How much money is needed to stop the BDS movement?

$6 million: enough to combat a largely grassroots, bottom-up and growing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel? That’s what the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs are hoping.

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency‘s Jacob Berkman reports:

The Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs are launching a multimillion-dollar joint initiative to combat anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns.

The JFNA and the rest of the Jewish federation system have agreed to invest $6 million over the next three years in the new initiative, which is being called the Israel Action Network. The federations will be working in conjunction with JCPA, an umbrella organization bringing together local Jewish community relations councils across North America.

The BDS movement–whose demands are based on international law–is clearly scaring Israel and the Jewish establishment, who have labeled the movement “the second most dangerous threat to Israel, after Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.”

The article also reports that the new anti-BDS initiative sprung from the urging of the Israeli government, which “has been advocating for this, especially over the past six months or eight months,” as Jerry Silverman, the head of the Jewish Federation of North America, told JTA.

It appears that the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs are following the recommendations of the Reut Institute, an Israeli think tank with close ties to the Israeli government, who called on the Israeli government to “sabotage” and “attack” the BDS movement in a February 2010 report.

The investment of a large amount of money to combat what is essentially impossible to combat as long as Israel continually flouts international law is a recognition of the powerful effect the BDS movement is having. Members of the Israeli Knesset certainly see BDS as a threat, having introduced a bill that would make it illegal for Israelis to “launch or incite” a boycott against Israel.

When $6 million is apparently needed to attempt to halt the BDS movement, that means something. But all the money in the world can’t stop the movement for Palestinian justice. Couldn’t someone tell that to the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs? Their money would be better spent on something else.

This post originally appeared on Alex Kane’s blog.  Follow him on Twitter here.

 

Posted in BDS, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine | Tagged , , , , ,

{ 43 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. FROM ALEX KANE’S BLOG, 10/11/10:

    “…In January, I plan on joining a “Health and Human Rights” delegation organized by members of American Jews for a Just Peace. I will be traveling throughout the West Bank and Israel, meeting with various Palestinian organizations doing amazing work under horrific circumstances. I plan on staying in Israel/Palestine for over two weeks, learning, experiencing, reporting, writing and blogging. But I need your financial help. My initial goal is to raise $1,500 by mid-November—that will cover my plane ticket and additional costs related to the delegation as well as food and other necessities….
    …So please, consider helping me out again! It’s an easy process: just visit my blog here [ link to alexbkane.wordpress.com ], and in the right sidebar there is a PayPal donate button. Click on that and donate your heart out!

    ENTIRE APPEAL – link to alexbkane.wordpress.com

  2. RE: “Their money would be better spent on something else.” – Alex Kane
    SID HUDGENS (played by Danny DeVito): “Off the record, on the QT, and very hush-hush.” Mum’s the word!

  3. I need to recraft my comment: Maybe this is more neutral?
    Ahem.

    I would rather see the money going towards fighting BDS in courts of international law since this is by far our strongest tool in claims to our Lands.

    • syvanen says:

      MN suggests:

      I would rather see the money going towards fighting BDS in courts of international law since this is by far our strongest tool in claims to our Lands.

      For once we agree. Do spend your money before international law courts. Go for it man, you will win that one.

      • Shingo says:

        “Do spend your money before international law courts. Go for it man, you will win that one.”

        Don’t worry Syvanen, as always, Uncle Sam will pick up the tab.

    • Antidote says:

      Go for it. Don’t forget to take your bible

      • Antidote,

        Thanks for your support. I’ll make a helpful comment that our claims are based entirely on international law so our holy book will not be needed although the claims in the bible alone are enough.

        • “I’ll make a helpful comment that our claims are based entirely on international law ”

          And make sure you provide a link, as always, to the relevant article in international law every time you stutter an insanity, maximus deliriumus..

        • Shingo says:

          “I’ll make a helpful comment that our claims are based entirely on international law so our holy book will not be needed although the claims in the bible alone are enough.”

          You could make that claim, but you’d be wrong, which is why you could never cite such a law.

          As for the Bible, it too is fiction.

        • Shmuel says:

          Don’t encourage him, TGIA. He’ll just spam us with more nonsense about how San Remo granted the Jewish people legal sovereignty over all of Palestine (which of course did not exist at the time).

        • There abundance of information as to the legal title has been recorded. It would definitely seem like spam because our legal rights are so copious, I could point you to the right volumes and articles if that would help, you could study it and try to come up with defenses?

        • Citizen says:

          Israeli colonial settlements are illegal under every basic reading of international law:

          Article 46 of the Hague Convention prohibits confiscation of private property in occupied territory. Article 55 of the same Hague Convention stipulates “the occupying state shall be regarded only as administrator and usufructuary of public buildings, real estate, forests, and agricultural estates belonging to the hostile State, and situated in the occupied country. It must safeguard the capital of these properties, and administer them in accordance with the rules of usufruct”.

          Article 49, paragraph 6 of the Fourth Geneva Convention explicitly stipulates that “the occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies”.

