This is a cross-post by Steve Hynd
The ‘Stop the war coalition’ ran a blog a couple of days ago entitled:
I have left this headline in bold because I figure if people misinterpret what the actual article says from this ridiculous headline then so be it – it is their fault for putting such a stupid headline up in the first place.
You see, by going ‘to war with Israel’ what they actually meant was (and again I quote) ‘a legitimacy war’ with Israel. Crystal clear? No not exactly.
By legitimacy war (you find out deep into the quite long article) what they actually meant was a grass-roots movement involving the BDS campaign against interaction with Israeli settlements (that are illegal under IHL).
It takes quite a dedicated reader though to get to the last few paragraphs of this article where it finally explains what it means by ‘war’ and then ‘legitimacy war’. Most people will come away from this article thinking one of two things:
1) Stop the war now backs a one off war against Israel
2) Stop the war now wants a ‘peaceful war’ against Israel’s legitimacy (right to exist).
To put this into a little context, the biggest gripe that most people who are broadly pro-Israel has with the BDS movement is that they feel it sometimes calls into question Israel’s legitimacy. It’s right to exist. This fear is based on a real danger. There are those who would gladly see the state of Israel disappear of maps altogether.
It is curious then that this article decides to refer to BDS as a ‘legitimacy war’.
Is this sloppy language or purposeful provocation?
Even for those who bothered to skip down to the conclusion would have been met with the phrase:
“It is important that world public opinion reject as meaningless the diplomatic charade of peace talks while the fate of a people continues to be daily sacrificed on the altar of geopolitics.
They must be able to see how this would be interpreted can’t they? It sounds like a justification for walking away from peaceful negotiations and to resort to other means.
As I say, reading the article I couldn’t decide if the language was just sloppy or a purposeful provocation.
That was until I got to the very bottom and saw the author.
Richard Falk, professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University, was, from 2008 to 2014, United Nations Special Rapporteur on “the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967.”
I can’t believe that he would have been unaware of the context I have described or the consequences of his words. Which, worryingly, leads me to the only conclusion I can see available – it was a form of purposeful provocation.