Berkeley’s Israel boycott: The occupation’s new friend

Bradley Burston in Haaretz.

“The proof is in the performance. From Britain to Berkeley to Toronto, the only actual consequence of the BDS movement has been to dramatically inflate the importance of its proponents in their own eyes.

Think about it. If you wanted to do something direct and concrete to protest the killing of civilians and journalists by a U.S. Army Apache helicopter gunship in Baghdad, you could take direct effective action in a number of ways. You could organize and hold a demonstration. You can contact public officials directly. You can take your case to the media, and do community organizing.

Alternatively, the next time you fly home, you could politically spin your wheels by boycotting Boeing, which made the helicopter. You’ll be doing the government a favor, getting yourself off its back.

Should you decide to go this route, which, the path both of least resistance and of least likely good, it’ll be easy enough for you to remember. Boeing refers to its division which manufactures the Apache, by the initials BDS. ”

Read the whole article Here.

Hat Tip Modernity.

8 Responses to “Berkeley’s Israel boycott: The occupation’s new friend”

  1. Absolute Observer Says:

    I must admit, I did have a giggle when Naomi Klien signed her pep talk to the boycotters with the phrase “be brave” as if to do so would risk all kinds of terribel retribution from the omnipotent “Lobby” (or “International Jewry”, if one prefers the langauge of John Wright of the Scottish PSC) whose “tentacles” no doubt reach into the darkest and murkiest corners of thw world.

    It is in the use of these two words – “be brave” – that one can see the seeds of classic antisemitism at the core of the “anti-Zionist” movement.

    • Evan Says:


      “It is in the use of these two words – “be brave” – that one can see the seeds of classic antisemitism at the core of the “anti-Zionist” movement.”

      Not so much antisemitism (in my belief anyway) than moral snobbery and self-congratulation. Especially from “anti-Zionist” Jews.

      • Bill Says:

        And holding an orgasmic anti-Zionist view at Berkley is about as brave has wearing white shoes between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

        More still, this is pretty much crying victim while maneuvering to encroach on “pro-Zionists'” academic freedom, not to mention their freedom of conscience. But no… holding a sympathetic (yet even critical) view towards Israel is an assault on the Berkley Bocyoteers’ god-given right not to be disagreed with. Can’t have that.

        Like I said, they have better things to do right now like making sure their student fees are lapped up as low-hanging fruit by the univ budget office.

      • Thomas Venner Says:

        To use the word “brave” like this just shows what cowards they really are. They think they’re being “brave”, confronting some nonexistent “lobby” that might shake its head and make a few disparaging remarks? I’d like to see them live in Sderot during one of Hamas’ bombing campaigns, holding fast and getting on with their lives despite knowing that every minute could be their last. I’d like even more to see how they would fare serving in the IDF. If they lived for a short while in the country they condemn so much, they would get a very rude awakening to what being “brave” actually means.

  2. Thomas Venner Says:

    The whole point of the BDS campaign, though, whatever its proponents say, is not to end the occupation, show opposition to the current Israeli government or to the settlers, or to encourage a peaceful resolution to the conflict. They couldn’t care less about those things. The idea behind the BDS campaign is purely to attack, undermine and delegitimise Israel through attacks on its citizenry. The aim of the campaign is to cripple Israel as a nation, to starve its people into submission and to force them back into what the anti-Zionists see as “their place” as Jews .

    Fortunately, it doesn’t work, and it never will, unless they suddenly decide they’re willing to give up their mobile phones and computers, which are all brimming with Israeli hardware.

  3. Bill Says:

    Sorry but as much as I support independent student governance, if a rep from student government (or any one else on campus) comes to my office and tells me with whom I can and cannot collaborate, they’d better be willing to carry their ass home in a bucket. They should be more focused on keeping their own organization solvent (and sovereign) during the crazy Cali budget charlie foxtrot rather than childish and self-contradictory posturing.

    And as Tom and others here have juicily commented, a true divestment campaign would leave them having to take notes from a chalkboard in one of those HUGE lecture halls (no university laptop program, Dyknow, WebCT or Powerpoints for you and certainly no instant messaging), and having to pay-phones to talk to their friends between (not during) class. Wait a minute… I could get use to that!

  4. Voices from the Arcades Says:

    “In the abstract conception of universal wrong, all concrete responsibility vanishes.” T. W. Adorno

  5. Brian Goldfarb Says:

    Bill, you’re just an old-fashioned academic at heart: the sort who talks to (not at) their students and tells them things they need to know and how to find out more, what being critical means, how to argue in an academic and scientific manner, cite evidence and all that old jazz that post-modernists think is old hat and, hey man, all sort of relative anyway.

    I should be able to recosnise one when I see them: I’ve just described myself as I was. And as so many who come here to tell us how wrong we are _don’t_ act.


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