Targeted BDS

NOTE: I was getting set to respond to some questions/comments from earlier this week and it looks like some comments have disappeared from the last few posts. They’re not showing up in the Blogger spam filter, so I’m suspecting they may be related to a Blogger technical outage yesterday morning. If you think something was lost here and you want a response from me, please re-post it on this or one of the newer blog entries since I’m not that good at keeping current with discussions going on at previous postings. Now back to our regular broadcast…

As mentioned previously, there is a growing trend to replace general boycott and divestment calls with ones that specifically target “the Occupation,” an approach that seems to have found some traction, at least in Europe, a continent serving as a kind of incubator for new BDS tactics.

While researching this issue, I discovered a pretty exhaustive list of reasons why this so-called “targeted BDS” is a bad idea. And though there is not much to add to this well thought-out run down, there is an overarching framework for understanding (and hopefully rejecting) this new tactic, namely, that “targeted BDS” is a scam.

First, we must never lose site of the ultimate goal of the BDS “movement:” to get well-known and respected organizations to attach their names and reputations to the BDS message that Israel is an “Apartheid state,” worthy of the same economic punishment visited upon Apartheid South Africa. But as the last decade of BDS failure at major institutions has demonstrated, these institutions are not interested in having their names attached to someone else’s propaganda campaign.

Which is why you see the behind-closed-doors and dead-of-night deals being struck in places like Somerville, the Presbyterian Church and Olympia Food Co-op where BDS advocates have met with leaders behind the scenes in order to get a boycott or divestment resolution passed quickly and quietly before members of the organization have any knowledge of what is being discussed.

Now when the boycotters approach such institutions, it is important for them to maintain a façade of reasonableness and decorum in order to present their case for BDS being obvious and fully fitting into a human-rights or other appealing or acceptable framework. This is what I call the “all smiles” phase, during which divestment activists try to mask their true intentions which only get revealed after an organization “signs up,” to some simple “human rights measure,” only to discover 24 hours later that their name is being broadcast around the planet as being 100% onboard the Israel=Apartheid bandwagon.

But as we’ve seen over the last ten years, this strategy has either led to immediate rejection (by institutions now wise to the BDS game) or, at worst, temporary victory after which someone (usually the membership of an organization) reverses a boycott or divestment “win,” insisting that no one (and certainly not the Israel-haters) speak in their name.

Given this background, the BDS message needs to be constantly retailored. And targeting “the Occupation” gives its proponents a way to say that they are not attacking Jews or Israel (heavens no), but some amorphous entity known simply as “the Occupation.”

Putting aside the fact that use of phrases such as “the Occupation,” or (more frequently) “Israel’s illegal Occupation” is a matter of opinion and subject of negotiations, rather than an unquestioned fact, it’s clear that BDS proponents themselves have a near-infinitely elastic definition of what falls into this category.

After all, I have yet to see champions for this new improved “targeted BDS” turn around and reject or condemn their fellow BDSers who have not yet gotten the message and are working to boycott companies as far away from the “Green Line” as Taunton, MA (where Tribe hummus – target for a boycott – is located).

For one of the great skills of the BDS project is its ability to make a connection between any company or product they decide to put on their blacklist and their ultimate target (be it Israel proper or simply “the Occupation”).

Why target Tribe hummus? Well the company was acquired by an Israeli food manufacturer that supplies snacks to Israeli soldiers and they contribute to the Jewish National Fund, an organization with is traif to the boycotters because it plans trees in “the Occupation” (whatever that means), blah, blah, blah.

This ability to concoct a connection between any company and their ultimate target found its ultimate expression last summer when BDS activists were pushing their short-lived “Harvard has divested from Israel” hoax. In that case, Israeli companies whose stock was held in certain emerging market funds owned by Harvard were removed from those funds for the simple economic reason that Israel was no longer considered a developing but a developed company. And once that happened, BDSers tried to spin this purely economic decision as a politically motivated divestment activity.

During the 48 hours that this fraud was making headlines we were exposed to a list of Israeli companies that had never once been mentioned in the context of any previous BDS campaign. In this case, the divestment champions simply made on-the-fly connections between the companies leaving Harvard’s emerging market fund and “the Occupation” in order to flesh out their fictional tale of Harvard selling off these stocks for political reasons.

