:The following speech was given by my Mother at a meeting the our local Olympia food co-op which has decided to stop carrying certain Israeli product as part of the BSD movement. To learn more about both the BDS movement and the role Olympia is playing in that movement follow the links in my previous post.
Hello. I'm Ruth Lipow, an 88 year old Jewish co-op member here to speak in favor of the Co-op's Boycott to help support Palestinian rights as part of a long co-op tradition of honoring such boycotts.
I know some opponents of B.D.S. have special names they call Jews who support B.D.S., but names are not new to me. I was called names when I opposed selling scrap metal to Japan before WWII, the same scrap metal that later rained on Pearl Harbor. I was called names for circulating petitions in support of the nuclear test ban treaty that helps keep strontium 5 out of our milk today. I won't tell you the names I was called for supporting integration and civil right back when New York Times editorials called that an "extremist" position. I was called names for opposing the Vietnam War. I was called names for supporting B.D.S. against South African Apartheid, for opposing the Iraq war, and for advocating a pullout from Afghanistan.
B.D.S. is a way to non-violently oppose the torment Palestinians are subjected to. The siege of Gaza (which has not ended in spite of the change in rhetoric) produces a rate of infant death comparable to that of the poorest nations of Africa. Pregnant West Bank Palestinian women end up delivering their babies at checkpoints because Israeli soldiers won't let them through to hospitals. And, though the main victims of this are Palestinians, the rot from being an occupying power has spread throughout Israel.
Roving Israeli gangs harass and intimidate couples that consist of Arab men dating Jewish women, as though they lived in the old Jim Crow South. Israel's long standing tolerance of ultra-orthodox vigilantes violently enforcing modesty codes now extends out of ultra-orthodox neighborhoods. Wires are strung and used to trip women showing more cleavage or leg than these ultra-orthodox approve of even on secular streets. I hope everyone here cares about Palestinian rights. But even if that is not a priority to you, consider this: If you had a friend who had become an alcoholic, would you gift them with bottles of whiskey? Or would you join with their other friends who staged an intervention and told them they had a problem. Much of Israel has an addiction to racism. Much of Israel has an addiction to oppression. Much of Israel has an addiction to violence. And if you care about Israel's survival you will join in this non-violent B.D.S. campaign both to
support Palestinian human rights and also to save Israel from itself.
Harassment of couples:
Official municipal program against Arab men dating Jewish women:
Trip wires for women in secular parts of Israel not meeting orthodox modesty standards: Hollaback Israel which will go live August 19th.
Can put anyone who has a good reason why that is not soon in touch enough with founder of Hollaback Israel which goes lives August 19th 2010.
Hollaback is a feminist movement encouraging women to fight back against street harassers in various ways, especially through digital and social media.