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Monday, March 5, 2007
Divesting from Peace
By Fred Taub
The Divest-From-Israel campaign is being pushed on campuses with a promise to bring peace to the Middle East, yet the Arab leadership of the campaign looks at it differently. In their eyes, the real goal of the campaign is not to foster peace between Arabs and Israelis as claimed, but rather to destroy Israel by collapsing its economy.

With roots dating back to 1921, the Arab boycott of Israel was officially declared in 1945 to literally starve out the Jews almost four years before Israel was even established. Hatred of Jews was the unifying factor which resulted in the formation of the Arab League, which runs the boycott as official government policy of its member states plus the non-state member Palestinian Authority.

During the Oslo Accords negotiations for a proposed Palestinian state, Francis Boyle, an American professor from Indiana, was working as a consultant to the Palestinian Authority's negotiating team when he publicly proposed what he termed "a divestment campaign against Israel." As a consultant to Yassir Arafat, Boyle furthered the Arab boycott of Israel by specifically trying to draw students into creating a group of small campaigns on campuses to get universities to not do business with Israel. Boyle suggested that while a single campus campaign would have little effect, having many campuses adopt the campaign would increase the impact of the overall campaign.

The Arab League has set the goal of the Arab boycott of Israel to be nothing less than the complete destruction of Israel, thus there is no reason to expect anything less from its subordinate divest-from-Israel campaign which is not scheduled to end with the creation of a proposed Palestinian state. The divest-from-Israel campaign is simply designed as a way to invigorate the Arab boycott of Israel via recruiting non-Arab peace activists under false pretense - promoting warfare, including economic warfare, is by definition is the antithesis of peace.

Like the 80's campus campaign which successfully created an adult population that accepted the notion of a Palestinian state, the desired results of the divest-from-Israel campaign is the collapse of Israel's economy. If the Arab League and their supporters accomplish that goal, the next anti-Israel campaign will be the call for the dismantlement of Israel.

Divestment's primary advocating body is the "International Solidarity Movement/Palestinian Solidarity Movement" which officially recognizes the validity of "armed struggle" on page 20 of its own book 'Peace Under Fire'. "Armed struggle" is what terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian Authority's own Fatah and Al-Asqa Martyrs Brigade terrorist groups call terrorism to justify the murder of innocent men, women and children. The divest-from-Israel campaign cannot, therefore, be separated from the murderous terrorism because the campaign organizers openly support and advocate terrorism as evidenced by their own words in their official campaign book.

Historically, boycotts have never resulted in peace. Additionally, economic cooperation is fundamental to peace, but divestment proponents will not tell you that. When the U.S. and France had a disagreement over Iraq, it was economic reliance which kept the two nations as friends. The friendship between the U.S. and Canada has only grown because of open trade. Israel and Jordan too have peace which is also completely based on open trade. Divestment would end the growing peace between Israel and Jordan, something neither county can afford. Thus, if the entire Arab world had trade with Israel, no nations in the Middle East could afford to go to war with each other. Divestment is clearly anti-peace.

Challenging the Arab boycott of Israel should not be undertaken just protect Israel. The divest-from-Israel campaign as an element of the greater and official Arab League boycott of Israel has the goal of imposing the foreign policy of foreign countries on the U.S. This is precisely the reason the U.S. established anti-boycott laws.

In creating the Export Administration Amendments of 1977, the United States Congress stated that no foreign nation may impose their foreign policy on the U.S. therefore no U.S. persons may engage in official boycotts of foreign nations aimed at nations friendly to the U.S. Yet that is exactly what the divest-from-Israel campaign is - the Arab League's foreign policy of boycotting Israel being imposed on and in the US. This demonstrates the contempt the Arab Leagues feels toward the United States and our Congress.

Foreign countries are using Americans as pawns to dictate Arab foreign policy on the U.S. in the form of the Arab boycott of Israel and its subordinate divest-from-Israel campaign. Additionally, while divest-from-Israel advocate's claims they will bring peace, the divestment, boycotts and sanctions they champion will only divide. History has clearly shown that economic cooperation is the pathway to peace. It is clear that divesting from Israel is actually divesting from Peace.

Fred Taub is a boycott consultant and is the President of Boycott Watch (www.boycottwatch.org) which monitors and reports about consumer boycotts, and Divestment Watch (www.divestmentwatch.com) which exposed the illegal nature of the divest-from-Israel campaign as well as why divestment is bad for the US and is anti-peace.
© 2007 Divestment Watch