I Owe it all to Ron – 3

“Who is Ron?” at least one reader asked, regarding the title of this series on the rise, fall and ongoing self-indulgence of the Once-Called (but now named something else) Somerville Divestment Project (SDP).

Actually, Ron Francis was the name of the guy who headed the Somerville BDS group during their oh-for-three season between 2004-2006. Interestingly, the success of their incomprehensible 2008 ballot question only came about after Francis moved to California and the rump “movement” was led by someone called John Spritzler, an aging revolutionary wannabe whose 9000-word campaign handouts would only make sense to those experienced in reading the tracts of obscure Marxist sects of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Which may explain an observation a fellow veteran of the Somerville BDS wars made that in 2008 the Divestment Project actually won a smaller percentage in the town they campaigned in (Somerville) vs. the one they did not (Cambridge). In other words, the more people were exposed to the membership, tactics, and true nature of SDP (which included those aforementioned 9000-word screeds), the less they were interested in what they had to sell.

Which may explain why this year’s ballot questions have been accompanied by almost zero campaigning from any side. I’ve already mentioned why the local Jewish community is giving the whole matter a pass (given that the results will soon be just as forgotten as those of similar non-binding ballot measures targeting Israel in the 1990s). But why are the BDSers themselves not bothering to tell the voters that they exist?

Despite claims that their “victory” in 2008 was of historic proportions, truth be told the only phenomenon I can discern is that Boston’s franchise of Israel-hating reactionaries has discovered some trick wording that allows them to pretend they are campaigning for basic human rights during election season, only to turn around and claim a city or town supports their real agenda (branding Israel an “Apartheid state”) if they win (or even if they lose).

In the meantime, since their legendary victory, the state of Massachusetts started making direct investments in Israeli companies for the first time. In other words, way to go Ron! Your lasting legacy so far is more investment and support for Israel in your wake, the creation of a Zionist enclave in your old hometown of Somerville, and this blog.

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2 Responses to I Owe it all to Ron – 3

  1. Anonymous November 1, 2010 at 11:44 pm #

    Jon After you are done puffing your chest (Ron lost, I won), think about the status of the peace process…let me give you a hint..nowhere. And how about the status of Israel in the world? mmm….not too good.

    Deputy PM Meridor cancels London visit following lawsuit threat

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/deputy-pm-meridor-cancels-london-visit-following-lawsuit-threat-1.322328

    PA official: Arab states to attempt UN-forced settlement freeze

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/pa-official-arab-states-to-attempt-un-forced-settlement-freeze-1.322300

    It seems that for you, and other posters here, it is always a battle and you are the victims, therefore you feel the need to go on the attack. Reminds me of a piece Levy just did in Haaretz:

    Israel is proud to present: The aggressor-victim

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/israel-is-proud-to-present-the-aggressor-victim-1.322053

    Keep up the good work Jon …..

  2. Jon November 2, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    Anon – As far as I can discern your convoluted argument (worthy of Spritzler himself!), the fact that Palestinians and their allies are using their power and influence to harass Israeli officials traveling aboard, or manipulate the UN demonstrates something other than the true balance of power in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

    After all, Israel is not rallying dozens of Jewish nations to vote their will in the UN nor do they control half the world’s oil reserves, allowing them to buy themselves out of foreign courts, while hiring lawyers to drag Israel in.

    With regard to victimization, of all the faults of Israel’s foes you try to project onto the Israelis, this is one you really shouldn’t go near. After all, for decade after decade, the Palestinians and their friends and allies (including you and those that came before you) have justified every Palestinian decision along the single axis of unquestioned victimhood. So the Palestinians allied with the Nazis in World War II? With the Communists in the Cold War? With Saddam Hussein in Gulf War I? Well what else could you expect a “victimized” Palestinian people to do! They set up a militant theocracy in Gaza, buy thousands of rockets (instead of food for Gazans) and fire them into Israeli towns and villages to trigger a war. But for their apologists, this is simply the action of desperate victims acting desperately.

    Now might Palestinian action be explained by the fact that they are so much more victimized than, say, Tibetans and Kurds who have not resorted to the tactics used against Israel for the last 60 years? Or could it be that their alliance with wealth and power means they can continue their militancy decade after decade and not necessarily face the consequences these other people’s would if they went down the same route. Just asking!

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