Veolia – Ain’t the truth pretty?

Every now and then, someone steps up and does the legwork regarding debunking BDS claims so well that one can only stare at their work in silent admiration.

But having gotten that silent moment out of the way, it’s time to praise this remarkable piece of research by the UK groups Lawyers for Israel and Christian Middle East Watch which helps put endless claims of victory by BDS supporters campaigning against the French transportation and engineering firm Veolia into the proper context.

And what is that context?  Well, as we’ve noted before, Veolia has become the latest punching bag (along with Ahava and Soda Stream) of Israel haters endlessly searching for victory stories they can pump into a pipeline they have created for communicating with supporters about BDS momentum and triumph.

But, as Divest This readers know, such victories have been so thin on the ground (and, when they exist, so trivial and irrelevant), that BDSers need to apply a little creativity to generate fake victory stories that tend to not come about all that often here in reality (despite a dozen years of intense effort on the part of the boycotters).

A trend we’ve seen again and again in the financial world involves BDS press releases claiming that normal financial decisions were actually the result of anti-Israel lobbying.  This is similar to the hoax that re-awakened the BDS “movement” in 2009 in which Students for Justice in Palestine claimed that investment decisions at Hampshire College that explicitly had nothing to do with Israel were dressed up as divestment victories.

In the case of Veolia, you’ve got a company which contracts with numerous municipalities around the world.  And since these municipalities normally allow for public input into decision making, this has given the boycotters an opening to put the company on trial for “supporting ‘The Occupation’” due to their limited involvement in a light railway project linking Jerusalem and certain areas that are under dispute between Israel and the Palestinians.

When this tactic has been tried in the US (as it was in California recently) the result has tended to be a firm and certain “No” to requests that municipalities make decisions based on the political whims of a shrill minority.

But in Europe, they have gotten around the problem of having to win an argument by simply attacking Veolia within any city or town it is doing business, and then claiming victory whenever the company loses a contract.

They seem to be counting on the public not understanding the fact that any company will win a few and lose a few in the game of government contracting.  And their hope seems to be that this public will buy into the BDSers post-hoc fallacy that since the boycotters complained to a government organization before Veolia lost a contract, that their protests much be the cause of such losses.

Fortunately, the aforementioned report provides a case-by-case breakdown of each and every instance where BDSers claimed success in a municipal boycott of Veolia, providing that in each case decision-makers made their choices based on normal business factors, not political ones (about Israel or anyone else).

We’ve seen in the last week how the forces of BDS cannot seem to shake themselves of the habit of sneaking behind people’s backs and subverting democracy in order to claim even a marginal success.  But with the Veolia report, we can now combine their contempt for others with that other fine feature of the boycott “movement:” that they’re a bunch of liars as well.

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20 Responses to Veolia – Ain’t the truth pretty?

  1. Anonymous September 25, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    “… BDSers need to apply a little creativity to generate fake victory stories…”

    Quite an understatement. Here's a typical BDS statement, describing the Red Hot Chilli Peppers concert in Tel Aviv in front of 50,000 adoring fans as a victory for BDS.

    “Despite their breach of the Palestinian boycott call, Red Hot Chili Peppers campaign is a BDS success.”

    It shows a breathtakingly poor grasp on reality.

    What can we do but wish them another year of such victories?

  2. Anonymous September 25, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    And just as Jon publishes this post, the Quakers divest from HP and Veolia. Stay in denial, Jon.

  3. Jon September 25, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

    I'm Quakering in my boots.

    BTW – Given you chose not to acknowledge, much less respond to, the evidence presented in the report I discuss above, can we all assume that the Quakers are still the best you guys got?


  4. Jon September 25, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    BTW – Did the Quakers actually have any holdings in either of these two companies? I'm not seeing any:

    Just askin'

  5. DrMike September 25, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

    The Quakers also repeatedly have made their Friends' House in London available to the Hizb-ut-Tahrir Islamist group that condones terrorism against Israelis and denies the Holocaust That's the image you want for BDS? It's right in line with the hate images that came out of Durban in 2001, where the BDS movement was launched. And as long as BDSers continue to play the role of a semi-respectable front for the likes of Hamas and Hizb-ut-Tahrir, we'll make sure to lift the curtain and expose the nastiness behind it.

    • fizziks September 26, 2012 at 12:58 am #

      I think that is the image that they want for BDS. I am not aware that BDS thinks that Holocaust denial is a bad thing.

