By opposing direct action, the older generation is arguing that government must take the lead through a peace process that so far has resulted in little more than further Israeli colonization. "I find boycotts kind of distasteful. It's a little bit like collective punishment," says Ralph Seliger, long associated with Meretz USA, a left Zionist organization. "That probably wouldn't be very emotionally satisfying to someone who was upset about the issue. But I think it's part of growing up to understand that the world is not here to give you emotional satisfaction, and in this issue there is both complexity and perplexity, and you need to learn as much as you can, and be receptive to all sides, and be discerning."I directed him to Ron Skolnik's article on BDS in ISRAEL HORIZONS. This is how Ron's view is reported:
In the end many in Israel, and its supporters in the United States, return to the fear that BDS is advancing the likelihood of the dissolution of the Jewish state—the delegitimization issue. "The BDS movement seems dominated by those whose endgame is one state, not two," Meretz USA executive director Ron Skolnik wrote in Israel Horizons, a liberal Zionist publication. The movement "apparently wishes to build on legitimate international opposition to the 1967 occupation in order to undermine Israel's independent existence."The following longer quote is what Weiss previously had indicated would be in their article, but must have been displaced by a last-minute mention of the flotilla incident (his questions are in bold; I add in italics my clarification of some points here):
I [Ralph Seliger] have said that the Uri Avnery Gush Shalom approach is less problematic—I could respect people who on a principled basis boycott products from the West Bank. And I also think they’re aware of the slippery slope issue [that BDS could lead to Israel being demonized], that the orientation of the boycott movement is one-sided.
Myself, I wouldn’t condemn it [boycott of West Bank settler products], and I wouldn’t support it. I find boycotts kind of distasteful. It’s a little bit like collective punishment.
What about Caterpillar? [a company that sells bulldozers to Israel]
I don’t even know that that’s being fair to Caterpillar. They’re doing business, but it’s not like they’re advocating occupation.
And as for wines from Golan?
Some people would not want to buy that wine. I wouldn’t feel that way because I think the Golan Heights issue is different than the West Bank.
What do you tell young people who want to feel they’re making a difference?
It isn’t boycott, it’s more engagement that you need. The United States should be more engaged in finding a solution and we should be more engaged in reaching out to all sides.
That probably wouldn’t be very emotionally satisfying to someone who was upset about the issue. But I think it’s part of growing up to understand that the world is not here to give you emotional satisfaction, and in this issue there is both complexity and perplexity, and you need to learn as much as you can, and be receptive to all sides, and be discerning.