"Anti-Israel boycott" groups are subverting dialogue and cooperation programs to prevent a solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Dialogue and Cooperation organizations should be leading the fight against the boycotters.
What I write below should cause the deepest distress and soul-searching to anyone who hopes that dialog and cooperation between peoples will help to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel [PACBI] organization masquerades as a humanitarian group seeking redress of human rights violations. They appear and argue their case against Israeli "racism" and "apartheid Israel" at union meetings, church groups and university gatherings. PACBI is supposedly a coalition of organizations, but no organizations are listed. It is unclear who funds this group, but the trail seems to run through the Socialist Workers Party. Rather than being a peace-loving humanitarian human rights group, PACBI is apparently a vicious attempt to discredit and wreck the peace process, dialogue and peace efforts. It tells high-school and university students that Seeds of Peace is a dangerous organization, that "resistance" in all forms is legitimate. It tells all Palestinian groups to avoid dialogue if the other side does not agree to right of return for refugees, or if the project is just about increasing understanding or cultural exchange.
When the Israeli-Palestinian peace process really began, before the Oslo accords, its roots were in Track II diplomacy meetings in which leading Palestinians and Israelis met in an unofficial capacity, voiced their grievances, and made honest efforts to find solutions that would allow both sides to live together in peace, dignity and security.
The success of this effort, embodied in the dramatic handshake on the White House lawn, kindled great hopes that peace could be furthered by people to people diplomacy, Track II meetings and cooperative projects. These would humanize "the other side" through ordinary human contact, and bring benefits to the people through health and welfare projects and other initiatives. They would end the "cycle of violence" that many believed was at the root of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
These hopes were disappointed. The field came to be dominated by governments and armed groups with their own agendas, inimical to peace. The interface between Israelis and Palestinians became more and more controlled. The Palestinian Authority, established as the result of this dialogue, forbade cooperation between Palestinian public schools and their Israeli counterparts. Riad Malki's complaint, in the book Bridging the Divide, that Palestinian Track II negotiators didn't always represent the official Palestinian position, was telling. Track II negotiators are not supposed to represent official positions. That "problem" was soon remedied. The bosses were coopting and controlling "dialogue," subverting it into an instrument for advancing a narrow political agenda, inimical to peace. The results were mirrored in "facts on the ground." Peace group advertisements in Gaza were riddled with bullets. Palestinian society was harnessed to the political agendas of the PLO and the Hamas, and violence was orchestrated in 2000. Objective observers who view the actual remaining dialog efforts are bitterly disappointed. Mutual respect is replaced by one-sided "finger pointing" and humanization is replaced by demonization and dehumanization.
The process was not complete. A new generation of bogus "dialogue" and "civil society" groups arose. It is not clear where they get their funding. Perhaps from the UN, or perhaps from European sources interested in wrecking the American led peace process. They lead boycott and "Israel Apartheid" campaigns and at least part of their mission, it seems, is to use dialogue to recruit Israeli Jews for the purpose of destroying Israel.
The purpose of the boycott campaign has been announced and declared repeatedly. From a meeting held a few years ago: (http: //www.badil.org/Campaign/Expert_Forum/Haifa/Summary.htm)
In the past, we used to assume that our struggle has two stages: the struggle against occupation and struggle for a just solution of the conflict and peace. We used to say that the end of occupation will not bring about an end of the conflict, but is a condition for the latter. We had short term and long term objectives, i.e. ending the occupation by means including armed struggle vs. the debate over one- or two state solutions. The idea was that the final settlement should take place in a peaceful context rather than within armed struggle.
... We must understand that occupation will end only after, or simultaneously with, de-Zionization. Doing away with the old dichotomy will also mean fusing together the struggle to end the occupation and the struggle for return.
We must turn the one-state solution into a relevant political agenda, in Israel, the 1967 OPT, in the camps in Lebanon, among Palestinian exile communities in Detroit, everywhere...
Divestment, sanctions and boycott campaigns should be launched in ways that best fit the specific circumstances of organizers and their constituency... 
The highlighted, numbered sentences tell us that 1. The campaigners always envisioned the destruction of Israel as a further stage in their struggle. Ending the occupation was never what it was about. 2. They are now trying to end the occupation and end Israel at the same time, espousing the 3. One state solution. The different campaigns must be tailored, however, to different audiences, as in 4, to ensure that they would be acceptable to labor unions, universities and dialog people. Though destroying the other side should not theoretically be on the agenda of "dialogue" meetings, in fact it is put there by groups such as these.
The implementation of this program is now exemplified by the Web site of the "Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel" (http://www.pacbi.org/). This Web site features "resources" with "guidelines" for cooperation or "normalization" between Palestinian and Israeli groups. Though the Web site is in English, the guidelines are in Arabic. One would think they would want to share their idealistic thoughts with their non-Arab reading counterparts, to improve understanding so to speak, but that is not the case.
The diagram below is a flow chart translated from one of these documents:
1- Delegitimization of the Israeli government - While Riad Malki complained that some Palestinians in dialogue might not represent the official Palestinian view, these "guidelines" preclude the possibility that any Israeli participants might in any way be connected with or support the Israeli government, or that the meetings might inadvertently legitimize the Israeli government by accepting meeting space provided by it.
2- Demonization - "Israeli colonialist racist policies" might correspond to a counterpart slogan of "Palestinian terrorist religious fanatic Arabs." Neither slogan is acceptable in dialogue.
3- Politicization - There is no room for the normally accepted and legitimate goals of dialogue and cooperation projects. Projects that only promote working together, health projects, artistic projects and the like are all out of the question. Cooperation must be based on Israeli acceptance of the goals of right of return.
4- In general, the cooperation must "help solve the Palestinian problem in the broadest sense" - a euphemism for elimination of Israel as a Jewish national home through return of the refugees.
Of course, not all Palestinians adhere to these "guidelines." However it is noteworthy that no Palestinian stepped forward to protest. One can imagine the furor that would be evoked by an Israeli Jewish dialogue group that warned against cooperation with Palestinian terrorist religious fanatic Arabs.
Boycott of genocidal organizations like Hamas, or of Greater Israel groups like Yesha council or racist political parties or individuals on either side might be justified. However, it is elementary that dialogue, cooperation and peace cannot be advanced by anyone who supports wholesale boycotts of people and academic institutions just because they are Israeli or Palestinian, or demonization of one side as "racist and colonialist." The fight against the Israel boycott campaign should be led by Israelis and Palestinian Arabs of the dialogue and cooperation NGOs, rather than being the exclusive concern of Zionist advocates and Israeli academics. It is they who should be sending representatives to unions and church groups and governments that are considering adopting boycott resolutions.
Organizations that promote dialogue and cooperation must make it clear that they will have nothing to do with boycotters, and governments and institutions interested in promoting a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must find ways to cut off the funding of pernicious groups like Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.
At the very least, we must all be aware of "guidelines" such as those of PACBI, and should not let themselves be used as a recruiting ground for this hate campaign.
Any group that is approached by PACBI with "humanitarian" arguments for boycotting Israel, should be aware that PACBI is a vicious hate group that promotes genocide and that their goal is destruction of Israel, not peace or "human rights" as they claim.
I am told that the PACBI Web site is not visible in the United States or Europe. This may be a technical problem, or a further attempt to conceal their true goals. Therefore, I am posting relevant materials in English and in Arabic from their resource guide at MidEastWeb and elsewhere.
Other pages posted here:
Copyright 2007 by Mideastweb for Coexistence RA. Posted at http://www.mideastweb.org/not_dialog.htm.
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