5 Apr 2011

Quakers are boycotting Israeli settlment goods. Now for the lies and abuse

British Quakers announced today (5 April) that they are calling for a boycott of goods from Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. This is a brave decision, given the volume of abuse, hate mail and downright lies that face those who take a public stand against the Israeli authorities.

Personal experience has made me very aware that there are few more subjects likely to generate hate mail than comments on Israel and Palestine. When I worked for the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), I was quoted in the Jerusalem Post opposing arms sales to Israel. I emphasised that "I'm not anti-Israel, I'm anti-arms trade". But I received an email beginning, "Dear Symon Hill, the British Nazi".

A few years ago, I attended an event in a London church supportive of Palestinians' human rights. A Christian Zionist standing outside literally yelled in my face, telling me that the event was promoting hatred. The church received hundreds of abusive messages, including one saying that the curate would "burn forever in a real hell" (presumably this is distinguished from a fake hell, which has pretend flames cut out of orange cardboard).

To be fair, I dare say that people who back the Israeli government also receive hate mail. This is just as abhorrent.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good for them.

Are they boycotting Hamas for wishing to destroy the jews (I'll ignore homosexuals etc for now although Mahmoud al-Zahar thinks we "in the West do not live like human beings. You do not even live like animals. You accept homosexuality. And now you criticize us?", or is just a one way thing?

Do they boycott anywhere else? If so, can you let me know please? And what are they doing getting mixed up with Hizb-ut-Tahrir - even my dog can see them for the fascists they are. Fighting fascism is exactly that Derek - fighting Israeli fascism AND Hamas etc fascism, and not choosing one lot of fascists over another.

I just discovered Richard Nixon was a Quaker - how weird is that?