Thursday, February 23, 2012

Marching Orders from Divest This!

Our good friend at Divest This! has been part of more anti-BDS campaigns than you can count. He has documented the numerous failures and the unrestrained hubris of the movement for years. We are grateful for this pep talk from an experienced veteran. The whole thing is great, but here are two of my favorite parts.
Now keep in mind that this vote is not taking place because local BDSers convinced anyone of anything. Rather, they pushed for an Israel boycott referenda (similar to failed boycott appeals at places like Davis and Sacramento California), and when told that such a referenda would sicken and appall huge numbers of members they said, in effect, “So what?” And since the rules of most co-ops are rather loose, presuming as they do that members will act in good faith and not try to manipulate the organization for their own ends (at the expense of other members), the only way to close out a matter the BDSers will continue to push (regardless of the cost to others) was to let a vote on the referenda go forward.
And this:
Needless to say, attempts to prick the conscience of the BDSers over issues such as terrorist murders of Israelis or Arab deaths at the hands of Hamas or Assad will fall on deaf ears since the BDSers are indifferent to Israeli life and even Palestinian lives are only measured in terms of their usefulness to “the movement”. But arguments directed over the boycotters heads to the general membership can be as effective in Park Slope as they have been everywhere else.

And that message is: why the hell should a group of single-issue partisans be allowed to speak on behalf of the thousands of members of an institution that BDS had no role in building? After all, the boycotters are free as individuals to not buy all the Israeli products they like. And they’re even free to start their own co-op and build into its charter the refusal to ever let an Israeli orange or seltzer dispenser stain their shelves.

Ah, but that’s not what they want, is it? They want to be able to claim that their minority opinion represents the will of thousands of members of a respected organization, and thus give their propaganda message unearned weight.
Go read the whole thing.

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