by Jeff Mendelman, ’09
“The international solidarity movement is a cult,” said Norman Finklestein recently, “Just come out and say it, you want the destruction of Israel. You think you’re so clever, but you’re not fooling anyone.” The BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement for a just peace in the Israel/Palestine conflict gets attacked, often, and with vigor. But, that’s the opposite of how it should be; those who promote the status quo should get an earful.
Zionists are, increasingly, status quo advocates. Why? Because life as an Israeli Ashkenazi Jew right now isn’t too bad: there are jobs, natural resources, and security.
But, what about the people who live on the other side of the border? What do they experience? In the Gaza strip, the unemployment rate for young people is as high as 60%. The average yearly per capita use of water in Palestine is limited by Israel to 50 cubic meters of water, whereas in Israel citizens may use up to 2400 cubic meters. And the Palestinians have to pay twice as much for their water, even though their GDP per capita is $1,000 per person as compared to Israel’s $30,000 per person. Continue reading