Before subjecting their manifesto of alleged success to some humble critiquing, it’s worth noting that their first lie appears before the article even starts, with a title that continues the BDSers tradition of not even being able to be honest about their own birthday.
As a reminder to new readers, the BDS “movement” actually began in 2001 at the now-notorious Durban I conference where national governments (dozens of which are hostile to the Jewish state) and a similar number of equally hostile anti-Israel NGOs met at parallel conferences and decided to launch “The Apartheid Strategy” – a propaganda program to brand Israel as the inheritor of Apartheid South Africa, with boycott and divestment (which were once used against South Africa) selected as the tactic of choice to turn the Jewish state into an international pariah.
This early BDS era actually achieved its peak of success in 2004 when the Presbyterian Church passed their original resolution to begin a process of “phased, selective divestment” in companies doing business with the Jewish state. With this win providing them momentum, the boycotters spent the next two years bringing divestment campaigns to colleges and universities, retailers, unions and other Mainline Protestant churches in hope that more victories would help them spread their message farther and wider.
Unfortunately for them, there were no takers and when the Presbyterians themselves rescinded their divestment resolution in 2006, divestment pretty much went into remission until it re-emerged in the rebranded form of “BDS” in after the 2008 Gaza war and 2009 Hampshire divestment hoax.
So long and short of it, a start date of 2005 (which is the birthday used to give the impression BDS is now 7 years old) was chosen to (1) tie the current BDS movement to an alleged 2005 “Call for BDS by Palestinian Civil Society,” giving the impression that BDS emerged from the grassroots of “Palestine” vs. the sordid sewers of Durban; and (2) to erase years that contained the biggest BDS failures (and, by necessity, their biggest successes) from history.
With that out of the way, let’s get to the text.
I have to note that I did this same kind of analysis last year on two similar “But We Are Actually Winning!” documents published by other boycott and divestment advocates, so many of the details below will refer back to that previous set of postings.
That series began by picking out examples from the BDSer’s “victory” documents that were outright frauds, such as Hampshire and Blackrock, two examples that the BDS at 7 piece interestingly omit (indicating that these hoaxes may have finally become a liability). There are some new hoaxes, of course, with the failure of Agrexco – an Israeli flower exporter – attributed to the activities of European boycotters, rather than to problems with the domestic market and financial mismanagement which were the true causes behind the company entering liquidation.
And while we’re on the subject of mis-representation, one of their most glaring entries has to do with the Ahava retail shop in London that the BDSers claim was closed down due a “sustained campaign” by BDS activists. While this is technically true, they failed to mention that this “sustained campaign” consisted of months of violent demonstrations and disruptions at or near the store, which finally caused neighboring businesses to complain, leading to Ahava not renewing its lease. So in this case, a “sustained campaign of thuggery” would be a more accurate description of this vaunted BDS “victory.”
My earlier series also talked about claimed victories that were long outdated, such as the British Union of Journalists (NUJ), University and College Union (UCU), and University of Johannesburg (UJ) (all of whom passed and then unpassed various boycott-related resolutions). Of these three stories, only the U Johannesberg story remains (uncorrected, of course) in the new BDS at 7 story.
BDS at 7 also includes a number of references to Veolia, a French multinational currently getting out of a number of business worldwide, while also going through the normal process of winning a few and losing a few. Needless to say, the boycotters attribute each and every negative thing that happened to the company to their political campaign efforts. But given that they were caught passing off simple business decisions as politically motivated time and time again, it’s not clear why we are required to take them at their word now regarding continued claims of causality.
Other claims of “victory” (such as the European Parliament’s decision to not renew a contract with the security company G4S) fall into the same post-hoc fallacy we’ve seen time and time again where the BDSers claim that since they were agitating against a company before something bad happened (like G4S losing a contract), then their activity must have been the cause of that decision.
Which brings up the question of why BDS, alone of all boycott and divestment-related political projects, requires outside activists to “translate” the decisions these various companies are making in order to “prove” that they are BDS related? After all, when companies stopped doing business with Apartheid South Africa or Iran or Sudan for political reasons, there was no ambiguity about those decisions since the companies themselves made it entirely clear what they were doing and why. Only BDS, it seems, requires an anointed class of political clerics to read the minds of actual business decision makers, including those who vehemently deny the boycotter’s interpretation of events.
Anyway, it looks like I was too fast on the draw to tease the other side for writing long articles, since it seems that this analysis of their BDS at 7 “victory march” will have to continue next time.
To be continued…