Be With Us

A large part of the BDS project is built around ensuring that wherever you go in life, and whatever you do, the Arab-Israeli conflict is in your face.

If you walk through a busy square in Cambridge or Boston or San Francisco at rush hour, at some point you’re sure to see a group of wrinkly Israel haters passing out photos of broken Palestinian children which (via a syllogism known only to the BDSers) means you should stop buying hummus made in Massachusetts or New Jersey.

If you shop at a department store during the holiday season, you stand a chance of seeing some even more deranged “activists” stripping to their underwear and smearing themselves with Ahava skin-cream products in public.

Point of fact, these particular antics are not nearly as ubiquitous as the Facebook pages of the boycotters would have you believe (which is why I continue to suspect that such theatre is largely for the benefit of the BDSers themselves). And if flash mobs at phone stores or catcalls at Israeli ballet performances are meant to sway public opinion, the twenty point jump in support for Israel during the BDS era seems to indicate it is counter-productive to the cause.

But neither reality nor the principles of cause leading to effect will ever budge this lot from their program, and when it comes to finding new innovative ways to annoy the public, this is one area where Israel’s foes never lack creativity (or chutzpah).

Earlier this year, they seem to have hit on a breakthrough: bus and subway ads. Unlike flash mobs, rallies and riots, after all, placing an ad on the side of a bus that shows those aforementioned photos of maimed children (with a tagline laying all blame on you-know-who) just requires writing a couple of checks (no great challenge to a “movement” that seems to have the resources to purchase ships and sail them across the Mediterranean).

The trouble is, the sale of bus ads is not limited to just one set of political opinion holders. And when the boycotters tried this stunt out in Seattle, it first elicited loud protests, and finally a threat to run equally ugly photos of victims of Palestinian terror in a parallel campaign. This led the public transport authorities to decide that, all things being equal, they’d prefer to not be the vehicle to subject the public to endless accusations alongside pictures of charred corpses.

As that battle continues (through the courts, naturally, given BDSers inability to take “No” for an answer), the innovation of the public transport ad inspired others to try out this tactic, albeit with a more subtle campaign; to wit:

Now I say “subtle” in the sense of not being built around images of mayhem and violence. But in terms of ideas and imagination, this ad is about as subtle as a brick being thrown at your head.

How is the public supposed to respond to such an ad? “Oh gosh look! A Palestinian father and his beautiful daughter. And there he is alongside an Israeli dad and his equally precious tyke! And they both have jobs that are similar to mine. How familiar, how sympathetic, I’d better do whatever these kindly faces think I should so I can ‘be on their side’ (and stand against the nasty non-fathers, non-designers, non-social workers who must be on the other side).”

And what are we being asked to do in the name of these happy, peace-loving dads and kids? Why support a partisan political position (end US aid to Israel). Now how did we make that leap?

Well we did it with our old friend pathos, or emotional manipulation in an argument. In this case, the manipulation is not vulgar in a nasty sense (i.e., throwing bloody bodies in people’s faces), but it is vulgar in a more nuanced sense (assuming as it does that everyone who rides busses and subways where such an ad is run must be a fucking idiot).

So forgive me for not being taken in, and guessing that the limited response to this new campaign by Israel supporters means that not many people are even noticing (much less taking action based on) this latest tactic in the BDS arsenal. But given how desperately the BDSers want a reaction to their efforts, I am ready to offer a humble contribution to their next set of ads (even if I risk being accused of being less than sensitive to loving fathers and their precious offspring):

Here’s a PDF, so help yourself.

5 thoughts on “Be With Us”

  1. Part One:

    When I saw this ad, ‘Be on our side’, I came to an entirely different conclusion then what I think the BDSers intended.

    First, one is supposed to pretend that the muslims and the Israelis are one big happy family. Then you are supposed to suspend disbelieve and make the leap that U.S. military aid hurts this big happy family.

    How, is my question? How does U.S. military aid hurt Israel or the muslims? How does it hurt the happy people in this ad?

    A country’s military is supposed to keep it safe. It is supposed to keep the enemy at bay. Right now Israel is surrounded by enemies. Do the people at BDS really think that allowing a hostile country to invade Israel will somehow benefit the muslims? Do the muslims really think that a hostile take-over by Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, or Jordan will benefit them? Will these countries let them keep their aid and benefits? Will these countries make a major effort to only kill Jews and not muslims?

