Fighting BDS – Can We ‘Buycott’ the Cultural Boycott?

venn-diagram-happy-buycott-380x252One of the most effective strategies in fighting BDS is known as “buycott” – making a special effort to buy products from companies specifically targetted by the BDS for boycott.It’s effective because it not only undermines any economic effect of boycott on a particular business but also makes as much positive noise defending Israel as the boycotters make defaming Israel.

Ultimately, buycott is an effective tactic because it creates unintended consequences for the BDS for every boycott it calls.

The effectiveness of the tactic crossed my mind this morning after I began reading that the BDS was targetting the upcoming concert in Israel by Chris De Burgh and seeing numerous calls for people to go to his Facebook page and post positive comments to challenge a barrage of negative comments from BDS supporters. HelpChrisDeBurgh

By the time I went to visit the page, I found a significant number of pro-Israel comments thanking De Burgh for scheduling an appearance in Israel, though I’m sure the fight isn’t finished just yet.

The attack on De Burgh is far from an isolated incident. In fact, De Burgh is just one of 15 cultural figures targeted on a Cultural BDS Checklist published publicly on Facebook and updated regularly.

The list includes instructions on how express displeasure to all of the major international acts due to appear in Israel, including the Rolling Stones and Neil Young, on their associations with Israel and calls on people to “spare about 10 minutes of your time and add your voice to these wonderful initiatives.”

But in the spirit of buycott, the checklist might provide some “wonderful initiatives” for Israel supporters as well. These are the artists who are willing to stand up to the bullies and deserve to know that Israelis appreciate what it means to perform in Israel in the current climate.