Israel: it's about time we boycotted boycottsThe German sociologist August Bebel once coined the phrase the 'socialism of fools', it was aimed at academics and radical activists who tried to put a positive spin on their anti-Semitic politics. Ok, I admit that the likes of Jacqueline Rose is not your traditional, old school anti-Semite, but her tendency to promote undemocratic and other highly dubious ideas like academic boycotts of Israel, all in the name of ‘solidarity’ for the Palestinian people looks, in mine eye, just as foolish.
If you ask me, the Middle East has seen enough Western meddling in its internal affairs. It has been nearly 200 years of Western intervention that has turned that area of the globe into the bloody mess that it is today. And here it is again, Rose, an academic Western do-gooder, demanding boycotts, sanctions and other such interferences for the sake of the Palestinians. These demands will not help the plight of the Palestinian peoples, nor will it bring peace and stability to the region, but it will surely pave the way for more intrusive Western intervention in the area, for the foreseeable future.
To me, in the first place, radical politics should be about the defence of human and democratic rights. Today however, Rose’s form of primitive radicalism seeks to condone Western imperialist interventions, whether it be economic or military sanctions or academic and cultural boycotts,– either way, Rose invites more foreign interference in the region.
Besides, Rose's solution to the problems of Israel and Palestine are non-starters. She has no progressive alternative for the Middle East. All Rose has is an over inflated sense of self-indulgence; she demonstrates perfectly the West'’s current obsession with the culture of victimhood. Surely, if Israel was as terrible as Rose makes out, and if Palestinians are the 'victims of victims’ and the ‘new Jews’, why does she not go to the West Bank and lie in the path of an Israeli tank? Of course, that is not the type of 'mess' that Rose had in mind. If she did that, I would have some respect for her, because there cannot be any reason to endorse the politics of highbrow primitivism, or as Bebel put it 'the socialism of fools'. The people of Palestine deserve much, much better.