Fighting BDS – UCLA Students Reject Divestment from Israel


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Today’s Top BDS Stories:

home1. The UCLA student government handed the BDS movement a resounding defeat this week, voting down a divestment resolution. The vote, taken during ‘Israel Apartheid Week,’ has only symbolic meaning since the Student government has no power over University of California finances. However, a vote by the student government to divest from Israel would have significant propaganda value for the BDS.

Instead, as William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection writes, it’s a huge defeat for BDS.

The vote received enormous attention, and was trending in the U.S. on Twitter.

This is a huge defeat for BDS on campus. Divestment resolutions recently were overturned at UC-Riverside and defeated at UC-Santa Barbara. I can’t say whether this is a national trend, but it does signify that pro-Israel students now are more organized than in the past.

Israellycool followed the debate as it was happening:

There were more than a few who let their obvious anti-Semitism flag fly, almost proudly. The one speaker who said that IDF soldiers who were there to speak were “intimidating;” another who quite intentionally referred to the IDF as “IOF” (“Israel Occupation Force”), a typical insult to those who protect Israel. The self-described “queer” who accused Israel of pinkwashing was actually rather humorous, with his lecture about not using words like “gay” or “homosexual” to describe his people, followed by his assertion that gays are treated well in the Middle East (not Israel, where being gay is not illegal nor punishable by death, but in the rest of the Middle East).

2. Boycott movement taking a new form in Jordan. Elder of Ziyon reports that a new group has emerged in Jordan attempting to intimidate store owners from selling Israeli goods, then posting a sinister-looking poster in their window declaring they won’t sell “enemy” goods.

3. You can’t fight for justice with hypocrisy, and there is no bigger hypocrisy today than ‘Israel Apartheid Week.’

Other BDS-Related Content:

* A member of Americans for Peace Now draws a distinction between the BDS movement and smaller efforts directed toward ending Israel’s presence over the Green Line.

The BDS movement treats Israel and the occupied territories as a single entity, seeing everything Israeli as a legitimate target for activism and thus, in effect, ignoring the Green Line — the 1949 Armistice line between Israel and the occupied territories.  Supporters of this kind of BDS can find their mirror image in settlers and Greater Israel ideologues who want to erase the Green Line, in order to promote permanent Israeli control of the occupied territories.

In contrast, the current wave of pressure on Israel is a resounding rejection of efforts to ignore or erase the Green Line. This pressure, which has so shaken up Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he recently attacked U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for merely pointing out the danger of isolation facing Israel, is at its core a powerful affirmation of Israel’s legitimacy as a state, coupled with an equally powerful condemnation of Israel’s actions and policies beyond the Green Line.

 * What if the BDS actually stopped “singling out” Israel and started boycotting Iran, China, Russia, and other human rights abusers? How would Israel’s supporters feel about Israel’s being included on that list?

 * In addition to the Rethink2014 campaign, there is another positive campaign underway that is worthy of attention – IDF Diversity Week, according to Gabsy Debinski.

Meanwhile, al-Jazeera reports that Rethink2014 is sparking debate.

 See yesterday’s Fighting BDS Roundup.

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