Losing public opinion on BDS, activists turn to ‘lawfare’

Activism
on 43 Comments

Champions of proposed Senate Bill SB1761, which passed both houses of the Illinois General Assembly May 18th, say it’s designed to fight anti-Semitic activism and protects Israel from the existential threat posed by the Boycott, Divestment, & Sanctions movement (BDS). Opponents of the bill say it places the economic welfare of Israel before U.S. interests, tacitly endorses the full annexation of the West Bank into Israel, and violates our country’s First Amendment rights. The bill’s opponents are right.

But a potential threat of this legislation, edging closer to the criminalization of advocating for Palestinian rights and against occupation, threatens our core First Amendment rights and has been relatively absent from the discourse surrounding this bill. While the BDS movement is winning in the court of public opinion, powerful supporters of Israel are using “lawfare” to win through the court system. Celebrated scholar Steven Salaita, a recent high-profile victim of free speech suppression in the U.S., tweeted about this very phenomenon the day SB1761 passed both houses:

And that’s not just here in the United States. Israeli lawmakers sought to criminalize public support of boycotts against Israel back in 2010 through their “Law for Prevention of Damage to the State of Israel through Boycott.”

When I spoke with a staffer for Illinois State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, one of the bill’s primary sponsors, inquiring if SB1761 was modeled after the 1977 amendments to the Export Administration Act (regarding the Arab League boycott of Israel), I was informed “These ‘antiboycott’ laws are the 1977 amendments to the Export Administration Act (EAA) and the Ribicoff Amendment to the 1976 Tax Reform Act (TRA). I hope this helps.SB1761 falls in line with these federal laws”

Referencing EAA is another indication of the move toward weakening our First Amendment rights, as that amendment was meant to criminalize people who adhered to the Arab League’s boycott of Israel. Melissa Redmiles writes of the 70’s legislation in International Boycott Reports, 2003 and 2004 (pdf), from the IRS.gov website:

“Those U.S persons who agree to participate in such boycotts are subject to criminal and civil penalties.”

SB1761 seems to be the latest manifestation of a trend toward enacting a kind of trickle-down suppression. From the Center For Constitutional Rights website for Palestine Solidarity Legal Support:

“These bills must be opposed in order to protect the right to engage in boycotts that reflect collective action to address a human rights issue, which the US Supreme Court has declared is protected speech… These bills would make it state policy to discourage support of human rights boycotts against Israel… and have the potential to stifle expressions of political beliefs…”

In short, state sponsored suppression through “lawfare.”

SB1761 requires all five public retirement benefits systems of the Illinois Pension Code to divest “all direct holdings” from any company which engages in boycotting Israel. This is designed to financially punish companies which participate in BDS; presumably European companies. But it will also burden an already severely crippled,“worst in nation”, Illinois pension system.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner was quoted by Jewish United Fund News (JUF) earlier this month as saying,

“I made a pledge that Illinois would become the first state in America to divest its public pension funds from any company in the world that boycotts Israel.”

Rauner includes U.S. companies in his threat of divestment when he says “any company in the world.”

Relatedly from SB1761 itself:

“It is not the intent [of this bill]… to cause divestiture from any company based in the United States of America.”

Not intended? This soft language clearly leaves the door open to require Illinois public retirement systems’ divestiture from U.S. companies that participate in BDS. So, while politicians endorsing this bill can point to this statement of “intent” as some kind of safeguard for American companies, this same sentence simultaneously functions as a veiled threat to those companies.

JUF News also reported that SB1761 was “Conceived by Governor Bruce Rauner [and] strategized in cooperation with JUF.” At an Israeli Independence Day event, Gov. Rauner was quoted saying the bill was “…staying strong and standing up to anti-Semitism”, essentially implicating all organizations and individuals who support or participate in BDS (the main target of the bill) and/or divestment as anti-Semitic: The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), United Methodist Church, Church of England, The Color Purple author Alice Walker, Jewish Voice for Peace, Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner, best-selling author Naomi Klein (The Shock Doctrine), Students for Justice in Palestine, Academy Award winner Julianne Moore, University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union, Canadian Union of Public Employees, etc. and this list goes on and on and on. Would this list of organizations/artists then also be blacklisted by Illinois, or potentially criminalized? Gov. Rauner’s absurd accusatory implication is an outgrowth of a decades-long Israeli hasbara campaign which seeks to conflate criticism of Israel/Zionism with anti-Semitism. They want the world to see criticisms of Israeli governmental policy as attacks on Jewish people through the personification of a country. It’s a self-serving version of “corporate personhood,” but with the Jewish State: Israel Personhood.