In other words, “targeted BDS” is simply a new opening line, a new marketing campaign that boycotters hope will get them into the door of organizations that are wary of the widely rejected, broad-based divestment calls that have been part-and-parcel of the BDS project since its inception in 2001.

To date, civic organizations seem have been able to see through the various facades the Israel-dislikers use to mask their true goals. So there is hope that people of good sense and good will shall be able to see through this latest variation on their long-standing bait-and-switch tactics.

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31 Responses to Targeted BDS

  1. Anonymous May 14, 2011 at 5:47 am #

    Jon,

    Here is a good example of how the BDS insanity has effected people of normally sound minds. The University of Johannesburg is joining the BDS movement and cutting off ties with Ben Gurion University because of the ‘occupation’. This decision was made on April 1, 2011. It was not a joke.

    The reason Ben Gurion University was working with the University of Johannesburg was to bring the considerable Israeli expertise to the worsening water problems in South Africa. The severe water problems are being caused by a combination of acid mine drainage, sewage, industrial pollution and algae.

    The water problem is so bad that the Environment and Conservation Association has said that by 2015, 80% of South Africa's fresh water would be so badly polluted that no purification process in the country would make it fit for consumption. In other words, if the problems are not tackled and solved in the near future, then all bets are off.

    Yet when faced with this terrible prediction, the petition committee of University of Johannesburg have decided that the ‘occupation’ in faraway Israel is more important the their impending water crisis.

    This decision is going to affect millions of people. The South Afrikaners are already fighting constant war, terrible diseases including aids, constant hunger and bad government.

    For the last forty years, I have been barraged with images of the sad plight of the Afrikaners. We have been told that the fate of the children rest in our hands. If I give a dollar a day, then some kid will have meals for a month. They have depended on the largess of multiple countries to solve their problems.

    Now is the time to ask why Africa has been so bad off for so long. Surely, after forty plus years, there would be some improvement. But because of the actions of the UJ petition committee and a complacent government, things are going to get decidedly worse.

    And as surely as the sun rises in the east, America and Europe is going to be asked for money in the near future to bail them out, once again. But this time the entire continent will be effected. We simply do not have the money and resources to bail them out from this incredibly bad decision.

    I hope you think is was worth it University of Johannesburg.

    BTW, Israel is fine and will continue to do well.

    SarahSue

    http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/UJ-cuts-ties-with-Israeli-university-20110323

  2. Anonymous May 14, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

    “But as the last decade of BDS failure at major institutions has demonstrated”

    You are aware that the BDS campaign was launched on July 9, 2005, no?

  3. Dusty May 14, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    “You are aware that the BDS campaign was launched on July 9, 2005, no?”

    No, Sweetpea. The BDS campaign was launched at Durban South Africa, in 2001. This year makes a full decade of failure.

  4. Anonymous May 14, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    As promised
    Israel Delegitimization Fact (IDF) # 1

    Israel admits it covertly canceled residency status of 140,000 Palestinians. If it looks, walks, and smells like ethnic cleansing …then it is ethnic cleansing.

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israel-admits-it-covertly-canceled-residency-status-of-140-000-palestinians-1.360935

  5. occupynomo May 14, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    Yes Jon the occupation (complete with soldiers, tanks, checkpoints) is merely an opinion and not a fact.

    And the land grab is merely a subject of negotiation. I particularly like the Israeli version of “negotiations”, i.e. one side builds on land that is the subject of negotiations.

    I completely understand your mindset, but don't be surprised and whine when the entire world (less the US Congress) despises Israel's policies and those defending it.

  6. Dusty May 14, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

    “but don't be surprised and whine when the entire world (less the US Congress) despises Israel's policies and those defending it.”

    No, Sweetpea. Logical fallacy. Appeal to Popularity
    Can't have any of that here, can we?

    Description of Appeal to Popularity
    The Appeal to Popularity has the following form:

    Most people approve of X (have favorable emotions towards X).
    Therefore X is true.
    The basic idea is that a claim is accepted as being true simply because most people are favorably inclined towards the claim. More formally, the fact that most people have favorable emotions associated with the claim is substituted in place of actual evidence for the claim. A person falls prey to this fallacy if he accepts a claim as being true simply because most other people approve of the claim.

