I just realized that I’m less than a month away from publishing my 500th piece on Divest This.
I know that 500 posts is small beer compared to some blogs that can turn out that many entries on a good day. But this site has always been more about using the blog format to explore various issues that emerge from or orbit the seemingly small subject of BDS. And performing this analysis has required journalistic-style analysis articles vs. the type of “news-of-the-day” postings done so much better (and more frequently) by others.
So barring any late-breaking news (like last week’s Max Brenner BDS fiasco in my neighborhood that cried out for coverage), I’d like to spend between now and post 500 organizing and synthesizing the main ideas developed from four year studying the BDS “movement.”
That’s the good news.
The bad news is that once I hit this 500 mark, Divest This will be going on hiatus.
The timing of this decision is largely driven by the fact that I’m about to embark on a major work-related project that will require a certain level of single-mindedness for the rest of this year. (Anyone interested in hearing about what I’ll be doing can drop me a note.)
But even without that project looming, I realized a while ago that the blog format, which has been such a powerful and effective way to explore ideas and get feedback in real time, has limitations when it comes time to synthesize those ideas into a coherent whole.
For instance, the close study of BDS over the last four years provided the chance to review and discuss a wide range of issues, such as the true nature of the Arab war against Israeli and the political dynamics behind Israel’s detractors and defenders in the information component of that war.
This exploration provided an opportunity to look at the strategy, tactics and rhetoric of the conflict, as well as take a deep dive into all of the players involved with a BDS battle (including the third parties such as schools and churches that BDS turns into a battlefield). And speaking of third parties, the timing of Divest This even gave me the chance to watch the evolution of BDS within a new category of institution (the food coop) from initial infection through ultimate immunization.
The open-ended nature of the blog also let me play with different writing formats (including fiction) to engage with and illustrate themes that have now become memes (such as #BDSFail and the exposure of BDS hoaxes).
But the blog’s reverse chronological structure also means that material which may continue to be relevant quickly gets buried, even with some of the tools a strong blogging platform provides to help organize posts into categories or highlight articles that stress a relevant topic or theme on the home page.
This is not such a big deal when the goal is to expose lots of divergent material to a wider audience and see what works and what doesn’t. But once it becomes time to pull together the threads of this multi-year conversation into something that integrates into a coherent whole, then the blog may need to give way to a different medium (such as a book, white paper series, or educational curriculum) which allows disparate ideas and themes to weave into an integrated totality.
So while I am busy with my other project this year, I will be exploring what might work best with the material I’ve developed over the years. And any thoughts, suggestions, comments or ideas from everyone who has spent time with me over the years are more than welcome. (Yes, that even includes you Mr. Anonymous/BDS.)
Now having said all that, the fight against BDS is far from over (unfortunately), and while I expect it to re-enter the type of remission we experienced between 2006-2009 if the Middle East itself ever manages to cool down for a few years, the unlikeliness of that happening means that BDS will continue to be the propaganda tool of choice for Israel’s adversaries over the coming months (if not years).
And while I may not be blogging regularly on the subject, I certainly hope to find a home to publish the occasional piece if and when the next big BDS story breaks. And I hope that the material on this site will continue to provide some of the perspective and background that often gets lost in such multi-year political engagements (especially on college campuses), as well as useful suggestions for how to counter BDS campaigns effectively.
Also, while I may not be writing on the subject on a weekly basis, I will continue to be available to anyone struggling with their own BDS-related problems, regardless of how busy I get with other things during the coming year.
While we’re still a few weeks off from a format goodbye, I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to participate in this journey over the last several years and I hope you’ll enjoy the summaries that you’ll be seeing over the next several posts until we hit that somewhat arbitrary, but apparently decisive number of 500.