Fighting BDS – CodePink Takes on Scarlett Johansson over SodaStream


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

Today’s Top BDS Stories:

1. CodePink launches campaign urging people to write to Scarlett Johansson to “drop SodaStream.” The group is also pressuring Oxfam to suspend Johansson as one of its Goodwill Ambassadors

2.  New York Times looks at one “buycott” effort for products from the West Bank as a counter to the boycotts against products from that region. The effort focuses around the Orange Pages website (in Hebrew) that gives information on how to purchase products from the West Bank.

 “The message for our children is, you see something wrong, you fix it,” she said. “We saw a boycott, we see injustice, then you do something about it. Even if it’s just one little baby step.”

3. Haaretz blogger Nora Gold offers some pro-active suggestions against the boycott movement, starting with an engagement with the pro-Israel left.

One step we can – and must – immediately take is to create a worldwide, well-organized partnership between left-wing pro-Israel professors and their local Jewish communities, with branches of this initiative in every major city where the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement has a presence.

There’s reason to think this plan could be effective: It’s based on research. Six years ago I conducted a study of 80 pro-Israel Canadian professors (mostly left-wing), and the result of that research was to propose this partnership plan. What triggered this research altogether was my observation that the Jewish community’s main approach to fighting anti-Israelism on campus was to mobilize pro-Israel students, and this seemed incomplete. Students are on campuses just temporarily. The only people who are there for the long haul are the professors, and therefore only they can significantly influence the culture of a university. So I thought it was crucial to start mobilizing the professors. But not just any professors — specifically those on the left who are also pro-Israel. Why? Because real change only occurs from within, so if we want to change/educate the (anti-Israel) left, the only people who can do this are those on the (pro-Israel) left.

Other BDS-Related Content:

* Wprth Watching – Video of a pro-Palestinian rally.

* Accountablity prevails: South African university finds 10 students guilty of disrupting a performance by an Israeli musician on campus. The SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) praised the ruling, calling it “a firm and unambiguous stand against those who abuse their right to protest by flouting the principles of academic freedom and unlawfully seeking to silence alternative viewpoints.” (Via Stop the BDS)

* Dan Margolit says Israel’s battle against de-legitimization is going to increase following the collapse of peace talks.

This is the most dangerous battle of all. Because Israel will not only be facing an array of Arab opponents, but also supposed friends, stricken with hypocrisy. They will also have partners inside Israel for their campaign. Israel’s enemies will even try to use the Israelis who, with the best of intentions, are going to the World Economic Forum in Davos to represent the Israeli economy. Israel will have to fight this battle on a number of fronts.

The extreme Right is calling for further settlement construction and Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett claims that the establishment of a Palestinian state would destroy the Israeli economy. Such statements do nothing but encourage the Europeans to boycott the Israeli economy. The establishment of a Palestinian state is the apple of Europe’s eyes. At the same time, the extreme Left is cooperating with those who seek to undermine the legitimate demands of the Israeli government in the peace talks with the Palestinians. For example, former Knesset speaker Avraham Burg, who wears a kippah and voted in the French elections, has no desire for Israel to remain a Jewish state.

* Amy Schwartz says the recent Modern Languages Association (MLA) resolution denouncing Israel was a case of a “rampaging minority” pushing its will on scholars largely unfamiliar with the issues.

Colleagues who have attended MLA meetings for decades say they have never seen anything like what occurred. Several members who first learned of the agenda at the conference expressed such disgust that they threatened to cancel their membership if the resolution passes. A serious backlash by members this spring would not be surprising.