Debate on ABC Radio National: Is boycotting Israel ethical or anti-Semitic?

Is boycotting Israel ethical or anti-Semitic?

Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week appointed a minister to fight the growing campaign for the boycott, divestment and sanctions against his country. The campaign says it aims to pressure Israel to leave the occupied West Bank territories. But is there another agenda? And, as critics allege, is it anti-Semitic? A new book by authors Philip Mendes and Nick Dyrenfurth called Boycotting Israel is Wrong argues another path for Israelis and Palestinians. Nick Dyrenfurth debates the issue with Professor Peter Slezak, a philosopher at the University of New South Wales and advocate for the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign.


Associate Professor Peter Slezak PhD
Philosopher, University of New South Wales; executive member, Australia-Palestine Advocacy Network
Dr Nick Dyrenfurth
Co-author (with Philip Mendes), Boycotting Israel is Wrong: The Progressive Path to Peace Between Palestinians and Israelis, New South (2015)

One comment

  1. Philip Mendes

    I finally got round to listening to Nick’s debate with BDS advocate Peter Slezak on ABC Radio which was replayed today – Nick clearly won the debate hands down by emphasizing the need to move past both the Greater Palestine and Greater Israel agendas to find some half-way compromise. Peter Slezak in contrast stuck to his black and white Collingwood vs Carlton view of the conflict, and made a number of totally inaccurate claims – that the BDS movement does not attack individuals (he must have missed the boycott of Dan Avnon), that the peace process is a fraud solely because Israeli Governments have moved to the Right (he must have missed the four years of Palestinian suicide bombings), and that the Right of Return is enshrined in international law (he must be unaware that this was a non-binding UN Resolution conditional on the Palestinians and Arab states accepting Israel and negotiating peace in 1948 which is 67 years ago). Just as I got totally irritated with conservative Jews telling me prior to 1993 and some even up to today that Israel is perfect and the Palestinians are totally to blame so I get totally fed up with pro-Palestinian lobbyists claiming the Palestinians have no agency. Come on and get real, it takes two to tango.

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