    It is clearly fallacious to accept the approval of the majority as evidence for a claim. For example, suppose that a skilled speaker managed to get most people to absolutely love the claim that 1+1=3. It would still not be rational to accept this claim simply because most people approved of it. After all, mere approval is no substitute for a mathematical proof. At one time people approved of claims such as “the world is flat”, “humans cannot survive at speeds greater than 25 miles per hour”, “the sun revolves around the earth” but all these claims turned out to be false.

    To learn more about why your arguments carry little or no weight, read here:

    http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/

  7. Anonymous May 14, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

    “No, Sweetpea. The BDS campaign was launched at Durban South Africa, in 2001.”

    If you're going to be childishly patronizing, you should at least try to avoid being so badly wrong at the same time. It was 2005, as a quick reference to BDS campaign documents (http://www.bdsmovement.net/call), Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boycott,_Divestment_and_Sanctions), and any number of other readily-accessible resources will attest.

    “This year makes a full decade of failure.”

    Your historical ignorance aside, I can only hope that the rest of our first decade will include more “failures” like the University of Johannesburg and Deutsche Bahn, to cite two major victories from (ahem) the last few weeks alone.

    But of course, the campaign's ongoing “failure” is why you're dedicating your time to a blog opposing it, right? 😉

  8. Anonymous May 14, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    Come now! Are you really reduced to deleting comments that point out your misinformation? You could always just admit your historical knowledge was incomplete.

    As I previously posted:

    “No, Sweetpea. The BDS campaign was launched at Durban South Africa, in 2001.”

    If you're going to be childishly patronizing, you should at least try to avoid being so badly wrong at the same time. It was 2005, as a quick reference to BDS campaign documents (http://www.bdsmovement.net/call), Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boycott,_Divestment_and_Sanctions), and any number of other readily-accessible resources will attest.

    “This year makes a full decade of failure.”

    Your historical ignorance aside, I can only hope that the rest of our first decade will include more “failures” like the University of Johannesburg and Deutsche Bahn, to cite two major victories from (ahem) the last few weeks alone.

    But of course, the campaign's ongoing “failure” is why you're dedicating your time to a blog opposing it, right? 😉

  9. occupynomo May 14, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    Dusty, thank you for your insightful comment. I now have the intellectual tools I need to equate the “claim” that Israel's occupation and settlements are wrong with the notion that 1 + 1 = 3, after all they both have no roots in facts.

    It is quite remarkable to what lengths our pro Israel friends go to articulate why critics of Israel are in the wrong. If you are a critic of Israel (and especially if you are Jewish) you must be wrong. The reaction is something like “How DARE you criticize Israel?” The labels attached to Israeli critics cover the gamut starting with the all time favorite of being Jew haters, to self hating Jews, to the influence of either Arab dictators or the corrupt UN, and now the post above.

    Its all good because soon you will run out of excuses and will see that there are many critics of Israel who are not antisemitic, not self hating Jews, could care a less for the Arab dictators and the UN, not Arabs/Muslims, but who are actually highly critical of Israel because of Israel's policies and behaviors. Imagine that!

  10. Jon May 14, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

    To our Anon who claims the BDS movement must have started in 2005 because their own press releases keep saying that it did (and making this claim not once, not twice, but three times in this same thread, while all the time trying to claim they are having their comments deleted), I have a simple question:

    How did a “movement” not born until 2005 run campaigns and issues press releases in 2002, 2003 and 2004? After all, here is what “the movement” had to say when it was running it’s divestment campaign at Harvard and MIT in 2002 (http://harvardmitdivest.org/) – a story that was covered by most of the country’s major media. And the success of BDS forces in getting the Presbyterian Church to pass a divestment resolution in ’04 was the cornerstone of your “movement” when I encountered in Somerville (also in 2004).

    Keep in mind that these are your side’s battles and your side’s announcements and press releases that were being sent out years before the date you claim your movement was even born. So unless the nation's most intense period of BDS activity (between 2001-2006) was just a figment of everyone’s imaginations, then 2005 date is not the start date, but simply the restart date for the BDS project, one that simultaneously ties it to activity within the region (as opposed to where BDS was really born, at the now-discredited Durban I conference) as well as flushing the “movement’s” most massive failures (such as being rejected by Harvard, MIT and the Presbyterians by margins of 10-20:1) down what Orwell (and Noam Chomsky) would refer to as the “memory hole.”

