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Today’s Top BDS Stories:
1. Tips and tactics for countering the Apartheid smear that’s hitting US and UK campuses today.
The Blaze rounds up some of the best tips from pro-Israel activists on how to counter Israel Apartheid Week activities.
SodaStream turned the tables on BDS campaign against it and emerged as a model for other Israeli companies to follow, according to Noru Tsalic:
Rather than ducking the publicity and keeping ‘a low profile’, as Israeli companies have done in the past, hoping that the issue will quickly drop below the threshold of public interest, Birnbaum was happy to actively engage with the media. Just like a skilled aikido practitioner, he ‘went with’ the attackers’ impetus, turning it to SodaStream’s advantage. He granted interviews, reiterating – in perfect English and confident, relaxed manner – his arguments, not forgetting to ‘drop in’ a few words about the product’s wonderful value proposition. He was happy to organize factory tours for the journalists. In short, he ‘milked’ the situation for every drop of free publicity he could extract. Post the Oxfam-ScarJo ‘incident’, considerably more people are aware of SodaStream and its products than ever before. And augmented awareness – as any retailer knows – translates into increased sales. Don’t be surprised if SodaStream’s next financial reports show a significant bump in sales, especially in USA and Europe.
Take a look at the Rethink2014 Facebook page for another creative tactic countering the Apartheid smear. The campaign features young people holding up signs expressing why they oppose Israel Apartheid Week.
2. ASA academic boycott and its impact on campus
The American Studies Association is having a conference, but asks people not to spread word about too widely to “avoid press, protestors and public attention.” And when the announcement was discovered by pro-Israel bloggers, that disappeared too.
The impact of the ASA academic boycott hit home to a Vassar College alumni, who also happens to write for the Wall Street Journal (link via Google News).
To be sure, I had been aware that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement had taken off on some college campuses, even in the Ivy League. It had become chic to attack Israel even—especially—if you were Jewish. I heard from an alum who was stopped by his own child, a Vassar student, from taking a public stand against the BDS movement. The student was fearful of being ostracized for having a parent who supported Israel.
Suddenly the toxic essence of this movement to make Israel and its supporters pariahs in the groves of academe and the cocktail parties of polite society hit home in a way it hadn’t before. It also brought back painful memories about my own Vassar experience, and the shattered illusions that had marked it.
More than 200 college presidents spoke out against the academic boycott of Israel by the ASA. Binghamton University was not one of them. A student describes the atmosphere on that campus.
“Zionism is Racism,” “Israel is an Apartheid State,” and even the tiny bit hilarious “Zionist Music Gives me the Blues.” These phrases are plastered at the front of my mind. These phrases are the reason I have not slept in days. These phrases attack and shame our history and seek to destroy our future. These phrases were screamed by Students for Justice for Palestine (SJP) students protesting the Haifa Symphony Orchestra which came to visit Binghamton University last week. I stood peacefully and proudly with Israeli flags alongside five students. We stood next to these hateful students who attacked the very foundation of the Jewish state, the very same state I seek to dedicated my life and eventual legacy to.
But Binghamton University was just business as usual. No uproar by the general population at students who bordered on anti-Semitism in their proud display of hate toward anything related to the Jewish state.
3. The apartheid smear debunked.
BICOM has released a comprehensive rebuttal to the Apartheid Smear.
Other BDS-Related Content:
* Dutch pension fund to review decision to sanction Israel.
* Moshe Arens says Palestinian supporters should be cheering, not protesting, factories like SodaStream.
Israeli investments in factories in the industrial parks located beyond the 1949 armistice lines, or what some prefer to call the 1967 lines, are what are called Foreign Direct Investments ? investments made by outsiders that benefit a local economy. Countries around the globe, especially countries with backward economies, seek to obtain such investments. They are exactly what the Palestinian economy in Judea and Samaria needs. They provide work and income for Palestinians at this time and will be economically beneficial in the future, regardless of what the final status of the area will be.
* Does the Jewish world need to provide forums for BDS advocates such as Judith Butler to speak? Jonathan Tobin answers with a resounding NO.
Sounding a theme that has become a constant refrain on the left, supporters of Israel are being accused of cracking down on dissent. But the issue here isn’t free speech or even whether Israel’s policies should be debated. It’s whether an extremist anti-Zionist minority will be able to hijack Jewish institutions.
* Despite the higher profile for BDS, 2014 is looking like a banner year for Israel in entertainment.
See yesterday’s Fighting BDS Roundup.