SB1761 characterizes the motivations of the BDS movement as “intending to penalize… Israel.” Similarly, JUF News this month quoted JUF President Steven B. Nasatir saying, “At the core of the BDS movement is a quest to delegitimize Israel as a Jewish state.” That’s like stating that the intent of the Civil Rights Montgomery bus boycott was to “penalize white people.” The real intent of that boycott was to gain equal rights for black Americans. Likewise, the true motivation of the BDS movement isn’t to “penalize” Israelis. It’s to liberate Palestinians. This is an essential distinction. This misreading (willful or otherwise) of the true intent of the BDS movement is a symptom of an overall mindset that reflexively frames the Palestine issue from a Jewish State/Israeli-centric perspective. From this perspective, instead of “equal rights for all in Israel/Palestine,” we get, “penalize Israel.” Extreme pro-Israel folks actually translate “equal rights for all in Israel/Palestine” into “annihilate the Jews.”

But maybe the most alarming aspect of SB1761 is its substitution of the phrase “territories controlled by” for the more accurate “occupied territories.” This manipulative language aids, conceptually and otherwise, in the full annexation of the West Bank into Israel. Israel’s occupation is internationally recognized as illegal. Israel’s “controlling,” maybe not so much. It’s a linguistic cover-up that facilitates and serves the occupation. It’s of a piece with decades of not so subtle rhetoric designed to bury Israeli crimes and U.S. complicity in them. It’s been a steady process of “creeping annexation” in the hope that with the passage of time, countless wrongs will simply be folded in with the rest of the “facts on the ground.” Referring to military occupation as simply a method of “control” is as insulting as referring to the history of slavery in America as black people having been merely “controlled” instead of enslaved.

Those who feel that the annexation of the West Bank into Israel is simply an unfortunate, inevitable byproduct borne out of spontaneously undirected “facts of the ground” are wrong. It is by design. From the National Lawyers Guild (NLG):

“Israeli Government statements make it clear that the Government views the settlements as creating the basis for eventual annexation of the West Bank… into Israel.”

This NLG observation was made nearly 40 years ago in its 1977 Middle East Delegation report Treatment of Palestinians in Israeli-Occupied West Bank and Gaza. The 1977 NLG Report goes on:

“Israeli promotion of settlements in the West Bank… constitutes a violation of Article 49(6) of the fourth Geneva Convention… Israeli policy is designed to ‘create facts’ to render impossible any solution other than incorporation and annexation of the West Bank… Military occupation is not a value-free act; one does not try to determine whether an occupation is ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ By their very nature, occupations are repressive[.]”

SB1761 would aid that repression. Is it now the business of the Illinois legislature to codify into law the repression, and dispossession, of the Palestinian people?

Thanks to Samantha Brotman 

 

About John Dworkin

John Dworkin is originally from Schenectady, NY and now lives in Chicago, Illinois. He is currently a part-time supporter/member of JVP Chicago chapter. However, the views and ideas expressed in this article are his alone and do not necessarily represent those of JVP. Dworkin's writing on music can be found here: http://themusicblogspot.blogspot.com

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43 Responses

  1. ckg
    May 22, 2015, 5:54 pm

    Is it now the business of the Illinois legislature to codify into law the repression, and dispossession, of the Palestinian people?

    The Illinois legislature told us that it is indeed their business. So I told the Illinois Chamber of Commerce where I wouldn’t be doing my business.

  2. Elliot
    May 22, 2015, 10:45 pm

    “This manipulative language aids, conceptually and otherwise, in the full annexation of the West Bank into Israel.”

    Today, BBC World Service did a piece on Orthodox Jews. The reporter visited a business on a West Bank settlement which was presented as being in Israel (“Alon Shevut, Israel”). The reporter did not correct that statement.

    • no.kidding
      May 24, 2015, 7:56 am

      I hope you have sent them a complaint about that Elliot. Do you have a link so I can follow up as well? I am in the UK, and the BBC are notorious for their ignorant reporting of international affairs. During the closing stages of the war in Sri Lanka they didn’t seem able to differentiate between Tamils and Tamil Tigers! My husband, who is a Sri Lankan Tamil, was furious!