  11. Anonymous May 14, 2011 at 10:04 pm #

    occupynomo,

    There is a big difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism. Constructive criticism builds up and destructive criticism tears down.

    Statements such as “How DARE you criticize Israel?” should read ‘How DARE you criticize Israel with provable lies?’

    How can you have honest discourse when one side bases its popular buzz words on a false premise?

    Caroline Glick criticizes Israeli leadership routinely. It is clear that she wants Israel to do better, be better. Most Israeli supporters agree with her. Carl of Jerusalem often calls Israeli leadership ‘Stupid Jews’ because they make stupid decisions. He also wants Israel to be strong and safe. Most Israeli supporters agree with him.

    Conversely, Richard Silverstein wholly supports the Hamas. He also condemns everything Israel does including sending a medical team to Haiti. I guess it would be safe to call him a self hating Jew.

    Is it any wonder that Caroline, Carl and the rest of us reject the notion that Israel should follow the advice of critics that would lead to the demise of the Israeli state?

    It is equally absurd to say that we think that all critics are the same. That all critics are anti-Semitic, self hating Jews etc., etc. You assume that we lump all critics together, then condemn us for said lumping.

    Rather than start with false premises, how about we discuss some of those premises. Lets start with the premise that the so called ‘settlements’ are bad and an impediment to peace. Do you think that because you have been told this over and over and over? Or do you have some facts to back you up?

    Or we can start with the premise that Israel is an apartheid state. Can you site any Israeli law that backs up this premise? Can you site any Israeli law that is similar to the ‘Native Land Act No. 27 of 1913 that made it illegal for blacks to purchase or lease land from whites in Africa? Or ‘The Natives Act No. 21 of 1923’ that made it possible for residential segregation in urban areas? Or maybe the ‘Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act No. 55 of 1949?

    I have yet to see any destructive critic of Israel site any Israeli law that even comes close to mimicking African apartheid law, yet the label ‘apartheid’ is used to describe Israel over and over.

    You say ‘It is quite remarkable to what lengths our pro Israel friends go to articulate why critics of Israel are in the wrong.’ Actually, I do not have to go to any lengths at all. All I have to do it say ‘Prove what you say’ and the destructive critics fold like a house of cards while the constructive critics give me rational, well thought out opinions.

    I can and do tell the difference between constructive and destructive critics. It is you that cannot tell the difference.

    SarahSue

  12. Jon May 14, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

    OcNoMo – I think you will find that a “movement” that can’t even get the date of its own origin correct is very much about trying to convince others that 1 + 1 = 3. After all, “the Occupation” (bogga, bogga, bogga) is not some metaphysical reality, but the result of war after war declared (and waged) against Israel by the Palestinians and their Arab allies. If peace had been chosen by these forces in 1948 instead of war, there would have been no Arab refugees (the focal point of your rage) or Jewish refugees (whose existence has been all but erased from history).

    If Egypt, Syria and Jordan had not restarted this war in 1967 (and again and 1973), they would still be in possession of the West Bank, Gaza and the Golan (although there would still be no “Palestine,” although also no calls for the creation of one if those lands were in Arab, rather than Jewish hands).

    And now we have a BDS movement that seems to think it can do what Arab army after Arab army has failed to do, bring Israel to its knees, this time by calling for boycotts of Israeli skin cream and ice cream cones. I’m not sure who is more delusional, a propaganda/war movement like BDS convincing itself that it is, in fact, a peace movement (built around the claim that 1 + 1 = 3) or Palestinians who think BDS will do anything but make their lives even more miserable.

  13. occupynomo May 14, 2011 at 11:10 pm #

    “Lets start with the premise that the so called ‘settlements’ are bad and an impediment to peace. Do you think that because you have been told this over and over and over? Or do you have some facts to back you up?”

    These are not “so called” settlements, they are settlements. Lets call a spade a spade.

