Monday, October 18, 2010

Progressive Jewish American princess in N.Y. exasperated at being shunned for throwing on Israel first-themed birthday party for her 7-year-old

'NY Jewish Week’ says progressive Zionists are feeling ‘battered by boycott’
(Mondoweiss) -- by Philip Weiss --

Julie Wiener's 7 year old daughter "decided" (are 7 year olds autonomous? I dont know; but she surely reflected her mother's love of Israel) to have an Israel-themed birthday party in New York. At least a couple of people boycotted the party. Weiner sees the boycott movement gaining traction all around us. Her piece is "Battered by Boycotts" for the New York Jewish Week. I have left out her many arguments against BDS (singling out; Abu Ghraib, etc) but her longwindedness and fretful tone show that the South Africa progressive movement is beginning to gather at last. And even "progressive Zionists" are feelin the heat:

I’m talking about the streets of New York City, where, as efforts to boycott the products of Israel (and the settlements) intensify, a simple trip to a dance performance in Chelsea (Batsheva Dance Troupe), a cafĂ© in Soho (Aroma), a Ricky’s cosmetics shop in Brooklyn (Ahava skin products) — or, in my case, to a 7-year-old’s birthday party in Queens — can quickly turn into a political act.

There seem to be an endless variety of competing Israel-related boycotts and counter-boycotts (known as “buycotts,” they’ve actually helped boost sales of boycott targets like Ahava) out there. Some, like the international Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) movement target everything in any way connected to the Israel Defense Forces (in short, almost everything Israeli), while others focus on the settlements ( Not to mention the ever-growing array of efforts to promote purchases, investments or loans ( that benefit everything from the entire Israeli economy ( to Fair Trade Palestinian-made olive oil ( to organic, sustainably-raised honey, fruits and spices produced by Jews and Bedouins in the Negev (

for those of us who love Israel yet also worry that right-wing intransigence, settlement building and problematic treatment of Palestinians are major (albeit hardly the only) obstacles to peace, it’s hard to know exactly where to stand. Not to mention that it’s exhausting and frustrating to feel like one has to take a stand every time one sees a blue-and-white flag, let alone goes to the grocery store. It’s dispiriting and depressing to feel as if one can never just relax and celebrate the many positive aspects of Israeli culture, without being constantly reminded of the suffering Palestinians...

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