  3. fwhite
    May 23, 2015, 10:14 am

    “In response to losing the public debate, many Zionist activists now seek to design laws to criminalize even tepid criticism of Israel.” — Steven Salaita

    Well, won’t that make for interesting times — when the US Injustice system begins prosecuting activist American Jews for criticizing Israel killing of innocent Palestinians, especially children.

  4. mohandeer
    May 23, 2015, 1:29 pm

    The world looks on as an Israeli billion dollar budget influences and designs US state laws. We wonder when the US government will take back it’s own country or whether it will continue to be Israel’s twisted round their little finger, lackey. It must be very humiliating for a nation to watch it’s supposed government be led by the nose to serve a despotic regime answering to no-one. So much for the United States of America being the “greatest nation in the world”. The US is now synonymous with destabilizing whole countries and instigating wars where there was once peace, their “interventions” being nothing more than a means to an end, regardless of the cost to human life. It really is time for the US to be engaged with at arms length only with a health warning, including it’s inclusion in the UN. If the UN, who has failed millions of people around the world, will not act to curb US aggression then the UN no longer serves any useful purpose. I, along with probably millions of other people would sooner see the US estranged from all socio/economic and political engagements than continue discourse with a rogue state hell bent on Global Domination by any means. If Russia, Europe, China, Indonesia, Australia, Iran and the Indian/ South American and African continents were to offer an alternative, social and economic arrangement, there would be massive support. I can’t see the US government making any attempt to change their stance, either on the vicious actions of Israel and Ukraine, or the double standards by which they support these regimes. The time is not so far off that the US voice will soon be one “in the wilderness” as they alienate themselves from ordinary people each and every day.

    • DaBakr
      May 26, 2015, 9:05 pm

      @mo

      wow. your really out their in outer left space. It would take far too much time and space to argue the cost/benefits of the US kicking the UN out of the US. Just for starters you might want to look at what % of overall costs the US pays for the UN and its expenses, programs and other off-shoots.

      But if you really think its a possibility and a good idea to boot…see Richard Falks writings on how the UN should be relocated to Istanbul, Turkey. Sure you will enjoy.

      • RoHa
        May 27, 2015, 1:47 am

        ” relocated to Istanbul, Turkey.”

        And not to one of the many other Istanbuls that everyone talks about.

      • echinococcus
        May 27, 2015, 4:32 am

        RoHa,

        I’m sure you can cut us US provincials some slack. In American English we even have New York, New York so we don’t get lost, as you know. Anyway, that as UN HQ is one of the best ideas of the last years.

  5. a blah chick
    May 23, 2015, 2:55 pm

    How is this suppose to work? If a company or financial institution decides to divest for purely economic reasons (it’s just not paying) how can you penalize them? Will there be some panel that will sit in judgement and decide if your reasons are valid?

    This ain’t gonna fly.

    • jd65
      May 24, 2015, 12:10 pm

      Hey there a blah chick.

      “If a company or financial institution decides to divest for purely economic reasons (it’s just not paying) how can you penalize them?”

      You have hit on, imo, a key element. From the bill itself:

      “Boycott Israel” means engaging in actions that are politically motivated and are intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or otherwise limit commercial relations with the State of Israel or companies based in the State of Israel or in territories controlled by the State of Israel.

      So I suppose in theory, if the divestment was done purely for economic reasons, as you suggest, it may not be affected by the bill; according to the bill itself. However, the political atmosphere being what it is in this country, the “trickle-down suppression” mentioned in the above article will, I suspect, pressure some organizations to stay invested in Israel – whatever their reasons may have been for wanting to divest. And the drafters of this legislation know that the passing of this bill adds to that trickle-down pressure – in a big way.

      But the more problematic issue, imo, is that the wording in the quote above from the bill infers that it’s ok to legislate against a group/organization/business/or person merely because that group has a different political stance (thought/idea) than that of the ruling government, not because of an action taken. What other reason would there be to place the phrase “politically motivated” into the legislation? If the bill says it’s ok to actively boycott for purely economic/business reasons, but not ok to actively boycott for political/ideological reasons (and I do think that’s what the bill implies), then the bill is legislating against a thought process, and not against an action. That’s, uhhh… pretty messed up.