    If I have to explain why peppering the WB with settlements will render a viable contiguous palestinian state and thus a 2 state solution impossible, why a one state solution will mean the end of the Jewish state, why there are many in Israel who want just that… to have one Israel between the river and sea and whose dream is to create facts on the ground to realize that dream, settlements are built without an iota of consideration for the millions of Palestinians also living there, settlements are considered illegal by the entire international community (even by the US), they delegitimize Israel in the international community, disrupt palestinian lives, etc…. and you actually have the chutzpah to ask me why settlements are an impediment to peace, then I feel compelled to call you an Israel centric Zionist who has absolutely no interest in peace.

    I will respond to your comments about Glick and Silverstein and “apartheid” later.

  14. occupynomo May 14, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

    Jon what is your point and what is your proposed solution to the conflict?

    1. The fast vanishing 2 state solution?
    2. 1 state solution with no jewish majority?
    3. Totally unsustainable status quo of military occupation, settlements, and blog after useless blog attacking BDS?

  15. occupynomo May 14, 2011 at 11:58 pm #

    “Can you site any Israeli law that is similar to the ‘Native Land Act No. 27 of 1913 that made it illegal for blacks to purchase or lease land from whites in Africa? Or ‘The Natives Act No. 21 of 1923’ that made it possible for residential segregation in urban areas? Or maybe the ‘Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act No. 55 of 1949?

    Up until 1865 blacks were slaves in the US bought and sold in this country like commodities. It took 100 years to abolish the racist and disgusting laws you cite in your post. And you are bragging that Israel does not treat it Arab population the way the US treated its blacks almost 100 years ago? Is this a joke? I thought the world has changed since 1913 and 1923, this is 2011 and Israel is a democracy.

    And yes there are plenty of laws on the books today in Israel that clearly discriminate against Arab Israelis. Here are two recent examples:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2011/mar/24/world/la-fg-israel-arab-laws-20110324

    Here is another one that just came out whereby 140,000 living in the WB lost their residency because they lived abroad.

    “The data show that Palestinians who wanted to leave the West Bank during those years, mostly to study or work abroad, were obligated to leave their identification papers with Israeli authorities at the Allenby bridge crossing to Jordan. In return, they received a card allowing them to cross and return within three years. They were then permitted to renew the card three times for an additional year that they could remain abroad.

    If the Palestinians did not return within six months of the expiration of their border-crossing card, they were stripped of their residencies. The documents that were handed to the Hamoked did not mention that the Palestinians received any warnings that their residency status would be terminated.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israel-admits-it-covertly-canceled-residency-status-of-140-000-palestinians-1.360935

    Let me know if you need more.

  16. Anonymous May 15, 2011 at 12:13 am #

    occupynomo,

    The settlements of Judea and Samaria were created in 1967 by Prime Minister Levi Eshkol. They were formed to be a first line of defense against the muslims that would rather fight, then live side-by-side in peace. These incredibly brave people still fulfill that mandate today.

    The first wave of people that settled there were indeed settlers, their children became residents, thus the term ‘settlements’ is no longer accurate. The accurate terms would include towns, villages and cities, depending on their size.

    It does not take any chutzpah to ask why these towns are an impediment to peace. I merely point out that the muslims themselves, have proven over and over again, that they want all of Israel, not just Judea and Samaria. They want to flood the entire state of Israel with self perpetuating ‘refugees’. They want to push Israelis into the sea. Ask the hamas, the fatah, hezbollah… they confirm this fact daily. Remember the three no’s decided at the 1967 conference in Khartoumno, no peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, no recognition of Israel. That is still in effect today.

    To prove this in another way, Ehud Olmert, Israel’s Prime Minister before Benjamin Netanyahu, offered Abu Mazen 90% of what said he wanted and was rejected out of hand. This offer even included a limited ‘right of return’. The muslims did not even bother to give an answer.

    So, to recap, the muslims in Israel and the disputed territories do not want to share Israel. They are holding out for the entire state. They make preposterous demands designed to stop the ‘peace talks’ in their tracks. In sixty-three years, they have not made one single concession to show good faith. They thought President Obama was going to be the one that gave them their heart’s desire. When he was not able to push Israel to commit suicide, the muslims turned to the hamas, dooming the ‘peace process’ even farther. Pointing out these facts in evidence does not take any chutzpah at all. Just a clear eyed view of the facts on the ground.

    As for you calling me an ‘Israel centric Zionist who has absolutely no interest in peace’, I am not sure what that is, but I will clarify my position.

