Fighting BDS – Can a Facebook Page Turn the Tide on BDS?

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Everything you need to know about fighting BDS and the assault on Israel’s legitimacy. Find us on Facebook here.

Today’s Top BDS domino-effectStories:

1. University of Windsor students vote to endorse BDS. Oxford students reject similar measure. And South Africa’s ruling party, the ANC, officially endorsed “Israeli Apartheid Week.”

“The ANC is proud to join the over 75 South African organizations, trade unions, civil society groups, schools, universities, religious communities, NGOs and other formations in participating in this year’s 10th international Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW),” the statement said.

2. Founder of Scarlett Johansson support page on Facebook: “It was truly an unexpected wave of enthusiasm that completely undercut the ‘BDS is winning social media’ narrative and it is still going on.” The page already has more than 30,000 members and keeps going strong.

3. New York Times publishes a debate between Daniel Gordis of the Shalem Center and Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now on the topic of boycotting settlements. Here is a small excerpt of one of Gordis’ posts that demonstrates that boycotts do more harm than good for people promoting a two-state solution.

Why would we need boycotts to remind Israelis how problematic the current situation is? Polls show Israelis want a deal. The prime minister expended significant political capital when he announced his support for a Palestinian state and then agreed – even with his right-wing coalition deeply opposed – to join the Kerry negotiations. Yet the Palestinians still refuse to budge, because people like those who support a boycott let them know that time is on their side, so they might as well dig in their heels.

Other BDS-Related Content:

* JNS has an interview with Oren Arnon, a promoter at Shuki Weiss Promotion and Production, which has been bringing some of the biggest live performers to Israel for decades.

“What BDS is saying is ‘just shut up—don’t use your art for good or for bad,’ which is something we [at Shuki Weiss Promotion and Production] have a hard time agreeing with,” Arnon says.

* I call it the SodaStream Effect – promoting economic cooperation, not boycotts, to bring peace. CNN looks at the impact of settlement factories, but whitewashes the real BDS goals. Jordan Valley farmers tells VOA that boycotts hurt Israelis and Palestinians in the region.

Israel’s Manufacturing Association said exports from the Palestinian territories total less than one percent of all Israel’s EU trade, $36 billion last year. Its president, Zvi Oren, said EU cutbacks are not helpful to the region.

“If somebody wants real peace between us and the neighbors,” he said. “They should use the economy to promote good relations. They should encourage projects. They should give incentives to joint-projects between Israelis and Palestinians.”

Six thousand Palestinians work on Israeli settlements in the Jordan Valley. They say the pay is up to three times that on Palestinian farms and there receive more benefits than if they worked for Palestinian entities.

* Scholars for Peace in the Middle East published BDS Monitor, its monthly roundup and analysis of BDS-related information, including the current dispute over how big a threat BDS really is:

The Waters and Oxfam case help point to the essentially elite nature of the cultural BDS campaign, which is constituted of Palestinian intellectuals and Western supporters drawn from academia, NGO, entertainment and related sectors. Practical support for BDS by the Palestinian public appears minimal. The influence of BDS on the European public and decision-makers, however, especially through the means of NGOs, academia and journalism, cannot be understated. In contrast, for the moment American openness to BDS is remains limited.

* Legal Insurrection on closed ASA-BDS conference at NYU: “Academic vibrancy in boycott lingo means freedom from criticism. And freedom from those who dissent on the issue of Israel and the academic boycott.”

* UC Davis now offers a course in boycotting Israel, offered by the Students for Justice in Palestine.

Hadas Buskila, the representative for the Jewish Agency for Israel at UC Davis, told Israel Hayom that the course, which does not currently count toward academic credit, is already gaining popularity.

“About 170 students and even two lecturers came to the first class. We are preparing to lead a strategic fight against this initiative, in cooperation with the pro-Israel group on campus,” Buskila said.

See yesterday’s Fighting BDS Roundup.


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