Four days after
As always, there are problems with the question, although in my view they are far from the most egregious I’ve seen in recent opinion polls. It suggests that there is some kind of parity between ‘
Now people who read blogs like this are well aware that there was nothing defensive about ‘Operation Cast Lead’, but I’m not entirely confident the same can be said about those who rely on the mainstream media for ‘information’. Since virtually every article about Gaza incorporates a compulsory reference to Israel’s wish to end rocket attacks, casting Israel in the role of victim, I find it surprising that there wasn’t even more support for Israel. But even given the propaganda environment, even for those who firmly believe the hasbarists’ claims about the lengths the IOF went to in avoiding civilian casualties, it’s appalling that only 11% found it in their hearts to sympathise with the mangled orphans on their television screens.
The Pew report, which uncharacteristically omitted to mention the ‘margin of error’, compares the results of the 7-11 January poll with polling results for six European countries from April-May 2007, during the period of the Hamas-Fatah unity ‘government’ in the West Bank and Gaza, concluding that there was ‘more support for the Palestinians than the Israelis’. Under such different conditions, the comparison isn’t really valid. But it seems likely that support for Palestinians in Europe would be higher now than it was in 2007, before the abortive June Fatah coup in
I remain very sceptical of self identification as an indicator of political orientation, but there is a clear correlation between orientation, as measured by Pew, and sympathy to
Overall, sympathy for
Meanwhile, for the first time, a group of US academics have launched a campaign for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel. Eight days into the initiative, it appears that only 52 have endorsed the call for
1) Refraining from participation in any form of academic and cultural cooperation, collaboration or joint projects with Israeli institutions that do not vocally oppose Israeli state policies against
2) Advocating a comprehensive boycott of Israeli institutions at the national and international levels, including suspension of all forms of funding and subsidies to these institutions;
3) Promoting divestment and disinvestment from
4) Working toward the condemnation of Israeli policies by pressing for resolutions to be adopted by academic, professional and cultural associations and organizations;
5) Supporting Palestinian academic and cultural institutions directly without requiring them to partner with Israeli counterparts as an explicit or implicit condition for such support.
As I’ve written before, I think it weakens the initiative considerably to exempt institutions that ‘vocally oppose Israeli state policies against
"We are academics, scholars, researchers and professionals of differing religious and political perspectives. We all agree that singling out Israelis for an academic boycott is wrong. To show our solidarity with our Israeli academics in this matter, we, the undersigned, hereby declare ourselves to be Israeli academics for purposes of any academic boycott. We will regard ourselves as Israeli academics and decline to participate in any activity from which Israeli academics are excluded. "
4568, including some who were themselves Israeli or affiliated with Israeli institutions, responded within the first 11 days or so. Although the petition was relaunched last May, it, too, has now closed. The total now stands at 12,113, well short of their goal of 20,000 signatories, but still rather intimidating. I hope that the USACBI initiative will soon overtake Dershowitz’s, but I’m not holding my breath.
In another encouraging recent development, a Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) delegates meeting in
1. This delegates’ meeting of the WA branch of the MUA [hereafter this meeting] calls on the Rudd government to denounce the latest Israeli aggression against
4. We will participate fully in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign when it is initiated and support actions related thereof when they are called by either Friends of Palestine WA or other interested parties (including other trade unions). We call on the ACTU and Unions WA to join us in supporting the BDS campaign and specific actions related thereof
5. In furtherance of resolution 4, this meeting recommends State Conference adopt a position of boycotting all Israeli-registered vessels, and all vessels known to be carrying either goods destined for
There’s not a great deal of trade between