Monday, December 16, 2019



In our modern age, we tend to think of the outcome of warfare being decided primarily by technology and logistics, with armies able to deploy and utilize complex weapons systems in the land, sea and air being superior to those who cannot.  Even when you look at asymmetrical warfare, which tends to utilize roadside bombs, terror tactics and propaganda instead of aircraft carriers and robot drones, success in this field requires mastery of technical and political skill, rather than fighting experience.

But if you look back throughout the thousands of years of history when war was conducted primarily with the same hardware (swords, spears, bows, shields, armor and the like), the factor marking the difference between a successful and unsuccessful army was the experience of the soldiery.

Troops loyal to Julius Caesar, for example, were not referred to as “Caesar’s Soldiers” or “Caesar’s Legions,” but “Caesar’s Veterans,” highlighting the fact that soldiers who spend decades fighting side-by-side provided the edge in battle even against far larger armies. 

Even the strategic genius of a commander is frequently the result of a general himself being the veteran of numerous campaigns, providing him the chance to try different things at different times and experience both victory and defeat.

I bring this up since another strength BDS warriors bring to battle (along with Internet-enabled communication skill and complete indifference to the needs of others) is their experience waging their propaganda campaigns over many years and even decades.  For most of us, the thought of engaging in a divestment debate in our student union or town hall is appalling not just because of the nature of the subject matter, but because few of us have experience engaging with (in this case) aggressive political warfare that is likely to create tension and conflict (the very things many of us spend our lives trying to avoid).

But years of experience battling against the boycotters eventually provides us the veteran’s perspective, helping turn what might have originally felt like distasteful conflict into a battle we eagerly anticipate for the thrill it provides (especially in victory – the familiar result for pro-Israel activists engaged in a BDS fight). 

I can attest to this personally as someone addicted to the rush of watching a BDS go down to defeat.  And my eagerness to mix it up with Israel haters/BDS propagandists derives from longing to engage in arguments I’ve been writing about for years. 

But the veterans’ experience can also be seen in the wider Jewish community ready to fight back unapologetically against defamers of the Jewish state.  As time goes on, more experience should drive more success and success will drive our desire to obtain more experience, creating new generations of vets capable of continuing to stare down the BDS threat, regardless of the ruthlessness of our adversaries.


As a final note, I’d like to pay a tribute to a veteran of many wars who lost out to the one enemy none of us can avoid forever eight years ago yesterday.  Christopher Hitchens may have never been a great friend to the Jewish state.  But he was a great friend to others who earned his sympathy (such as the people of Iraq) and Hitchens fought for their cause, regardless of what previous friends and allies had to say on the matter.  While I am sad that this iconoclast of great wit and letters passed away without embracing the justice of Israel’s cause (or the Jewish world of which he was a part), I still miss him and his words, even (or especially) the ones with which I disagreed.



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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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