          UN Security Council Resolution 465 (1980-unanimously adopted) made it clear that “Israel’s policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants” in the Occupied Territories constitutes “a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East”. The Security Council called upon Israel to “dismantle the existing settlements and in particular to cease, on an urgent ba-sis, the establishment, construction or planning of settlements in the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem”.

          The 2004 ruling of the International Court of Justice in The Hague declared that “Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and an obstacle to peace and to eco-nomic and social development”.

        • Avi says:

          Funny how international law and the UN suddenly gain relevance in the eyes of Israel’s shomers when such law is favorable to their enterprise.

          So too, was the UN when Israel needed its recognition back in 1948, but later became known in Israel as Oom Shmoom (Hebrew for “UN, Shmoo-en”) after Israel started attacking its neighbors in 1967, 1982…..

    • Citizen says:

      Why encourage more Count Bernadottes to rise up to the challenge and get shot by Jewish terrorists?

    • pjdude says:

      You mean the palestinian’s lands

    • talknic says:

      maximalistNarrative

      Israel’s ‘lands’ were declared may 14th 1948. “..within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947..” Israel has never legally annexed any territory to it’s Sovereignty.

      Israel’s survival depends on Palestinian generosity in helping Israel out of the hole it has dug over the last 62 years.

  4. syvanen says:

    Couldn’t someone tell that to the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs? Their money would be better spent on something else.

    Wouldn’t the something else be spent on expanding WB settlements? As you say BDS is grass roots — those who support it are donating their time. This 6 million dollars will go to paying salaries for people in the West who will support Israel. Let them spend their monies that way. It is better than having those funds donated to the IDF or to WB settlement construction efforts.

    Look at antiwar.com or counterpunch.org — these guys need 70 thousand dollars to survive. Think about that, these groups are so much more effective with budgets about 1% of the lobby’s budget. Go BDS!

    • annie says:

      This 6 million dollars will go to paying salaries for people in the West who will support Israel.

      i wonder how many bloggers they’ll hire.

  5. Sumud says:

    I’ll quote Naomi Klein’s twitter on this:

    Our budget for Toronto film fest protest was $700. RT @BoycottAhava $6 million to fight BDS in the United States link to bit.ly

  6. Avi says:

    How did they arrive at that $6 mill figure?

    In the run up to the presidential elections, a campaign supporter of Rudy Giuliani held a fundraising dinner.

    To capitalize on a tragedy and appeal to people’s pathos, the organizers decided to charge nine dollars and eleven cents for each plate, $9.11.

    Is it possible that this Zionist organization is looking to capitalize on the Holocaust by reminding people of the six million Jews who were exterminated?

  7. cogit8 says:

    Alex Harrison
    Survivor of the flotilla massacre speaks candidly of her experience:

    “[Deportation at the airport] We saw the injured [Turkish] men going through.. a lot had a leg cut out of their trousers or an arm cut out of their top. It had been cut out to treat their wounds.. they were covered in blood, blood that had been there for three days, and some of them had wounds that were still bleeding.. What upset me most was seeing the dozen men, one after another, hobbling across the terminal, with a bandaged foot. I couldn’t ask them why so many of them had a bandaged foot, I couldn’t ask them what had happened, because if they spoke or if any of us spoke to them the Israelis beat the injured person.. We later found out that they had these injuries on the tops of their feet from when the troops came down from the helicopter on the Mavi Marmara, and they came down firing – they had been shot from above. Some of the men that were killed were shot at close range – head and chest, but a dozen of the men who were shot, among 59 people who were shot, they were shot at the tops of their feet – the bullets were coming down.. They weren’t given a wheelchair or a pair of crutches, and if any of the other passengers stood up and tried to offer [help].. that person was dragged away and smacked by these Israelis. The Israeli soldiers sat on the floor, laughed and sniggered and made every one of these Turkish men hobble and hop all the way across, some 200 metres, everyone of them, one by one, made to do that purely for the sick amusement of the Israeli soldiers.”

    link to inminds.com

    • Antidote says:

      Sickening. Even more so after reading this:

      link to haaretz.com

      Netanyahu: “There is no one better than you. I salute you.”

    • Citizen says:

      And last night Charlie Rose blandly asked his interviewee, a prominent and internationally know Turkish diplomat, why was Turkey turning away from Israel, moving away from the West, towards the East, doing business with Iran? Too bad the diplomat did not point to a geographic map of its neighborhood and also mention the bullet holes in the top of the feet of those Turks from the Gaza flotilla.

  8. MRW says:

    OT, but nowhere else to put it:

    Israel ‘Outraged’ as UN Calls for End to Settler Attacks
    UN Envoy Slams Attacks on Mosques, Olive Trees
    by Jason Ditz, October 26, 2010

    UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry today condemned a flurry of high profile settler attacks across the West Bank, urging the Israeli government to “combat violence and terror” by the settler groups.

