Monday, December 23, 2019

Divest This will be taking a break for a while to focus on work and family. 

Before going on a previous hiatus, I paused to reflect on what the whole BDS project and the fight against it meant in the context of the wider war against the Jews and their state.  This ended up a nine-part Bigger Picture series that should still be relevant to anyone fighting the good fight who wants to better understand what we’re up against. 

Since knowing who you are fighting only gets you so far, I used that understanding after returning from hiatus to look at the strategies and tactics needed to defeat not just BDS but the militant movement BDS is simply one part of.

Those are both longish series/documents, and I never expected everyone to read them in full and act accordingly.  But the principles they lay out are still relevant and can be summarized as:

·         Far from being a peace movement, BDS represents the propaganda arm of a war movement, one designed to weaken the Jewish state so that others can do the dirty work of eliminating it. 

·         The war movement of which BDS is a part relies on language carefully selected to convince progressive-minded individuals and groups that the anti-Israel cause is a virtuous fight against racism, imperialism and other contemporary sins.

·         Because the societies that back BDS represent the greatest enemies of the progressive values listed above, BDS advocates must militantly police the left end of the political spectrum it is trying to coopt in order to ensure everyone stays in line.  This is why, for example, feminist groups must bow down before the (mostly male-dominated) Palestinian cause, but anyone pointing out the inherent sexism and homophobia within that cause is immediately hounded out of “the movement.”

·         BDS itself is not a movement, but simply a tactic designed to paint the Jewish state as the inheritor of South Africa’s mantle as the world’s worst human-rights abuser. So even when BDS loses this or that battle, even if the Israeli economy tripled in size during the BDS decades, the campaign continues since its propaganda goals are met every time people are exposed to the Israel = Apartheid narrative (especially young people who were not even born when South African Apartheid existed).

·         The fight against BDS is stymied by debates over whether we are “just playing defense” vs. “going on the attack.”  Missing from this binary choice is an analysis of how offense and defense represent different aspects of a military strategy – each required at different times.  But because we do not treat the fight against Israel’s detractors as a military campaign (rather than an argument to be won or lost), we end up fighting with each other over which ineffective defensive or offensive tactics everyone should be using.

·         Treating our fight as a military campaign requires recognizing the nature of the battlefield, the relative strengths and weaknesses of each side, including the fact that one side (ours) does not want to ultimately see our enemies destroyed.  Given this, we should adopt tactics associated with siege warfare, switching to pitched battles and other tactics only when they are militarily prudent (or required). 

This is just a quick summary of what is contained in the material linked above, the bottom line of all of which is that patience is the most potent military and political force in the universe.  While it is painful to see Israel smeared from coast-to-coast, and the rise of anti-Semitic movements and parties (especially in the West) is enormously frightening, we should also look at and learn from positive long-term trends. 

For example, one need only compare Israel, which has thrived and grown richer and more powerful since 1948, with the chaos and decline that characterized her enemies during this same period.  While there is always the chance that his chaos will expand to engulf far more than just the Middle East, the best defense against this trend is an Israel that is militarily powerful, economically independent and allied with others fighting the same fight.

Please reach out via the contact form at Divest This if anything comes up while I’m taking a break from blogging, and enormous thanks to Elder for letting me participate in his fabulous site over the last several years.



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