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Nov 11, 2015

Beating BDS: a plan for Jewish integrity

a guest post by Dr. Harold Goldmeier

Beating BDS: a plan for Jewish integrity

The new semester is underway for university students.  We can expect more anti-Israel propaganda spewed commensurate with more Palestinian stone throwers and shooters injured and killed by IDF forces, and retaliation from Israel for Hamas rockets. Today’s headline from BBC and CNN is how Israel killed a pregnant woman and her 2 years old daughter in a Gaza airstrike on Hamas targets.
The attention of organized Jewry and university students is once again directed at threats from the Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) worldwide movement now that the nuclear/economic development agreement with Iran is a done deal. Diaspora Jews and the State of Israel are emotionally charged about BDS for three reasons, and are vowing to do something about it. I have some suggestions for them. 

First, only Israel is boycotted when many other nations have populations wanting their independence from oppressors (Catalonia, Cyprus wants Turkey’s occupation troops out, Tibet, Kurds, etc.).  Jews passionately believe the single-directed BDS Movement and its supporters are blatant anti-Semites and anti-Zionism is a cover.  They only boycott Jewish Israeli professors, universities, goods and businesses. They never call for an end to Arab states that by law and domestic repressive measures kill and brutalize Palestinians and Muslims.
Second, pro-Israel university students feel the weight of anti-Israel professors on their transcripts and are singularly challenged in classes. They bear the responsibility of defending Israel when they are in classes expecting a balanced curriculum teaching them the politics of the Middle East.
Third, Jewish proponents of Israel feel physically threatened by organized anti-Israel student groups regularly demonstrating against the existence of Israel. They are verbally and physically threatening Jewish students. The Jewish students feel alone on campus unprotected by school administrations the way Black and LGBT are protected. One of my students studying in Israel for a year reports transferring out from UCLA for fear of retribution by Middle East studies professors and threats from other leftist and Muslim students.

Pro-Israel advocates decry and bemoan BDS, which celebrated its ten years anniversary in July 2015. BDS is more about psychological terror than impacting Israel’s economy. Annihilate BDS not with volumes of logic, but changing perceptions by exacerbating their flaws with psychological manipulation, focus, passion, and ardor for plunder.
Jewish integrity is on the line, and if Israel’s supporters do not stand up to BDS and their minions then young Jews feel they and the Jewish People are impotent and unsafe. Never again.
Counter BDS activities are heating up on four fronts.  First, Israel advocates are compiling a $50m war chest to “take on” campus-based BDS. Knesset members under guidance from leadership on the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committees are targeting BDS using counter-intelligence tactics to stop what ministers label a form of terrorism.
Third, independents like Stand With Us are using social media in proactive ways. Last, Gilad Erdan is PM Netanyahu’s sobriquet Minister of BDS. His charge is to strategize against BDS under the rubrique “public safety, strategic affairs and public diplomacy.”
My decades in community organizing work including the U. S. Civil Rights Movement taught me nothing short of a mission to destroy BDS is acceptable. Concerted, threatening, rigorous and resolute actions brought down Jim Crow and freed Soviet Jews.
The most effective tactics are political theatre, the willingness to appear to respond to violence with violence, and initiating retaliations against anti-Israel professors and corporate decision makers. The medium is the message, Marshall McLuhan taught us.
Build on a reputation of Jews as powerful, manipulative, tough (thanks to the IDF), and cunning, rather than take offense and shirk away. It is the right reputation to have in a bloody fight. It’s the appearance of power that is critical. The BDS fight needs be personal at every turn, in every location, at every level, everyday.
Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and The 48 Laws of POWER  (Robert Greene and Joost Elffers) are valuable reads that offer many more martinet strategies for annihilating BDS. Here are some other tips.
Pro-Israel groupthink must be mean and tough. Change the language, tone and tenor. Battling BDS is a political/psychological war against terror. Roundtable discussions, dinner circuit speeches, and Jews’ penchant for kumbaya shackle Israel advocates to defensive instead of proactive actions.
Think like Tony Soprano and God’s Chinese son, Hong Xiuquan. He said our enemies “ought to come kneeling” and show “the principles of true submission…conspicuous filial piety to us.” No less, PM Netanyahu said before Congress, “The days when the Jewish people are passive in the face of threats to annihilating us, those days are over. Today we have a voice.”
Finance legal actions as a tactic. Tie up the local chapters and collaborators in court for threats to the peace, violations of university anti-race baiting rules, free speech infringements. Challenge their non-profit tax status in court. Make BDS and supporters feel pain.  Jews pressured the Canadian government to de-fund The Canadian Arab Federation.
Kudos to the students arrested a year ago September filibustering an Ohio University student senate meeting protesting the president’s blood bucket challenge in support of BDS. Kudos to the law firm representing them pro bono. The students ought to have been given an honor seat at Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. How sensational for him to have welcomed them. Instead, the PM and pro-Israel groups ignore these heroes.
It is unacceptable when a University of California committee established recently to specifically evaluate and recommend antidotes for campus anti-Semitism and the delegitimizing of Israel simply issues a list of Principles Against Intolerance.
Thirty Jewish legacy communal organizations utterly failed in their efforts to get the U of C governing body and regent to take them seriously. Their walk away exacerbates the appearance of impotence and disregard for young Jews’ agenda. The aging memberships of these organizations are a telltale sign of disillusionment among young people.
The evidence presented was extensive including complaints Jewish students face like “Zionists should be sent to the gas chambers,” swastikas on walls, and a climate of harassment, intimidation, violence, and Jewish events disrupted and shut down.
The administration issued a tepid and mealy response to years of unchecked campus anti-Semitism about general intolerance on campus. Here is a perfect opportunity for the thirty groups to physically enter the administration offices demanding a specific action plan to combat anti-Semitism on U of C campuses and the firing of hateful professors. One group proposes Congress withhold federal funds from schools that do nothing. Direct action like students took in the ‘60s is more effective.
If a movement is not controversial it’s not worth the fight. Teach the art of political theatre to thousands of Israel advocacy students and professional demonstrators. Deploy them as ready-to-roll commando units flooding campuses, administration buildings, and TV news stations, students or not, on critical days like anti-Israel Apartheid Week.
Cactus is a Luxembourg based food store chain caving to months of picketing by pro-Palestinian protestors. Cactus and their Swedish counterparts boycott Israeli products. Here is where a coordinating committee can dispatch a tactical team to picket stores and the homes of corporate executives.  The message, to warn women away from shopping here, especially with children in tow, because Muslims are allegedly responsible for the 300% increase in rapes of Swedish women and the skyrocketing rate of rapes of children according to studies reported on BBC.

