Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Europe: BDS initiatives and their counter-efforts play out across Europe

From the Jerusalem Post (by Benjamin Weinthal):

Belgian-government funded NGO
runs numerous vicious BDS campaigns
(Association Belgo-Palestinienne
Wallonie-Bruxelles) founded 41 years ago...
Europe’s Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement has long percolated down through many layers of society. However, this month saw a range of countervailing forces designed to blunt the movement.

Making sense of the efficacy of new anti-BDS initiatives is a challenge, though, because BDS adapts, as does a virus.

While BDS is depicted as a home-grown Palestinian societal movement, its academic component was the 2002 brainchild of European academics, British sociologist David Hirsh wrote on the website, Engage, on Sunday. Hirsh dissected a new video showing Palestinian academic and activist, Ruba Salih, with the Israeli-born professor and BDS advocate, Ilan Pappé.

In response to Salih saying, “Well the Palestinians launched BDS in 2005,” Pappé responds, “Not really, but yes, OK, for historical records, yes.”

Hirsh writes “Ilan Pappé knows that it is a lie that the boycott campaign was launched by a ‘call’ from ‘Palestinian civil society.’ He knows it is a lie, but he’s content nevertheless for it to be solidified into what he calls ‘historical records.’” BDS says it seeks to impose pressure on Israel to secure concessions for Palestinians, but it has rapidly metastasized into a full-blown call for an economic boycott of Israel with highly dangerous parallels to German fascism.

As my colleague Clifford May, president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, wrote in his Washington Times column, “At a meeting of National Socialist leaders a few days later, Hermann Goering declared that ‘the Jewish question’ needed to be solved once and for all.

‘Since the problem is mainly an economic one, it is from the economic angle it shall have to be tackled,’ he said, adding, ‘I implore competent agencies to take all measures for the elimination of the Jew from the German economy.’” All of this helps to explain a potent Leipzig University student council anti-BDS resolution from August which states,“The Nazi slogan ‘don’t buy from Jews’ here again finds its realization. Hence, the BDS movement often campaigns against individual Jews by placing in the foreground their function, for example as head of a firm. In so doing, it expresses the anti-Semitic motif of the wealthy and powerful Jew who must be fought.

Prof. Jeffrey Herf, a prominent historian at the University of Maryland, wrote on his blog that the resolution is important because “support for the resolution came first of all from a department of the Humanities, which is significant as BDS has generally had more support in the humanities and social sciences than in the natural sciences, engineering or law faculties...

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By the way, Ilan Pappé will be at Charleroi, Belgium,  to promote his book "La Propagande d'Israël" in September.  The Province of Hainaut supports the event.

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