    The settlers have launched a number of attacks in recent weeks, burning mosques and chopping down olive trees ahead of the harvest. Israel’s government has criticized the attacks, but made no arrests.

    And naturally Israeli officials are “outraged” by what they termed the “reprehensible” comments of Robert Serry, with one insisting that it was unfair to criticize the “vigilante actions” instead of focusing on “Palestinian suicide bombers attacking civilian buses.” Of course there hasn’t actually been a Palestinian suicide bomber in over two years, and that was against a military target.

    At the same time settlers have not only continued to launch attacks with impunity, but have pledged to launch more “price tag” operations. The attacks, though targeting West Bank civilians, are ostensibly meant to protest the ongoing peace talks, and have been shrugged off by a number of members of the Israeli government who are themselves opposed to the talks.

  9. MRW says:

    Great interview with Alan Hart:
    link to veteranstoday.com

  10. Citizen says:

    JTA’s companion piece, discussing who American Jews should back with funds and vote for in the impending US elections: link to jta.org

  11. It would be interesting to add up the money spent on the plethora of Israel-funded propaganda groups, from AIPAC all the way down. There never seems to be an ugly, racist cause into which Israel cannot stuff money, as if it has more than it needs. Placemen everywhere, US tax dollars and subsidies, arms – Israel is awash with so much cash and favours that it thinks nothing of chucking more money at supporting its lies and hatred. I wonder if this colossal and immoral use of money, which is effectively a giant smear campaign against anybody who has an ounce of humanity in them, adds up to as much as the US taxpayer is fleeced by Israel every year. Or the amount, for instance, needed to supply Palestinians with decent drinking water, or rebuild the schools, houses and hospitals which Israel deliberately targetted and refuses to give compensation for the destruction of? I mean, how many cases of lipstick does $6M buy and will it ever be enough to hide the pig?

  12. “the second most dangerous threat to Israel, after Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.”

    inasmuch as Iran is NOT pursuing nuclear weapons as its leaders declare, leaders from ALL sides, including Green Movement/Mousavi, what UJF is telegraphing loud and clear is that Israel is afraid of BDS.

    very good news.

  13. MRW says:

    One of the last sentences in the JTA article Alex links to high up is ‘It is time. And time is running out.’ We have to do this quickly and we have to be armed in our community and be offensive, not defensive.”

    So 2011 is going to be the Year of Offensive Zionists? Dandy. That nullifies Huffington Post, where they will be doing blitzkriegs, and every major blog that dwells on the subject.

  14. seafoid says:

    What is $6m going to do? Buy more hasbara. Big deal. It’s going the way of the Sony Walkman. Get over it, Israel.

    What Israel needs to do is shut down the Internet, disable Youtube and get media back to the position where everybody gets their information from no more than 10 central sources. But that would need more than $6mn.

  15. yourstruly says:

    No matter how much moola Israel’s supporters pour into their attempt to discredit the justice for Palestine movement, the deligitimization of the settler-entity/rebirth of Palestine is imminent. What’ll become of those Israelis who have committed war crimes and/or crimes against humanity? To be decided when Jewish occupier and occupied Palestinian sit down together* and work things out based upon the one equals one with liberty and justice for all.

    *with the right of return the first item on the agenda

    • Mooser says:

      “What’ll become of those Israelis who have committed war crimes and/or crimes against humanity?”

      And gosh, what will be done with Israelis whose entire way of life is a war crime or crime against humanity? And gee whillikers, what will be done with the even larger group which think that Palestinians have no human rights at all, even if they personally have never committed a crime against them.

      Well, I guess they will get their chance, won’t they?

      Of course, my worst fear is that those Israelis will all come back to America, where they will be acknowledged as the true leaders and masters of America’s Jews, and as such, will co-operate with Christian Dominionists to remediate all the anti-Semitism. (what I call civil rights, they call anti-Semitism, of course.) I hope I don’t live to see that.

      • andrew r says:

        Nah. When Israel is no longer (read: no longer useful) the military and intelligence people who totally did not like Israel all along will hold the ex-Israelis at bay. The anti-semitism of the Christian Zionists will rear its ugly head with Pastors Hagee and Robertson explaining to the expats why they need to get back to Palestine and colonize it again, because they can hear the archangel swooping in any minute now. A entire horde of lobbyists and think tankers will get a real job tossing pizza crust or washing cars. At worst we’ll get 5 million Israelis who crow and whinge about losing Palestine and that’ll be music to our ears anyway.

  16. Les says:

    The bds movement has the will to win. That it’s numbers keep growing tells you what you need to know about the direction of this movement. The pitiful amount of aid the Vietnamese received to fight for their independence against the Americans did not deter them from their struggle for independence. The liberation of the Palestinians from their Zionist occupiers is also a battle to liberate Jews from Zionism.

  17. MRW says:

    This will be the best advertising BDS ever had. You know what they say about negative publicity.

  18. “How much money is needed to stop the BDS movement?”

    All the money hasbaraganda can buy..