Monday, June 18, 2018




Whoops!  Guess I forgot to follow up on a piece I wrote a few weeks back that ended with a promise to describe ways we might frame our own goals when it comes to fighting BDS.
In that first post, I listed the genuine goals of anti-Israel activists which include (1) poisoning the minds of the young against Israel while (2) colonizing and completely controlling the Left end of the political spectrum.

An obvious description of our own goals would include seeing our opponents’ efforts defeated.  But this is simply a surface-level tactical choice (one often dictated for us).  And if we want to be guided by anything other than the goal-driven decisions of our enemies, we need to have well-understood goals of our own to help define our decisions and actions.

Goals were a frequent topic of discussion when I ran a business years ago, with a variety of techniques pushed by a variety of gurus promising to help organizations articulate the right sort of goals they should pursue.  

“SMART Goals” is a popular method still in use is with “SMART” sanding for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound.  While a few too many conversations about EBITDA and similar ungainly abbreviations left me cool to strategy-by-acronym, SMART Goals stuck with me, given how well they apply to organizations with limited resources – which includes the tiny minority of Jews/Israelis and their activist supporters.

If you look at the list of adjectives making up the SMART acronym (Specific, Relevant, etc.), they all point to goals that are realistic and concrete.  For example, the desire to dominate an industry in five years might be inspiring and energizing, but could also be a flight of fancy.  At the very least, it does not provide a roadmap for how to achieve such an ambition.  In contrast, the goal to win eight new clients of a certain size by the end of the year is SMART, rather than just aspirational.

Similarly, many of us long for a world in which the Israeli (and Jewish) condition are “normalized,” by which I mean the hatred and attacks that have been visited on the Jewish state for decades and the Jewish people for centuries goes away as the form of insanity known as anti-Semitism fades from history.  But having such an aspirational goal provides nothing specific to work from. 

Turning the tables on our foes by “giving them a taste of their own medicine” is a popular goal often discussed by activists disgusted by the Israel haters seeming to always have the initiative.  Unlike ridding the world of Jew hatred, this goal is concrete and achievable.  But it does not explain what such table-turning is meant to accomplish (other than embarrassing hypocrites) which makes it more of a tactical choice than a goal in its own right.

The metaphor of the siege I’ve discussed before can be used to frame some SMART goals we have already achieved and can continue to work towards. 

That siege metaphor sees Israel as the equivalent of a walled city being attacked by besiegers (in this case, the nation states at war with Israel – including their terrorist surrogate and proxies and supporters and apologists abroad).  Since a strong and disciplined besieged city often wins out over those trying to penetrate its walls, we can have as a goal the continued strengthening of the city (Israel) and weakening of those besieging it.

Maintaining an edge against opponents through military commitment and training is the investment Israelis make in their own defense.  But maintaining the vital relationship between Israel and the US is probably one of the most important goals for both Israelis and non-Israelis alike.  
These goals are specific and measurable (for example, US military aid and votes in support of the Jewish state in Congress or US vetoes in the UN can be detailed and quantified). 

Such goals are obviously achievable since they have been achieved (even if the work of maintaining them is ongoing). While ambitious and challenging, they are also realistic, given that they involve decisions over which Israel and her supporters have the most control.  And while it’s difficult to time-bound efforts that are continuous, this overarching goal provides organizations (such as the IDF or AIPAC) the ability to plan what they want to achieve each year. 

Speaking of time, long-term sieges often end with the besieger not just going away but being destroyed (or destroying themselves) which means time might be on our side, rather than on our opponents’. 

For example, as the Arab siege of Israel enters its second century, look at the difference between the besieged Jewish state – now growing stronger in every way year by year – and her enemies which are either imploding or, sensing ruin, starting to come to their senses. 


While it would be folly to assign ourselves the goal of curing the world of its longest hatred, a common commitment to “protecting the city” might also have the pleasant side effect of diminishing that hatred by demonstrating the price it exacts on those who embrace it. 



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