1. Boycotts are destructive and divisive. They do not advance peace but only make the parties more inflexible. Efforts to push boycotts divide communities here in the U.S. and result in the vilification of both Israel and the Palestinians.
2. Boycotts undermine hopes for peace. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not simple. It is not black and white. Each side must work with the other if there is ever to be peace. Blaming and penalizing only one side rewards the other. Boycotting Israeli products does not encourage Palestinian leaders to return to negotiations. In fact, it shows them that they do not need to negotiate because others are willing to hurt Israel economically and politically.
3. Boycotting Israeli products does nothing to help the Palestinians improve their lives, begin state building, or develop democratic institutions. It is a call for destructive, not constructive, action. If you want to do something constructive to build opportunities for peace, support efforts and programs that bring Israelis and Palestinians together. Believe in the democratic process buy both Israeli and Palestinian products. Have a Mideast Day, on which each person can vote with his or her purchases. In other words, invest in peaceful coexistence.
4. Arguments supporting boycotts ignore the context of Israel's actions in order to justify penalizing only Israel. Those behind the boycott efforts never mention the ongoing terrorism that Israelis have suffered from, and they never mention groups like Hezbollah and Hamas. They ignore 60 years of terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and ten years of over 10,000 missiles and mortars fired by Hamas from Gaza into Israeli towns and villages.
5. Punishing Israel is hypocritical. Boycott activists were silent when Palestinians launched the suicide bombing campaign that murdered over 1,000 Israeli civilians while they were in pizza restaurants, on school buses, and at dance clubs. Those promoting boycotts against Israel were silent when Hamas launched 10,000 rockets at Israel's southern communities, murdering toddlers and turning everyday life into a lethal game of Russian roulette. They have been silent about Hamas' and Iran's openly announced genocidal goals to destroy Israel.
6. Supporting boycotts against Israel gives cover to and in effect supports the most regressive forces in the region and in the modern world. Boycott activists ally themselves with Hamas and Hezbollah, two of the most repressive, reactionary, fundamentalist religious/political movements. Gays and lesbians are summarily killed. Women have minimal rights and are completely subjugated to the men in their families. There is a complete disconnect between liberal beliefs in human rights, civil rights, women's rights, LGBTQ rights, and democracy and the beliefs promoted by Hamas and Hezbollah.