“Today I’m coming out,” writes David Harris Gershon, endorsing BDS at Daily Kos (a piece originally at Tikkun). The title reflects the huge psychic cost involved in Jews seeming to betray their community by calling for BDS. Gershon is a liberal Zionist two-stater, whose wife was hurt in a suicide attack in 2002. He has worked with Americans for Peace Now.
The best thing about this piece is its honesty about the desperate situation that Israel and the U.S. have created in the occupation. Gershon speaks openly of ethnic cleansing, is outraged by the Levy report saying there is no occupation, and describes the apartheid status of Jews and Palestinians on the West Bank. Note that there is no tapdancing in this piece about just boycotting settlement products– no, all of Israeli political culture is off the rails.
From his conclusion:
And I think about Israel’s inability to stop the occupation on its own, about how the only way to stop it may be for outside pressures to bear down upon the country I love.
Sanctions. Boycotts. Divestments. (BDS)
These are the tools Israel and Israeli propagandists fear greatly, for they are tools with potentially sharp teeth.
And so we come to the confession, to the coming out: as an American Jew invested deeply in Israel’s success and survival — which in turn drives my investment in stopping one of the greatest moral challenges of my generation: the occupation — I have no choice but to formally endorse and embrace BDS.
That’s a difficult statement to make, for in both my personal and professional worlds, making such a statement could bring ostracization, condemnation or censure.
To some Jews, I will now (wrongly) be viewed as an enemy, as anti-Semitic, as anti-Israel. Some in my community may, upon reading this, choose to withdraw. It’s happened to others.
As it is, I have long been uncertain about supporting such measures, afraid of the long-term damage a sustained BDS movement might do to Israel, and concerned about the anti-Israel motivations of segments who push to sanction Israel.
However, I know this for a fact: those who claim in Israel that there is no occupation have only one goal in mind: a single-state solution, a Jewishly-controlled Israel stretching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.
And here is a postscript from the author:
12:23 pm EST: I’m stunned and humbled by the response this has received. When I have time, I promise to go through and read all of the comments, and hopefully respond to some.
Thank you for the civility and for your support. I’m deeply moved.