Monday, January 12, 2009

THE BIG BOYCOTT

As the world sits back and watches life go by (and the news on tv every evening), some very real people are fearing for their lives, living amidst bombings and gunfires as they fight to keep the land each group thinks is likely theirs.

Ever since I became aware of what was happening in the news (around the age of 8), nightmarish tales of the fight that is ongoing in the Gaza strip has always been there, from the time Yasser Arafat and his missions to negotiate peace right until his death, and up till now. And with all the nations surrounding it, some strong, some weak, taking sides with perhaps the group they think ought to live there, or based on ideology and political interests, it is a wonder that the conflict has never ended even after all this while. I can't help wondering why, and yet I can't seem to think of any reason, or how anyone can make things better. This is probably one situation where the phrase 'make peace and not war' will fall on deaf ears.

In light of the latest series of blasts and bombings that are occuring, there was a call by a certain former important person and a few quarters to boycott Israeli and American products, which I personally think doesn't and cannot do anything to help the situation in Gaza. Firstly, seeing that my country does not even recognize Israel as a sovereign state (Our International passports allow us to go anywhere in the world except Israel), it is natural that there exists no trade between the two countries, and therefore I see that the call for the boycott serves no purpose. Secondly, what does the United States have to do anything with this (except allegedly being Israel's strongest supporter)? Of course there were some of the foreign policies made by the US under the Bush administration which was not very smart - especially the one on Afghanistan. But if you're going to boycott their goods, their currency and their economy, it will only make the American people suffer, some of whom are friends which is almost as bad as bombing a school full of kids because one of the kids parents was a war criminal, for instance. It's always the people who suffer due to the actions of their governments and despite how much the governments hate each other, the people on the street (well, not ON the streets, but you get what I mean) are mostly nice. The politicians are not going to suffer, except maybe for a vote of no confidence, but how often does that happen? The politicians are most probably rich enough to sit back and sip martinis on a Sunday afternoon.


My faith in the intelligence of the Malaysian politicians returned after the chief minister of the state I live in said that the boycott is pointless, one reason being with the globalisation which has enveloped our world, lots of so called American products are also produced elsewhere, some even here, which in turn will have some sort of effect in so many different ways. But then, he is from the opposition and was voted for the plain and simple reason that we needed some changes.

I can't offer a solution to the conflict which is going on because so many people have tried so many different things and nothing seems to have worked so far, but I do hope that it ends soon, amicably, peacefully and that the peace lasts for a long time. There is already too much blood soaking the land.

7 comments:

  1. It all makes you feel very lucky to be living in the saftey of your own country's problems.

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  2. I feel quite differently about a boycott of Israeli goods. Probably because there are some actually available in my country!! At the moment Israel is engaged in a preferential trade agreement with the EU and a single foreign minister from an EU country can put a stop to this. I think that the EU should hold the trade agreement, and only enter into it on condition that Israel stop the wanton and deliberate killing of Palestinian civilians, and put an end to to systematic oppression of those living in Gaza.

    The US has a huge role to play in this conflict. Without the support of the US the state of Israel would not exist. The US seem to have given Israel carte blanche on their actions. I don't think a boycott of American goods would do any good. Much better to get involved in human rights organisations. But I won't be buying Israeli goods myself and I will push my representatives to do what they can economically to stop this terrible conflict.

    it probably won't make much of a difference, but I think it's worth a try.

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  3. I can't say that I have noticed many products marked with "Made in Israel." And of course, it would be counter-productive for me to boycott American made products since there are other issues attached to that including the mass outsourcing of manufaturing here and the related decline in jobs. I just don't knw that that is the answer. It's a complicated issue.

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  4. It seems fundamentally wrong to me that Israelis' are comprised largely of holocaust or descendants of holocaust survivors, yet see fit to visit the same inhumanity on a population. I was recently called an anti-semite for voicing my opposition to what is going on to which I replied "I am not an anti-semite, I am an anti-zionist". It is funny how Hamas is frequently referred to as a gang of terrorists when the Irgun and the Haganah were guilty of the same actions when "blackmailing" the British Empire in the 30's and 40's. From a religious standpoint the Israelis' haven't got a leg to stand on. Their belief that they are the "chosen" people reclaiming the "chosen land" goes up in smoke when you consider that this is all based on their "covenant" with God. That pact was embodied by the much vaunted "Ark of the Covenant". As far as I am concerned I will continue to oppose Israels' actions until they produce the Ark. Sounds crazy but if you are going to make a religious argument, I expect to have some religious proof.

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  5. Orhan: Exactly.... :)

    Aunty: Thank you so much for the insight into how it is in the EU. I had no idea. And I agree with the call to move on human rights actions.

    Citizen: Yes, very complicated, indeed.

    Cyberfish: Maybe the holocaust has made them numb towards all feelings. Nevertheless, claiming a land is religious and warring for it seems very wrong, and yet it happens everywhere. I like your argument about the Ark...

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  6. just a simple statement and that restored your faith? i think it was just a statement to the nemesis.

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  7. That could be the case, but I think the S'gor MB is alright. In my books, anyway.

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