    I want Israel to declare war on all the muslims living in Israel proper and in the disputed territories. The muslims have abrogated every right they may have had to share the land. Their constant terrorism has made peace a pipe dream. I want Israel to kick the enemy out, not try to appease the unappeasable. But I do not stop there. I want America and Europe to do the same thing. Until then, there will be no peace in Israel or anywhere else.

    SarahSue

  17. Jon May 15, 2011 at 12:17 am #

    If there is to be a solution to this conflict, it will come about in the same way that all similar conflicts in the past have ended: via negotiations between the parties involved. But such a negotiated settlement, difficult as it is in any situation, is made all but impossible when third parties use the conflict as a surrogate for their own political needs.

    It’s made impossible when countries such as Iran and Syria sponsor their own Palestinian factions and flood the region with weapons hoping to trigger war. It becomes impossible when Palestinians daring to contemplate actual peace are threatened with everything from economic punishment to death. And it becomes impossible when propaganda campaigns such as BDS promise a path to not peace but victory, with the implicit call to Palestinians that patriotism requires rejecting any compromise that might actually lead to an end to conflict.

    So whether a solution involves one state, two states, three or seven, it will require parties to sit down and work out their differences with the end goal of making life better for everyone. Sadly, there are people in Damascus and Tehran who want nothing approaching peaceful compromise to take place. And there are people like you who want to both ignore the role and responsibility of anyone other than Israel and to insist that peace should not be the goal, only victory.
    Does that help?

  18. Jon May 15, 2011 at 12:20 am #

    Speaking of Apartheid…

    Arabs currently make up 20% of the citizenry of Israel. Just how big a percentage of this wonderful, shiny new state of Palestine will be Jews?

    A million Jews once lived throughout the Middle East, but now that number if nearly zero. Why should Israelis expect to be treated any differently than their fellow Jews were in every state where Arabs were the majority?

    Should Jews be expected to be treated any better than Syrians are treated by the Syrian government or Christians in Muslim Arab lands (notably in Gaza).

    Oh, and just where did Apartheid South Africa get all its oil?

    Just asking!

  19. Anonymous May 15, 2011 at 12:34 am #

    Occupynomo,
    …New Israeli laws will increase discrimination against Arabs, critics say… Los Angeles Times
    This is an article that only gives one side of the debate. Maybe if we give the other side a chance to share their views, we would not have such one-sided article pretending to be ‘news’.

    “The data show that Palestinians who wanted to leave the West Bank during those years, mostly to study or work abroad, were obligated to leave their identification papers with Israeli authorities at the Allenby bridge crossing to Jordan. In return, they received a card allowing them to cross and return within three years. They were then permitted to renew the card three times for an additional year that they could remain abroad.

    This is all true except for one thing. It was the Jordanian government that did this, not the Israelis. The Jordanians have been trying to get rid of their muslim ‘palestinian’ population for years.

    SarahSue

  20. Anonymous May 15, 2011 at 1:05 am #

    Jon said,

    If there is to be a solution to this conflict, it will come about in the same way that all similar conflicts in the past have ended: via negotiations between the parties involved.

    Jon, please site one example of successful negotiations between muslims and a democratic country. I am pretty confident there is not one because the liberals would be beating Israel over the head with this illusive fact.

    The fact is negotiations are only successful when both parties win a little and lose a little. This only happens when both parties really want an end to a conflict. The muslims have proved conclusively they are not interested in any negotiated peace when they rejected Ehud Olmert’s offer.

    You say that…And there are people like you who want to both ignore the role and responsibility of anyone other than Israel and to insist that peace should not be the goal, only victory.

    I ignore the responsibility of anyone other than Israel because their responsibility pales when compared to what anyone else will lose and what the Israelis will lose. What is a little lost political prestige compared to having your entire country wiped of the face of the earth? It has been pointed out exhaustively that America will lose a much needed ally, but President Obama is unmoved by such assertions. He is also unmoved by the bellicose threats issued by Iran. He and Europe have made it clear that threat of Israel’s demise is not as important as appeasing the muslims. It is America and the West that have abrogated their responsibilities and there is nothing Israel can do about it except protect herself.

    In the end, only Israel can decide its fate. Only Israel can decide that sixty-three years in long enough to give the ‘peace process’ a chance.

