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Today’s Top BDS Stories: 1. Israeli Ministers left out of government BDS discussion.
The discussion was originally scheduled for 10 days ago, but was rescheduled for Sunday. Unlike the originally planned meeting, reports Maariv, many ministers were not invited to Sunday’s discussion – including Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid, Yaakov Perry and Shai Piron, as well as Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.
Ministers who did participate include Avigdor Liberman and Yuval Steinitz (Likud-Beytenu) and Naftali Bennett of the Jewish Home. The proposal discussed by the ministers was prepared by Yossi Kuperwasser, Director of the Ministry for Strategic Affairs, which is headed by Steinitz. Also present were representatives of the Mossad, Shin Bet and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).
2. NY Times’ Roger Cohen comes out against BDS.
In theory, B.D.S. might be a positive factor. When the largest Dutch pension fund and the largest Danish bank withdraw investments from, or cease business with, Israeli banks because of their operations in the settlements, they send a powerful signal to Israel to get out of the West Bank.
Yet these developments make me uneasy for a simple reason: I do not trust the B.D.S. movement. Its stated aim is to end the occupation, secure “full equality” for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, and fight for the right of return of all Palestinian refugees. The first objective is essential to Israel’s future. The second is laudable. The third, combined with the second, equals the end of Israel as a Jewish state. This is the hidden agenda of B.D.S., its unacceptable subterfuge: beguile, disguise and suffocate.
3. Battle over anti-boycott legislation, which has moved beyond the state of New York, is heating up, and Jewish groups are caught in the middle. Buzzfeed, the influential Internet site, featured a story quoting Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League expressing doubts about the legislation, which would bar state funding to universities that participate in an academic boycott against Israel.
“We welcome any effort to challenge or fight the boycott, divestment and sanctions in colleges and universities,” said Abe Foxman, director of the ADL. “However well-intentioned, we are not sure that this bill would be the most effective means of recourse.”
The battle over the bill appears to center around the First Amendment rights of universities to boycott Israeli academics. While more than 200 university presidents agreed that the academic boycott, as called by the ASA, threatens academic freedom, the issue may boomerang on the anti-boycott movement if its seen as harming free speech.
The New York Times’ editorial page editor’s blog claimed the motivation behind the legislation on the part of its sponsors was “a misguided attempt to appear pro-Israel.”
Other BDS-Related Content:
* Irish Independent writer explains the logic of Scarlett Johansson’s decision to side with SodaStream over Oxfam. Meanwhile, Elder of Ziyon looks at Max Blumenthal’s efforts to give the impression the BDS disaster was actually a victory.
True, there are some B-listers – washed-up rock stars and second-rate acts – that have bowed to pressure and joined the boycott of Israel. Why did they do that? Well, according to Blumenthal, it has nothing to do with what they really believe in.
It is because the Israel haters who push the boycott are bullies! And they are proud of it! * Moshe Arens cuts to the heart of the BDS movement in an article in Haaretz.
The Boycott, Disinvestment, Sanctions campaign against Israel is a blatant attempt to delegitimize the Jewish state. The word delegitimization is sanctimoniously omitted from the initials of BDS, but it is undeniably the foundation and the ultimate aim of this campaign. Does that mean that all those who lend their support to this campaign to delegitimize the State of Israel are anti-Semites? The leaders and many of its promoters are, and they are joined by those that Lenin called the “useful idiots,” who believe they are only lending their support to a protest against certain policies of the Israeli government, to the “Israeli occupation” of Judea and Samaria.
PLO official Hanan Ashrawi gets op-ed space on the same day to argue that BDS is simply a non-violent movement.
It also constitutes a proactive method of nonviolent resistance that is essential to the Palestinian struggle for equality and freedom. It provides individuals, groups and networks all over the world with an opportunity to engage effectively and to make a difference by means of individual and collective acts of social responsibility.
* Suit alleges Australian academic violated anti-discrimination laws.
The case was filed last year by Israeli legal centre Shurat HaDin on behalf of Hebrew University academic Dan Avnon after Lynch declined to sign a form in support of his application to conduct research in Australia.
Explaining his refusal, Lynch, who is director of Sydney University’s centre for peace and conflict studies, cited his support for BDS and the fact that Hebrew University has a campus in the West Bank, and ties to the Israel Defence Force.
See yesterday’s Fighting BDS Roundup.