    The only logical conclusion one can draw from this ad is that, yes, the BDSers and the muslims want an invasion. Why? Because destroying Israel is their number one goal. It is not a two state solution, living in peace and security side by side. Because logical thinking is not a muslim or BDS strong point, the fact that they will lose their aid, special status and political clout is not considered. Plus, they will probably want to flee Israel if it becomes another war town country. Will they joint the enemy, an enemy that does not discriminate between a Jew and a muslim? It is only Israel in the Middle East that makes an effort not to kill civilians. So where will the muslims go?

  2. Part Two:

    Jordan certainly does not want them. Jordan still holds a grudge against the muslims because, lead by Arafat in 1970, they tried to take over the Kingdom. This incident is called ‘Black September’ and over 10,000 muslims were killed. As a consequence of those actions, Jordan has been downgrading their status for years.

    The muslims from Black September escaped to Lebanon, and caused a war that saw 100,000 Lebanese killed. Because of that the Lebanon passed special laws that forbids the muslims from working or owning land. They also do not allow the muslims to live in Lebanon proper but rather in squalid camps.

    Gaza does not want them because of political differences. Fatah verses Hamas. Most of the fatah in Gaza have been killed and the ones remaining are under heavy persecution. Any muslims fleeing to Gaza will suffer the same fate.

    Egypt does not want them because they cannot care for the people already living there. The last thing Egypt needs is a few hundred thousand parasites to stretch their already thin resources.

    Syria does not want any more trouble makers or parasites either, especial now.

    The only conclusion I can draw from this ad is that the BDSers want Israel to be invaded and destroyed, even though the muslims will be as badly hurt as the Israelis. The BDSers are using the muslims as useful tools or useful idiots. That makes this ad a study in illogical conclusions.

    ‘Be on our side’ is a contradiction because the muslims have made it clear it is ‘us’ or ‘them’. So whose side are we to pick?

    ‘We are on the side of peace and justice’. This means two things. One, peace is the absence of war, as opposed to a strong military that makes hostile countries afraid to invade. The muslims living in Israel benefit every bit as much as the Jews from a strong military.

    Second, ‘justice’ has become a bludgeon to beat Israel over the head. Justice in Israel, according to the BDS, means that the muslims should be given every means to destroy Israel and the Israelis are jerks for complaining about it. Justice in Israel is supposed to be one sided, make no mistake about it. The Fogal family should suck it up because the muslims were fully within their rights to ‘resist the occupation’ by slaughtering a Jewish family. This the ‘justice’ that the BDSers support.

    Thus this ad shows that the BDSers want war and if the muslims are hurt, so be it. They are just a political tool anyway.

    Submitted by SarahSue

  3. “no great challenge to a “movement” that seems to have the resources to purchase ships and sail them across the Mediterranean.”

    Yeah. I wondered about the huge amount of funding the anti-Israel groups receive, too. And if the “flotilla du jour” were really about sending humanitarian aid to Gaza, aren't there more efficent ways to do it? Then Greta Berlin of the Free Gaza Movement sent out this email:

    “There have been thousands of words written about this next flotilla, thousands of people who are joining us as supporters, hundreds of thousands of dollars raised to buy and outfit the boats… “

    Greta Berlin, Co-Founder, the Free Gaza movement

    Are they really spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to deliver mismatched shoes and expired medicine to Gaza, again? (Wouldn't DHL be cheaper?) Clearly the point isn't the “aid”.

    Does everone see this?

  4. The ad that shows a “Palestinian designer.” I thought that the Great Nation of Palestine (peace be upon it) was starving to death under evil Israeli occupation. They actually have call for designers there? How can things be so bad, if a man can find work as a *designer* in the West Bank?

    Or is he working in New York?

    A Palestinian designer. It's too hilarious, thinking of a man sketching his fall fashion line while those fascistic Israelis snatch the bread from his little daughter's mouth.

    Then again, maybe he's designing explosive devices. Now, that would make more sense!

  5. I like the ads. Israel's ethnic and religious diversity could be an asset and a strength. As long as non-Jews are treated like unwelcome aliens and foreigners, Israel will not be able to realize its potential as a vibrant democracy. The “existential threat” to Israel doesn't come from Iran or Palestinian terrorism; it comes from Israel's own ongoing identity crisis as “Jewish state” and can only be resolved by granting full equality to its inhabitants regardless of their religion and ethnicity.

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