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Meet Bibi Netanyahu's Refusenik Nephew Who Says That Israel Is an Apartheid State

Jonathan Ben-Artzi reveals a perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is completely missing from the discourse in the U.S.

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Obviously, any product that’s made in the occupied territories of course should not even be sold anywhere. That’s clear. That’s like stolen goods to me. With anything else, it’s a complicated question. The answer has to be complicated. Certain things yes, and certain things no.

Divestment I definitely think yes. At Brown, I was involved in various groups that were trying to promote information of the Brown investment funds -- where their money goes. Not just investment that has to do with the Israeli occupation, but also funds that are involved with American firms and illegal activity anywhere around the world.

JH: Some have argued that the occupation is such an integral part of the Israeli economy that it’s almost impossible to disaggregate what is from the occupied territories rather than what is domestic production.

JBA: Even if I agree with that -- and it may be true -- it then becomes very problematic to follow up on that. For example, Microsoft and Intel have some of their biggest facilities in Israel. So are we going to buy any Intel product or Windows?

JH: Right. Not only is the West Bank integrated in the Israeli economy, but then of course we have a global economy.

In that same Christian Science Monitor piece, you wrote, “We must give equal rights to all, regardless of what the final resolution will be. The so-called one-state solution, the two-state solution, or any other form of governance.”

In American public discourse the "one-state solution" is associated with the annihilation of Israel. Of course we effectively have one state, but with a big chunk of the population under occupation. That will remain the case as long as a two-state solution seems out of reach.

I wanted to ask what your views are of the fundamental demographic problem? The fact that, if the projections are right, demographics will eventually force Israel to make a choice between being a Jewish state and a democratic state. What is your view of that?

JBA: Presently, I don’t exactly know or understand how the Israeli leadership is really leading Israel. Certainly if you ask me how I see Israel in 50 years, I don’t see in that geographical area an entity that resembles at all the entity that we have today. I don’t think Israel can survive in its current form. Hopefully, steps will be taken to have some kind of survival of whatever entity that benefits everyone who's there, without too much further bloodshed beyond what we’ve had so far.

That’s what I can hope for. I already have learned not to try and predict anything. You keep being surprised by what happens. Unfortunately, so far we’ve learned that Israel -- with the support of the US and much of Europe -- has been able to maintain the so-called status quo for years now, since 1967. With this so-called peace process from 1991-1993 we’ve been able to keep this situation without it going anywhere very successfully as far as the right or the military establishment is concerned. And at least for the near future, I don’t see how that’s going to change. There were there high hopes from Obama and they completely crashed.

In the end, as per Chomsky’s point, as far as I see it, the US dictates what will happen on behalf of various domestic interests. 

Joshua Holland is Senior Digital Producer at BillMoyers.com, and host of Politics and Reality Radio. He's the author of The 15 Biggest Lies About the Economy. Drop him an email or follow him on Twitter

 
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