Press TV has conducted an interview with Blaine Coleman, a Palestine human rights activist from Detroit, about international condemnations of Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Certain countries attending this OIC conference have been very vocal about what’s going on in the occupied territories and condemnations obviously come from many different corners – from the US president, from the EU, the Quartet, you name it – but when it comes to facts on the ground things don’t really change.
Coleman: Exactly, I mean, listen! Occupied territories means all of Israel. Every inch of Israel is occupied territory and even Moshe Dayan admitted that publically. OK, so is this settlement only boycott really the best they can do after all these massacres, really?
I mean, did the settlements bomb Gaza two years ago? No, Israel bombed Gaza. Did the settlements train SAVAK? No, Israel and the United States trained SAVAK. Did the settlements support Apartheid South Africa with massive aid for so many years? No, Israel supported Apartheid South Africa.
So, of course you want to boycott Israel not just only boycott the settlements, that’s my opinion.
Press TV: How much do you think the US had to do with Israel getting away with what it is currently in the occupied territories?
Coleman: The US had everything to do with it. The US not only gives gigantic amounts of military aid and economic aid, the US gives gigantic political support, diplomatic support and every other kind of support to Israel.
However, you can break all of that with a bunch of campus boycotts in the United States especially. Last night we saw a resolution at Vassar College in New York approved by the student government in favor of divestment and boycotts against Israel.
If you multiple that out over a hundred campuses in the United States Israel would fall. This is a kind of boycott I would like to see happen all over the US, Europe and elsewhere. These little paper resolutions by organization of whatever it is, they’re nice, I’m glad to have any kind of boycott, but a paper resolution is not enough especially so limited to only settlements.
Press TV: When you say that if a hundred universities did what Vassar Collage did and Israel would fall, how would that happen?
Coleman: The way would happen as it will change the whole atmosphere in the United States, politically you would be able to discuss the massacres that Israel commits, politically you would have a shutdown of aid and trade and diplomatic relations to Israel.
We saw that happen basically with Apartheid South Africa, Reagan was president and there was no way. Reagan was going to downgrade relations with South Africa, but guess what, it happened, because there were huge movements across the United States for boycotting South Africa.
This is what you will see happen against Israel if the students will just wake up on US campuses and other campuses.
Press TV: And finally and quickly, you have the US presidential elections obviously happening there in the states. Do you see any change for whoever gets elected in the way that Israel is exercising itself in the occupied territories?
Coleman: No, personally I vote with my feet. I don’t vote for these politicians, because all of them support Israel. I vote by marching, I vote by speaking at student governments for boycott, I vote by speaking at city councils for boycott resolutions against Israel. That’s how I vote. And again if you have a few thousand students doing that kind of voting, yelling for boycott, everything will change.