BDS State of the Union

An interesting comprehensive write up of what the BDSers themselves think about the state of their movement was published recently by Australians for Palestine. I’ll likely have more to say about their self analysis in the weeks that follow, although allow a few initial observations:

* Interestingly, outside of the US the BDSers seem to have no problem linking their project with the anti-Israel boycotts that began before the creation of the Jewish state (although they only go back as far as 1936, when Arab boycotts of Jewish businesses can be traced back to the 1920s). Since complying with the Arab boycott is illegal in the US, American boycott/divestment activists have never tried to make this connection, and while (for reasons outlined here) no one in the US has perused a legal strategy against BDS, it’s interesting to see that significant parts of the “movement” consider themselves the heirs of the dubious Arab-boycott legacy.

* Like most lists of BDS successes, this one is packed with fiascos masquerading as triumphs. For example, the Presbyterian Church’s rejection of BDS by a margin of 95%-5% is described egregiously (and hilariously) dishonesty as: “in 2006, the US Presbyterian Church urged various companies, including Caterpillar, ITT, Motorola, and others to invest in West Bank and Gaza companies;”

* On a less amusing note, the number of individuals and organizations that the article lists who are involved with pushing BDS around the world is no laughing matter. While it’s important to point out that ten years of effort by such a hoard has led only to a few paltry, quickly reversed “victories” (highlighting the objective fact that BDS is a bit of a loser), the number of people committed to this effort means that eternal vigilance remains the order of the day.

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