Fighting BDS – Anti-Boycott Fights in France, NY, and IsraelFebruary 16, 2014 16:49 by Alex Margolin
Everything you need to know about fighting BDS and the assault on Israel’s legitimacy. Find us on Facebook here.
Today’s Top BDS Stories:
1. Those who believe that legislation may be the way to fight BDS can look at the Lallouche law in France, which extends the definition of discrimination to include national groups. So far, some 20 BDS activists have been charged with hate crimes under the law.
According to the article, local activists believe the law is working. But there is also a backlash taking place that is well worth considering:
In France, the official crackdown is sparking a backlash from activists who argue that the Lellouche law is too restrictive of free speech.
Before the convictions of Trichine and her associates, a solidarity petition by pro-Palestinian activists failed to garner more than 1,500 signatures. After the convictions, 51 groups — among them several labor unions and political parties with hundreds of thousands of supporters combined — condemned the verdict as “an unbearable attack on freedom of expression.” Three short documentaries have been made about the case, which has been covered in dozens of articles in leading French publications.
The question remains, is it possible to legislate against BDS without restricting free speech and turning the BDSers into sympathetic figures worthy of support?
Meanwhile, the Israeli high court is hearing arguments about the Israeli anti-boycott law.
And the Daily Beast runs down the latest on anti-boycott legislation running through state legislatures in New York and Maryland.
2. Rolling Stones Boycott Israel Facebook page an apparent hoax.
3. A columnist at the Jerusalem Post claimed the boycott threat was a bluff because business in Israel is doing fine. But Larry Derfner, writing in the left wing +972 website, makes an important distinction between boycott’s real goals and their economic impact: ”the boycott is not an economic war against Israel, it’s a psychological war.”
A few paragraphs down, he elaborates:
So as long as the boycott goes forward, even in fits and starts, Israeli anxiety over what the occupation is doing to their future will deepen. Because what do the nationalist powers-that-be have to stop its momentum? Better hasbara? What future do they have to offer Israelis? More settlements? Bombing Iran? Eternal vigilance against Islamofascism? Except for the right-wing true believers, who are a minority here, that’s not what Israelis want.
Other BDS-Related Content:
* Israel Apartheid Week preparations are heating up. A trailer is spreading around social media, featuring quotes from Roger Waters, Stephan Hawking, and even Nelson Mandela, giving the impression Mandela supported BDS.
* The New York Times continues to push BDS-related stories any way it can, including in the “Beliefs” section of the newspaper. The latest article profiled the “exceedingly rare” cases of religiously observant Jews who support BDS against Israel.
HonestReporting’s Yarden Frankel responded to the article:
The claim is that while these views may be in the minority, they are — and have always been – the ethically correct ones. One could easily think it is only these lone voices who understand that Palestinians are also “human.”
* BDS resolution fails at the University of California at Riverside, where the student government voted down a call for divestment from Israeli companies. The measure, apparently, would have been merely symbolic because the university had already ruled out divestment from Israel in 2005.
See yesterday’s Fighting BDS Roundup.