Saturday, May 26, 2007

9th June: Global day of action against the Israeli occupation

A British journalist calls for the boycott of Israeli produce in the Guardian's Comment is Free section:

"A boycott is neither self-indulgent gesture politics nor an indicator of powerlessness... It is an international protest against the way in which Israel behaves on a daily basis in an area that will, in all probability, never see peace."

It would be great if such a campaign grew and gained the momentum of the 1980s boycott of South Africa , not because it would influence Israeli behaviour (US economic support of Israel would rule that out, wouldn't it?) but because it would make a small but significant dent in the Israeli lobby's hegemony over public opinion on the issue.

In the unlikely event that the world did embrace such a boycott and it gained momentum, I wonder whether it could conceivably affect the Egyptian economy given that the QIZ agreement states that Egyptian companies must use a minimum of 11.7 % of Israeli produce in the goods exported to the US under the tariff-free arrangement. I find it infuriating when free trade purists claim that political and ethical considerations do not enter into their equation and that the global economy is driven solely by supply, demand and profit: agreements such as the QIZ are patently politically motivated, nanny US promising Egypt the pudding of a free trade agreement if she eats all her dinner and plays nicely with Israel, and all the while trying to engineer an artificial rapprochement between the two countries' peoples through the yoke of Egypt's economic dependency on the US. These arrangements are also arguably politically short-sighted despite the economic benefits which accrue from them, exactly because of the government's moral bankruptcy in the face of campaigns such as a boycott of the Israeli economy.

The article's author also makes reference to a global day of action against the Israeli occupation which will take place on the 9th June. Local events are scheduled to take place across the globe but, according to the website, nothing is planned in Egypt. I would like to be take part in anything happening so if anyone knows of any events could they tell me please? Thanks. I would imagine that a protest in any form other than a small gathering of 40 activists and 500 riot police outside the Journalists' Syndicate is pretty much impossible...If I had a giant catapult I would launch medical and food packages into Gaza from Rafah. Failing that any kind of money-raising event should be held, preferably one which is as much a celebration of Palestinian culture as a condemnation of Israel. Like an all day Dabke-thon or something outside a certain embassy on kobry el gama3a.

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