How to stop Israel

November 19, 2012

With the latest cycle of violence in Gaza thoughts naturally turn once again to the important question of how to bring an end to Israeli aggression, the Israeli stranglehold on Gaza, and the illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories. There is obviously no realistic military solution to this problem, and a diplomatic settlement is virtually impossible given the position of the U.S. government, which would veto any attempt of the UN security council to constrain or even criticize Israel.

One alternative approach is for people of conscience from around the world to put pressure on the Israeli government by boycotting goods and services coming from Israeli companies and institutions (the BDS movement). An even more specific boycotting campaign targeting foreign companies profiting off of the construction of illegal Israeli settlements was recently proposed by Richard Falk, United Nations Special Rapporteur for human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. While these campaigns may have nobles ends and means, one major drawback is their speed and efficiency. In order for these boycotts to be effective, they must be supported by large segments of the public in the West. Even under ideal circumstances, getting this support would require time and significant human and material resources. But the circumstances are far from ideal and the task of mobilizing public support for the Palestinian cause is made all the more difficult by well-funded public relations campaigns carried out by pro-Israel groups like AIPAC, which works tirelessly to silence and marginalize the critics of Israel. 

But the clever folks of Anonymous have recently introduced a brand new method for attempting to influence Israeli government policy: they have begun a cyber campaign targeting Israeli government websites. According to this RT news piece, Anonymous recently hacked over 700 hundred Israeli websites, including the Bank of Jerusalem, the Israeli Defence Ministry, the IDF blog, and the President’s official website. Most of the sites remain down. And just yesterday (November 18, 2012), the group exposed the names, ID numbers and personal emails of 5,000 Israeli officials. It remains to be seen what positive change Anonymous can bring about, but they have already succeeded in turning attention to a whole new approach to dealing with Israeli aggression. They raise an interesting question: could hactivists succeed where activists and diplomats have failed?

Here’s more from CNN on the Anonymous’ attack on Israeli websites. 


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