Sunday, January 15, 2012

Is BDS a Progressive Cause?

No. BDS is not a progressive cause. Even though many of the people who support it call themselves progressives, and they boast their leftist credentials, it is not a progressive cause.

Divest This! has been writing a series of responses to the sessions scheduled at the upcoming BDS conference to be held at the University of Pennsylvania in a few weeks. Today's post, PennBDS – Packaging BDS, deals specifically with how BDS is marketed as a progressive cause.
virtually the entire BDS vocabulary is designed to reach a very specific section of the political marketplace: progressive audiences. In fact, the reason why anyone choosing to defend Israel and counter these accusations (including this blog) is frequently condemned as “right wing” is because the BDSers want to claim full ownership of the left end of the political spectrum.

Beyond just trying to gain adherents to their cause among progressive individuals and organizations, the boycotters make it very clear that their agenda item is not just one among many but is the single defining issue for left-leaning audiences with anyone who disagrees cast out as a member of the “racist right.”
Naturally, Divest This! goes on to point out that all the progressive targets of BDS, such as universities, unions, food coops, etc. have repeatedly rejected BDS.

I always thought that supporting the notion of a "social safety-net" was the central tenet of progressivism. So I find it interesting that the faux-progressive, anti-Israel bloggers are having a love-affair with Ron Paul because of his non-interventionist positions - in particular his view on Israel. This gives a new meaning to "Israel firster." "We will throw away any progressive value we hold because we put our hatred of Israel first."

The BDS movement is about denying to the Jewish people the right of self-determination, the right to a sovereign nation. It is about trying to slander Israel as uniquely evil and worthy of elimination. It is about denying the history of the Jewish people and their connection to the Land of Israel. It is about supporting demands that if put into effect will result in the physical endangering of 5.5 million Jews. It is about ignoring the responsiblities and obligations of the Arab countries to the refugees that were created by their decisions to engage in war. It is about ignoring the human rights violations of those countries. This is not progressive. It is racist.  It is anti-Semitic.


  1. Barb:
    this is just so fantastic.
    Also: every core progressive ideal such as women and gay rights, rule of law (as opposed to mob mentality)the right to freedom of religion, speach etc, is upheld in Israel and almost completely absent in the Palestinian controlled territories as well as the remainder of the arab and muslim world.

  2. question:

    Yesterday I stumbled on this piece of dirt. Is anything known whether Kris Kristofferson condones this? It includes all even al Dura. If he condones it that'd really hurt, at least two songs he wrote are really special to me.

    1. Welcome, Silke -

      The song was released in 2006 as part of an album named "This Old Road." As far as I can tell, the song "In the News" was written about the Iraq War.

      It seems these boycott people just took the song and used it to accompany their pictures.


    2. yes but there seems to be no distancing himself from it by Kristofferson

      I should be used to things like that by now but they still hurt if it comes in connection with somebody one loves and thus also trusted.

    3. He might not know about it. It is hard to believe, {grin}, but most of the world is not really obsessed with BDS. If you are that concerned, go to the contacts tab at his website,, and shoot an email asking if he is aware his music is being used for the soundtrack and does he approve. Nycerbarb

  3. I thought of BDS as a regressive cause...because it hearkens back to the dark ages when Jews were vilified for wanting to be treated like any other ethnicity with an ancestral homeland. It's not like we ever left Jerusalem or the rest of Israel for that matter.

    But no matter; all this does is strengthen our resolve to call out the liars from their lairs. How sad that in the 21st Century we still have to do that.

  4. You need to post this:


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