Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Peratis and Kulick's Propaganda Paralysis:
With Progressive Zionists Like These, Who Needs Likudniks?

On November 11, an event entitled "Jewish Perspectives on the Boycott/Divestment/Sanctions Movement" was held at the Church of Gethsemane in Park Slope, Brooklyn. It featured four speakers, all of whom self-identify as Jewish, debating the effectiveness of the BDS campaign in the struggle for resolving the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Rather than post a review of the event, which I attended, and which Rob Buchanan covered in his Mondoweiss overview of the panel discussion, I have limited my reactions to a number of truly erroneous, and thereby substantially revealing, comments made by both anti-BDS participants Kathleen Peratis and Gil Kulick during their presentations and in the subsequent Q&A.

Although both Peratis and Kulick made sure to distance their own comments from the officially advocated policies of J Street, it was clear that their own beliefs echo those of the organization exactly. Whereas both Jewish Voice for Peace's Rebecca Vilkomerson and Adalah's Hannah Mermelstein approach the Israel/Palestine issue as one of righting an historic injustice that continues unabated in violation of basic human rights and international law, both Peratis and Kulick view a Jewish state of Israel as historic triumph, legitimate in its concept and inception. To them, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, the dispossession, displacement, and disenfranchisement of an indigenous people from their homeland at gunpoint by a colonial settler movement is not worthy of scrutiny or reevaluation, let alone redress and compensation.