Getting Started

Word has it that the odd crowd of Israel-dislikers who tend to perpetually form groups that contain the words “Peace” and “Justice” in their titles has decided to strap electrodes onto the neck bolts of divestment one more time, not realizing that even Frankenstein’s Monster has a shelf life.

To date, these efforts have amounted to students holding press conferences at Hampshire College to announce that the school has divested from Israel when it hasn’t, and other students barricading themselves into the cafeteria at NYU until forced out by school security (and personal hygiene).

As these examples attest, divestment advocates have had a pretty tough time of it since 2004 when divestment was riding high in the Presbyterian, Methodist and other Mainline Protestant churches, and divest-from-Israel campaigns were cropping up in universities, municipalities and unions across the country. Today, the “movement” is pretty much in ruins. Again and again, the churches have voted down divestment by overwhelming majorities, and not one school or city has sold a single share of stock related to the Jewish state.

Still, it is clear that the guys and gals intent on beating this dead horse have no intention of giving up, and the tactics they are choosing (such as building take-overs, which follow similar activities on UK college campuses last year) are getting aggressive and louder. What better time, then, to bring some background, perspective and (I hope) insight and humor into what might unfold on campuses this year with regard to the divestment issue.