    How long would you wait, Jon? Another sixty-three years?

    No, my friend. The time for negotiations is over. War is the only answer. Only war will give Israel peace and victory.

    SarahSue

  21. DrMike May 15, 2011 at 1:14 am #

    Occupynomo:

    can you quote anyone in the BDS leadership who endorses a two-state solution* as a way to end the occupation? When Omar Barghouti and his friends stand up and say “We will accept a Jewish state along the 1949 armistice lines” (never recognized as borders by the Arabs, by the way) then we can talk about “targeted BDS”. Until then, it's the same old hag in a new dress.

    *two states, as in Israel as the state of the Jewish people and Palestine as the state of the Palestinian people. Not the faux-solution of one Palestinian Arab state with a Jewish minority and another Palestinian Arab state in which Jews are forbidden to reside.

  22. Anonymous May 15, 2011 at 1:42 am #

    Well said, Dr. Mike, with one quibble. Do we really want to adopt the language of our enemies and use the term ‘occupation’?

    As I am sure you know, Israel won the land in an unfair fight from Egypt, Syria and Jordan. Three armies against one.

    If Jordan has not decided to pick a fight, they would still be ‘occupying’ Judea and Samaria to this day. Yet in all the history I have read, I never remember Jordan ownership being referred to as ‘The Occupation’. Their loss is Israel’s gain. Israel now owns the land to do as she wishes. Only sore losers consider the winner as an ‘occupier’.

    SarahSue

  23. Anonymous May 15, 2011 at 7:14 am #

    I have now posted the following comment three times, and seen it deleted twice. I can only guess that Dusty is rightfully hashamed by his transparent ignorance of a topic on which he presents himself as some kind of expert.

    “No, Sweetpea. The BDS campaign was launched at Durban South Africa, in 2001.”

    If you're going to be childishly patronizing, you should at least try to avoid being so badly wrong at the same time. It was 2005, as a quick reference to BDS campaign documents (http://www.bdsmovement.net/call), Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boycott,_Divestment_and_Sanctions), and any number of other readily-accessible resources will attest.

    “This year makes a full decade of failure.”

    Your historical ignorance aside, I can only hope that the rest of our first decade will include more “failures” like the University of Johannesburg and Deutsche Bahn, to cite two major victories from (ahem) the last few weeks alone.

    But of course, the campaign's ongoing “failure” is why you're dedicating your time to a blog opposing it, right? 😉

  24. Jon May 15, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    And your comment has appeared three times, along with a response (posted at 5:21 yesterday from me) asking how a movement that you claim only came into existence in 2005 was running campaigns and issuing press releases in 2002, 2003 and 2004. (I'll assume you missed it, as you missed your own comments being posted, and are eager to provide a quick response to that question.)

    I can understand why the BDS “movement” would like to erase its first half decade from its history since it was during that period that it had to watch all of it's initial momentum lost in a series of spectacular failures.

    It might also highlight that fact that during the ten (not five) years that BDS has been tirelessly trying to have an economic impact on the Jewish state as wel as impact American opinion on the Middle East, Israel's economy has doubled in size and Israel's popularity in the US has shot up 20 percentage points.

    Hey – Can we place those two facts on the scale and place your great, wonderful BDS victories on the other side and use that to judge the success of the BDS “movement”? Or are BDSers the only ones who get to create the metrics for their own success?

  25. Anonymous May 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

    These are not “so called” settlements, they are settlements.

    No. They are communities. Suburbs. Cities.

    Do you know the history, for example of gush Etzion? Is Gush Etzion a settlement (its on the “other” side of the 1967 artistice line). Even that wonderful friend of israel, ex-president carter doesn't consider Gush Etzion a “settlement”

    If “settlements” were really the obstacle to peace, why, after Israel dismantled the “settlements” in Gaza, and forcibly withddrew 9,000 Jewish residents- why didn't that serve to jump start the peace process?
    Why instead did attacks from Gaza on Israeli civilians quadruple, instead?

  26. occupynomo May 15, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

    Yes communities, suburbs, cities built in occupied territories slated for the state of the Palestinians, those are settlements in my book. If you are going to insist they are cities, suburbs, etc. that is cool but don't be disingenuous about the outcomes: all these settlements can remain in one state for all. Is that what you want? If there is to be a 2 state solution these settlements make its implementation practically impossible. Or do you want the status quo of occupation, settlements, Jew only roads, checkpoints, violence and no peace now or ever?