  6. Anonymous September 25, 2012 at 11:40 pm #

    DrMike is correct. Deep in the belly of the beast- the People's Republic of Berkeley- the Friends meeting House has hosted the miserable Paul Larudee,local International Solidarity Movement (ISM) leader. And the equally miserable Jewish voice for Peace ( JVP) uses the American Friends Service Committee offices for the meeting of their monthly coven, er, um, membership, yes, membership.

  7. Sylvia September 26, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    Yom Kipur has come and gone in Israel besha'ah tova – 145 more Israelis were born today.
    No cars, no noise, even the birds were quiet today. A perfect day for introspection and spirituality.

    But also a perfect day for the slanderers to claim another victory over…Veolia – while the jooze aren't looking.

    I'd take that announcement with a large grain of salt. I find it rather amazing that all those companies always wait for a long holiday, or a Friday afternoon, or a Jewish holiday to divest.

    Those companies are for-profit companies, they are not the UN, who convened their assembly this year to coincide with Yom Kippur eve, when there is no radio, no newspapers, no TV in Israel.

  8. Sylvia September 26, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

    “the equally miserable Jewish voice for Peace ( JVP”

    The only way to deal with them is to call them by their name, as I suggested in the past: They are Reconstructionist clerics with their own, pseudo-religious agenda – and the I/P conflict is a mere pretext for their nefarious anti-Jewish activity.

    Frankly, I won't fall off my chair if I learn that all those named in the JVP Rabbinic Council abandoned Judaism and walked to the Church near them – blaming “the jooze” and taking with them as many members of their congregations (those who have one) as they can.

    They have depleted Judaism of all meaning, and now that it isn't even remotely connected to the Judaism of their childhood, they don't like it anymore. They are proponents of an exacerbated form of individualism, which has nothing to do with Judaism, not even the most nominal Judaism.
    I feel sorry for their congregations.

    We know who they are. Jewish history is replete with them. Already in the Roman period they had to create a special prayer against them that was inserted in the 'Amida”.

    In 13th and 14th century Spain some of the “Malsin” as they were called spent as much as ten years bashing their Jewish community while ingratiating themselves with their future tribe, ending up as the Dominican accuser of Jews at disputations.

    A lot of the incitement that led to the massacre of Seville in 1391 was their work. They did it “to save the Jews”. Sounds familiar?

    Those clerics, the Reconstructionist Federation and their congregations must be confronted with the truth. Before it is too late for the Jews in America.

  9. Sylvia September 27, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    Well, if they didn't lie about it, what would they get an ward for? Except for being “prophetic witness” to Presbyterians…

    The National Committee of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship has voted unanimously to give its Peaceseeker Award for 2013 to Jewish Voice for Peace and the Israel/Palestine Mission Network.

    The joint interfaith award recognizes Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and the Israel/Palestine Mission Network (IPMN) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for their courageous work for justice and peace in Palestine and Israel and for their prophetic witness to the Presbyterian denomination at the 220th General Assembly in Pittsburgh last summer.

    Or maybe it's a consolation award.

    As I said, I wouldn't be shocked if the Reconstructionist clergy of JVP converted to Presbyterianism.

  10. Sylvia September 27, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

    What is “prophetic witness” anyway? Does it have any particular Christian meaning?

  11. Jon September 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    In this particular instance, I suspect it means that you get to present your own narrow, partisan, political interests as actually representing the word of God.

  12. Anonymous September 29, 2012 at 2:54 am #

    Hey Jon, I don't want to speak with you here, but I can't seem to get a hold of you via email. Is your email still working?

  13. Jon September 29, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

    That e-mail should work (although I'm not seeing anything that looks like a direct message over the last week. Send again and I'll keep my eyes open for your note.

  14. Anonymous September 29, 2012 at 11:54 pm #

    In this context, it's interest to note that the lead front page story of the (UK) Jewish Chronicle ( is on a survey claiming that a very high proportion of the UK public are against a cultural boycott of Israel. So all those people wanting to bar the Habimah Theatre of Tel Aviv from performing Merchant of Venice at The Globe in London (as part of the cultural olympics this year) were so wrong.

    And given that the UK actor Mark Rylance is a boycotter and the founding Artistic Director of The Globe, how's that for smack round the face with a wet fish?

  15. Anonymous September 29, 2012 at 11:56 pm #

    By the way, I don't have an URL and am happy to comment under my own name. How do I do this? The options offered below don't seem to work. My comment was published at 754pm US time.

  16. Sylvia September 30, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    You click on the menu choose name/URL write your name and leave URL blank. Click continue then Publish and copy the code indicated. Then Publish..

    • Brian Goldfarb September 30, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

      Thanks, Sylvia

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