Manipulate perceptions and exacerbate their flaws.
Occupy washrooms; block the exits and refreshment bars in theatres performing plays with themes like The Death of Klinghoffer. Nobody cares about pickets in the streets at these events unless the faces of patrons crossing picket lines are plastered all over the media.
BDS supporters physically assaulting Jews at UC Irvine and Berkeley, U of C, and Maryland, and other universities must be punished and prosecuted. Jews must be willing to defend themselves. Demand investigations, expulsions, and firings; occupy administration offices at schools.
Demand zero tolerance where social media carry attacks like the one from someone at the University of Chicago: “Gas them, burn them and dismantle their power structure. Humanity cannot progress with the parasitic Jew.” Always make the counterattack to BDS public in language that stirs the soul.
Play loud music when BDS Muslim students are trying to pray.
Put on street theatre performances portraying the beheadings and rapes of gays and non-Muslims.
Replicate Muslim slave markets by pulling cages with girls and boys.
Train videographers to capture these actions, and share them on You Tube.

It hurts Jews to talk like this and an anathema to our way of thinking. A rabbi to whom I sent a draft of this piece came back at me calling me a Muslim thug. We’re not like them. Well, we better learn from the best thugs how to win hearts and minds and make institutional changes or our children will not have safe campuses or a sense of their own integrity.
Change tactics often. Be as vile as the law allows if the object is to annihilate BDS.  In the words of King David, “Let all my foes be shamed and utterly confounded….”

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1 comment:

  1. Acting like a thug will just get a lot of Jews, especially Jewish students, arrested. That's not going to do them, nor Israel, any favors. Legal action, both criminal and civil, is the way to go. Pursue claims of assault, sue the colleges and their trustees. Sue the students under anti-incitement laws. I am sure there are many advocacy groups that can provide pro bono services.

    On the social media front, record the beatings. Record the angry anti-semitic chants. Plaster the videos everywhere. Invade pro-Islam and pro-Arab fora and spam links to Youtube. Get the message out.


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