    1. I never said settlements are the ONLY impediment to peace but yes I strongly believe they are a major impediment to peace for reasons outlined above.

    2. The year the Gaza settlements were dismantled (I believe it was 2005) even more settlers were moved into the WB, so a net gain in the number of settlers. So much for dismantling settlements. Gaza has been under siege ever since. When will you learn that force will never solve this conflict?

  27. DrMike May 15, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    Occupynomo–
    1. Still waiting for any evidence that the BDS movement supports a two state solution; seeing as you have none, you can stop using that as a fig leaf for your arguments.
    2. “Slated for the state of the Palestinians”– by whom? The Palestinian leadership and their wholly-owned BDS subsidiary claims ALL of Israel as a state of the Palestinians. IF the Palestinians choose to negotiate a two-state solution (same definition as I previously stated) then that discussion becomes relevant.

    The so-called “siege” of Gaza began in 2007 after the Hamas coup, which killed hundreds of Palestinians (shot in hospital beds, thrown off rooftops, etc.) with nary a peep from all of those defenders of “human rights”. I guess that as long as it's Palestinians killing their brethren, especially in the name of the greater jihad, then those Palestinian lives don't really matter. Oh yes, and the minor detail of incessant rocket fire against towns and farms in southern Israel. Nonetheless, the “siege” is so brutal that the stores are full of food and consumer goods, and infant mortality in Gaza remains higher than that in Turkey. But I guess that as long as the Hamas isn't free to import more powerful rockets from Iran then the siege must be one of the moral catastrophes of the world.

  28. Anonymous May 16, 2011 at 2:47 am #

    Just curious? Why does a future Palestinian state have to be delivered- “Jew- free”? Why can't the Palestinians accept the fact that Jews (the so called “settlers” will live among them? I know they don't want them there- that, I assume is why the PA imposes a death penalty in the West bank upon anyone convicted of selling land to Jews. If you are so convinced that the Palestinians can live peacefully amongst the Jews, why would the presence of “settlers” even be an issue?

    Perhaps it has something to do with the constitution of the PA?

    This, maybe?
    The principles of Islamic Shari’a are a major source for legislation

    Or this?

    Palestine is part of the Arab nation. The state of Palestine abides by the charter of the League of Arab States. The Palestinian people are part of the Arab and Islamic nations. Arab unity is a goal, the Palestinian people hopes to achieve.

  29. Anonymous May 16, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

    From Al-Aqsa TV on May 11, 2011, from MEMRI: (Hmmm. Doesn't seem like that one democratic state is a realistic possibility when you listen to the Palestinians own rhetoric- this does not sound like the voice of peaceful co-existence to me)

    Yunis Al-Astal: The [Jews] are brought in droves to Palestine so that the Palestinians – and the Islamic nation behind them – will have the honor of annihilating the evil of this gang.

    …All the predators, all the birds of prey, all the dangerous reptiles and insects, and all the lethal bacteria are far less dangerous than the Jews.
    …In just a few years, all the Zionists and the settlers will realize that their arrival in Palestine was for the purpose of the great massacre, by means of which Allah wants to relieve humanity of their evil.

    When Palestine is liberated and its people return to it, and the entire region, with the grace of Allah, will have turned into the United States of Islam, the land of Palestine will become the capital of the Islamic Caliphate, and all these countries will turn into states within the Caliphate. When this happens, any Palestinian will be able to live anywhere, because the land of Islam is the property of all Muslims.

    Until this happens, we must reject all the resettlement plans, naturalization, or even reparations prior to the return of the refugees.

  30. uncle yo-yo May 18, 2011 at 2:13 am #

    It seems OccuopyNoMo has mistaken certain South African laws from the Apartheid Era and thinks they are American laws. (See May 14, 7:58 Comment.) So, here is a BDS enthusiast who shouts about “Apartheid Israel” and has absolutely no idea what he is talking about. Wow. An ignorant (and not bright) BDS proponent — how utterly ordinary that is.

  31. Anonymous May 18, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    The targets are getting even narrower. Now DePaul University is trying to get 751 votes together to have Sabra hummus removed from campus.

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