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The Case for Sanctions Against Israel Paperback – May 2 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Verso (May 2 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844674509
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844674503
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 14.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #28,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ken on Nov. 27 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's always inspiring, when some serious thought, produced from fact, is put out to the public, in an easy to read and understand format. With any luck, this book will make it onto many "best seller" lists, and start to turn the tide on a horror that the Palestinian people have been living through for over sixty years and counting. Let your conscience be your guide...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 10 reviews
39 of 51 people found the following review helpful
Important reading for people interested in ending Israeli oppression Oct. 6 2012
By Adam A. Waterhouse - Published on
Format: Paperback
I would certainly recommend this book for people interested in the logic and rationale of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions as a means of ending Israel's on-going oppression and dispossession of the Palestinians. The book is composed of 26 chapters written by 29 contributors (some of the chapters are co-authored) coming from a broad range of back-grounds. The chapters are self-contained comments by the individual contributors.

Readers wishing to turn straight away to an explanation of the rationale of BDS should read the chapter by Naomi Klein (ch.19) and Ilan Pappe (ch.20) first. Ilan Pappe describes his decision to support BDS as follows:

"For an activist, the realization that change from within is unattainable not only grows from an intellectual or political process, but is more than anything else an admission of defeat. And it was this fear of defeatism that prevented me from adopting a more resolute position for a very long time.... Supporting BDS remains a drastic act for an Israeli peace activist. It excludes one immediately from the consensus and from the accepted discourse in Israel....But there is really no other alternative. Any other option - from indifference, through soft criticism, and up to full endorsement of Israeli policy - is a wilful decision to be an accomplice to crimes against humanity."

John Berger in his two page chapter (ch.21) provides a short but important analysis of how BDS should be understood and explained:

"Boycott is not a principle. When it becomes one, it risks becoming exclusive and racist. No boycott, in our sense of the term, should be directed against an individual, a people, or a nation as such. A boycott is directed against a policy and the institutions that support that policy, either actively or tacitly. Its aim is not to reject, but to bring about change."

I don't think that the importance of clearly understanding this point could be over-stated. It really is essential for BDS activists to be able to understand and communicate this point clearly if BDS is to be successful in bringing about the change in public consciousness that is required.

The book contains two chapter by South African commentators: Ronnie Kasrils (ch.11), a veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle, and Ran Greenstein (ch.16), an academic from Johannesburg, both of which I found particularly powerful. Perhaps the most unusual chapter is written by Marc Ellis (ch.14), a Professor of Jewish studies at Baylor University in Texas. Although he echoes the discredited myth that Israel was faced with an existential threat prior to the 1967 war (or at least fails to clearly debunk it) he does make some interesting points, including drawing a parallel between the criticisms faced by 'Jews of conscience' and the Biblical prophets:

"Like the prophets, Jews of conscience who argue for boycotts, divestment, and sanctions are charged with treason. And, again like the prophets, Jews of conscience are seen as imperilling the security of the State of Israel and of Jews everywhere. Those who call for concrete measures against the policies of the State of Israel, especially after the Holocaust, are seen as blasphemers by the powers that be. But then the prophets were seen in exactly the same way."

My main criticism of this book is that is has no Introduction or Conclusion and so the reader is left to their own devises to try to pull together the themes of the various chapters into a coherent whole. This strikes me as an omission, and is certainly something that I would have appreciated as a reader. I would agree with the other four star reviewer that there is scope for more writing on this subject, and a more broad-ranging analysis of the tactic of BDS than we have been presented with yet.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Naomi Klein nails it June 24 2014
By Michael T. Rabb - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
With the continued outrageous behavior by Israel and the daily atrocities committed against the people of Palestine, this book should be required reading by all members of Congress: Sanction the Jewish State
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
An important anthology of political intellectuals discussing a political scandal of our times June 13 2014
By German Reader - Published on
Format: Paperback
The volume combines 29 authors with very different backgrounds that see in "Sanctions Against Israel" the essential way out of the middle-east peace process-deadlock that favored so far over the last three decades Israel's politics of occupation and ever new settlements. I do not agree with all of the contributor's opinions but many of the arguments for Sanctions presented in the book are convincing. I hope the book provokes a change in the political consciousness of an enlightened public especially in Europe. It definitely is a great anthology of political intellectuals discussing a political scandal of our times.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
not before time May 29 2014
By BornFree - Published on
Format: Paperback
its about time that someone had the courage to speak out against this apartheid state that has systematically abused maimed and slaughtered the Palestinians not only that but it has ignored more than 4 dozen UN resolutions this book is well written and features not one voice but many .............
25 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Not a bad introduction to BDS April 26 2012
By Christopher M. Whitman Jr. - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I will keep this as non-political as possible. I picked up the book because I have read many of the authors and although I am not particularly interested in BDS, I am actively involved in the Israel-Palestine issue, so I decided to get it. It has the usual authors about BDS giving short 2-10 page writings about various aspects of BDS. There is much overlap, especially about what they consider successes, and much about what boycott entails. I wish the book was formulated to giving compare and contrast arguments from various authors on the conflict, to give a broader spectrum of opinion on the matter. The book reads more like a hooray for BDS than anything else. There are a few noteworthy articles (about 35 total articles) and some that is hard to understand why they are in there. If you do not know much about BDS, it is a better choice than Omar Barghouthi's 300 page editorial turned into a book "BDS" but it still falls short of what should be written. If you want a hooray for BDS book, this is a good book for you. If you want a critical analysis of BDS, unfortunately this book is not for you, the only counter arguments, left and right, are the authors' interpretations of various arguments.
Hope this review helps, please don't waste time posting comments about BDS itself, this review is about the book, I honestly don't care to have some BDS debate on my review. Thanks

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