge state in the eyes of the civil society worldwide, but it is not depicted this way by the political elites or the mainstream media. Although one should say that Apartheid South Africa was first ostracized from below and the elites were dragged screaming into imposing sanctions on it.

Is Israel’s ongoing military action on Gaza justified?

No. There is a serious Hamas offer based on the removal of the illegal siege on Gaza and the release of prisoners. The Hamas Fatah unity government was able to represent most of the Palestinians under occupation and had been recognized by the USA there discussion about the fate of Palestine would have been done through negotiations and not war. However, Israel fears Palestinian unity, and frankly Palestinian agency. If it can not dictate its will through diplomacy it does not hesitate to do it through war.

Can it go on killing innocent civilians in the name of dealing with Hamas militants?

It will go on unless the international community will be brave enough to call a spade a spade and describe Israel's policies as war crimes. From an Israeli perspective the very ghettoisation of Gaza was the first step of dehumanising the people living there. Bombing them, when they refuse to live under such conditions in a way that can only lead the carnage we are witnessing today, is not an issue.

Why has the liberal Israeli/Jewish voice been so silent during this operation of Tel Aviv? Has that voice been lost?

There are handful of very brave Israeli dissenting voices and when they can they demonstrate. But their life is a peril when they do this as both the mobs and the police disperse them with brutal force. But the crux of the matter is that the liberal voice inside Israel has subsided long time ago. By and large the society has become nationalist and racist and backs fully the government's policy. This is why the only strategy now is pressure from the outside in the form of BDS, the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign.

READ MORE IN:
AUTHORS: Pranay Sharma
PEOPLE: Ilan Pappe
PLACES: IsraelPalestineGaza
SECTION: International
SUBSECTION: Interviews
OUTLOOK 30 July, 2014
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