UC Divestment: Enough Already!

It will come as no surprise (at least to those of us who follow BDS’s constant noise and trouncing) to hear that attempts to resurrect the dead dog of divestment flopped again at UC San Diego last night.

Efforts to modify the original divestment bill to make it actually be about human rights unsurprisingly failed, since real human rights issues are the last things those proposing the original divestment bill had in mind. When attempts were made to try to breathe life into the original condemnation of Israel masquerading as a human rights proposal, student government chambers once again became sites for wrenching personal testimonials, accusations, and (as ever) sneers hurled at those who dared not toe the BDS party line. And once again, divestment went down to defeat.

As much as I enjoy typing that last sentence again and again, it must be becoming a real pain for students attending UC San Diego or UC Berkeley (not to mention the other places the BDS circus has tried to pitch its tents) to have to deal with this kind of tripe again and again. Given that the divestment cru was willing to accept the one vote that temporarily went in their favor at Berkeley and transmit it as a victory of historic proportions within seconds of it having been cast, it’s not clear why they seem so unable to take any of the many no votes they’ve been receiving over the last several weeks (or years, depending on how you’re measuring) as the final answer.

Actually, I’m wrong. It’s completely clear why they behave that way.

For starters, having been on the losing end of a decade worth of votes, the notion of being kicked down the stairs at places like Berkeley must be particularly galling for divestment advocates.

And let’s not forget the theater/fantasy factor. Remember that each of these votes has been accompanied by long (sometimes all-night) meetings where BDSers are allowed to take the stage, presenting their fact-free, emotional cases (complete with bloody photos and accusations of racism directed against their critics) before a captive audience.

Having sat through similar meetings in the past, you can almost feel an erotic energy emanating from the mobs of people who show up from campus and far beyond to take part in such events. In fact, it’s beginning to seem that the purpose behind the latest BDS projects is to create occasions for new performances of this type, politics be damned. In other words, rather than being about the university or the Middle East, in these debates UC students (as well as Israelis and even Palestinians) are simply props the boycotters are using in their own psychodramas. Inside this fantasy world, the boycotters are demonstrating their own virtue, courage and wit regardless of the fact that back here on earth the only thing on display is their ability to act like noisy, hypocritical doofuses.

Finally, there is the rank hostility directed at anyone who dares present a differing opinion. Along with the usual jeers and catcalls directed at Israel supporters, Berkeley’s latest debate featured something new, but typical. When the debate was organized to alternate between supporters and opponents of divestment based on people signing up to represent their position on two separate lists, BDS advocates immediately signed up on both lists so they could dominate the conversation, demonstrating both their maturity and commitment to fair play.

Why behave in such an absurd fashion? Well at California universities, particularly this year, the answer seems to be that the anti-Israel crowd is completely certain that it owns the campus. And anyone who dares say otherwise (by holding an event or an opinion that opposes the sacred anti-Israel cause) must be chased from the land by manipulation, shouting or (in a trend likely to accelerate next year) violence.

My hats off to the students who have successfully turned back these divestment efforts again and again, both for winning and for keeping their cool in the face of constant provocation. As long as the BDSers and their allies insist on making every campus in America a war zone, it’s good to know that those opposed to their efforts have what it takes to win the battle they never wanted. (Sound familiar?)

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7 Responses to UC Divestment: Enough Already!

  1. Anonymous May 7, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

    The BDS traveling circus and emporium will be in Stanford this week.

    Sigh…..

  2. Jon May 7, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    One more butt kick, coming up!

  3. Anonymous May 8, 2010 at 12:34 am #

    Re: Stanford
    The enemies of Israel do seem to be learning from their mistakes- its almost as if there were an intelligent life force behind BDS. Almost

    At Stanford, they call their divestment bill “Campaign: Restore Hope”
    (yes, I'm gagging too.)

    Various articles here:

    http://www.stanforddaily.com/

  4. Jon May 8, 2010 at 12:51 am #

    I'm not sure how intelligent it is to continue to treat UC students like a bunch of idiots.

    Do the BDSers really think that student leaders at Stanford are going to ignore what's happened at Berkeley and San Diego over the last two weeks just because the boycotters are dressing up their dead and rotting pig in an expensive two-piece bathing suit? Are they hoping that California college students in 2010 have never heard of the Internet?

    Spread the word: Just like the rest of the world that's been giving BDS the finger for a decade, California student government says NO to divestment

  5. Anonymous May 8, 2010 at 9:40 am #

    I don't get it, are they actually students, or do they just enroll in a class or two and spend the rest of their time focusing on jihad?

  6. Anonymous May 8, 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    I don't get it, are they actually students, or do they just enroll in a class or two and spend the rest of their time focusing on jihad?

    Many of us wonder, too.

    At UC Berkeley, there are students who have graduated, and have returned to take one class a semester- and spend the rest of their time organizing anti-Israel activities.

  7. Anonymous May 11, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    From the Stanford Daily: Not as satisfying as a butt kick, but it'll do…..

    Leaders of Campaign Restore Hope (CRH), a campus campaign to lobby the University to divest from certain companies in Israel that they say contribute to human rights violations, have announced they will no longer seek to urge divestment through an ASSU Undergraduate Senate bill.

    “Going through the Senate led to too much emotional backlash, so we changed direction,” said CRH organizer Fadi Quran ‘10, who called the backlash the “only real hindrance” that CRH’s efforts faced.

    Senate Chair Varun Sivaram ‘11 said the timing of the Senate transition would also have posed an obstacle.

    “If CRH had wanted to get a bill introduced, it’d have to have gotten to me by now, or else it’s too late,” Sivaram said. “Next week is transition week, and I won’t introduce a bill then.”

    Instead, CRH will redirect some of its efforts toward collaborative events with Invest for Peace (IFP), a student coalition with ties to Stanford Israel Alliance (SIA) whose campaign encourages students to support on-the-ground relief work in the region.

    “Campaign Restore Hope’s movement is still going forward,” Quran said. “The only new difference is that we are not going to pursue divestment through the Senate.”

    Quran said the Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility & Licensing (APIR-L) last Thursday confirmed to CRH that Stanford was not invested in any of the four companies that CRH named in a petition circled around campus early last week.

    The two campaigns say they will host three joint events in the next two weeks. According to IFP organizer Yishai Kabaker ’10, Quran will speak about his perspective as a Palestinian on May 16; an Israeli student still to be determined will speak on May 17. On May 24, Quran and Kabaker will give a joint discussion and debate on policy and advocacy, according to Joe Gettinger ‘11.

    Gettinger, the former president of the Jewish Student Association, said he has a “longstanding” relationship with Quran and encouraged the collaboration.

    “By CRH changing their tack in not pushing for a Senate campaign, it really in a lot of ways opens a lot of this communication,” Gettinger said.

    “One thing I think tends to be lacking on campus when these things come up is sincere listening< \p>–< \p>sincere, active, open listening,” something he hopes to see in the upcoming events, he added.

    “It’s much better if we can use our space and our distance [from the Middle East] to try to address these issues,” Gettinger said.

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