Sunday, April 07, 2013

Australian pro-BDS group may be ousted from Jewish umbrella group

From Australian Jewish News:

THE Australian Jewish Democratic Society (AJDS) could be ousted from the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) after its Pesach campaign to encourage boycotts against Israeli settlements.

JCCV president Nina Bassat said AJDS’s affiliation would be reviewed. “While the JCCV recognises that its affiliates have the right to formulate their own policies, this campaign is repugnant to the longstanding policies of the JCCV and indeed to the views of the majority of our community. The philosophical differences between the JCCV and the AJDS are such that I propose to bring for discussion at our next meeting the future of the AJDS as a JCCV affiliate.”

Jewish organisations condemned a renewed call by the AJDS for boycotts of products made in Israeli settlements and on the Golan Heights, after the group initially called for partial boycotts two years ago.

Comparing Palestinian workers to “the slaves of biblical Egypt”, AJDS launched an online campaign, “Don’t Buy From the Settlements”, urging Jews “to avoid buying products made in settlements located in the Occupied Territories”.

Timed to hit Jews as they sat down to seders, non-Jewish Australians were also in the campaign’s crosshairs, its media release describing “the Jewish festival of Passover, which is commonly known as a festival of freedom”.

“On Passover we remember that Jews were once slaves in biblical Egypt. This year the AJDS is putting a call out to the Jewish community asking them to join a long history of people who have fought for freedom, for both Jews and for non-Jews,” the statement said.

The campaign’s website, which features a detailed list of companies to boycott, faulted settlements as “the main obstacle to peace”.

AJDS executive member Dr Jordy Silverstein told The AJN her organisation was “very disappointed” at talk of disaffiliation. “It seems a real shame that the JCCV has decided that it’s not acceptable to just have a conversation.”
"Just have a conversation"?

The AJDS created an entire website named "Don't Buy Settlement Products" that is essentially a copy of every BDS site out there.

Of course, their list of products is a very good one to use if you want to support Israel. The page is so attractive, it could be a shopping cart page!

(h/t BH)