      ‘Nother pertinent blah chick question:

      “Will there be some panel that will sit in judgement and decide if your reasons are valid?”

      Yes. It will be called the Illinois Investment Policy Board. But I will refer to it, un-lovingly, as the House Un-Israeli Activities Committee (HUAC – 2.0). The Board will be “retaining an independent research firm to identify… companies that boycott Israel.” The Board will then compile a “list of restricted companies.” My assumption (seemingly the same as yours?) is that even if the companies that end up on the Board’s “list” state that they’ve divested from Israel for purely financial reasons and not for political/ideological ones, HUAC 2.0 will likely still spend energy and finances investigating this claim to make sure it is the case. It’s all so bizarre…

      • a blah chick
        May 25, 2015, 10:38 am

        Thanks for the input. I think legislation like this is not going to fly. BDS is mainly a grassroots effort, how are you going to force people to buy Israeli products if they don’t want to? It’s like an elephant trying to stamp out a colony of ants.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 25, 2015, 11:44 am

        BDS is mainly a grassroots effort, how are you going to force people to buy Israeli products if they don’t want to?

        just because it’s grassroots doesn’t mean it can’t have far reaching repercussions (ie, if that grassroots effort influences a large group, say presbyterian usa, to divest). a state pension plan is financially supported by thousands of state workers whose paychecks invest in that plan and may not want their investments supporting the occupation. so if those workers organize a divestment at a grassroots level, the law prohibits them from divesting from the occupation. the state of illinois is heavily invested in israeli bonds, and if you prevent pensioners from divesting — that’s how you could force people to invest in israel whether they want to or not.

        once a company gets on that state list they have to jump thru hoops to get off that list. which probably requires investing in israel.

  6. david sp
    May 23, 2015, 5:36 pm

    This has nothing to do with free speech. All it says is that those who boycott can themselves be.

    • ritzl
      May 23, 2015, 6:46 pm

      @david sp- Not by a/the state via binding legislation. Boycotts are Constitutionally protected forms of political speech.

      And if you want fold in Citizens United, corporations now have those same rights.

    • Cliff
      May 23, 2015, 7:53 pm

      No it says:

      “Those U.S persons who agree to participate in such boycotts are subject to criminal and civil penalties.”

      You ZioFascists clearly can’t handle free speech. Hence why everything is antisemitic and Jew-hating and blah blah.

      Now you’re trying to criminalize BDS.

      You’re not boycotting, you’re saying boycotting will be illegal if it’s against the Jewish country club in the ME.

      • jd65
        May 24, 2015, 11:42 am

        Hey Cliff,

        You likely knew this, but just to be sure: The quote you pulled, “Those U.S. persons who agree to participate in such boycotts are subject to criminal and civil penalties,” is from the 70s legislation, not the current SB1761. Couldn’t tell for sure from your post if that’s what you meant.

        I agree w/ you that the folks who wrote this current bill would like to criminalize BDS, and other Palestine solidarity activism, and possibly see this legislation as a way toward moving in that direction. That is, of course, conjecture. But I feel that it’s a conjecture based on years of observation (seeing the earlier 70s amendments being merely one of many things observed)…

  7. ritzl
    May 23, 2015, 6:40 pm

    “SB1761 requires all five public retirement benefits systems of the Illinois Pension Code to divest “all direct holdings” from any company which engages in boycotting Israel.”

    That is exactly what the Arab Boycott sought to do and how it sought to do it.

    So, if I understand this correctly, Illinois is using the method of the Arab Boycott to force compliance with the political goals of a very very small group of people, theoretically obviating the First Amendment, by claiming it is using methods used to combat the Arab Boycott of Israel.

    I hope beyond all reason that Phil was right in observing that “Zionism is tired.” We’re at the point where people rise up (including the courts…) and make this garbage a dead end, or pro-Israel influencers will forever have changed the nature of US Constitutionally codified democracy — for the worse.

    This, and all the legislation like it simply cannot pass Constitutional tests. But then I’m getting tired of making myself believe that. Drip. Drip. Gush. Drip… :(

    • echinococcus
      May 23, 2015, 7:02 pm

      Ritzl,

      An insistent request for precisely the measures in the so-called Arab Boycott against “Israel” should be timely now.
      Not that I have any delusions of its being accepted now: to call for strangling the Zionist entity until it lifts the siege of Gaza would be an excellent educational opportunity.
      BDS, especially in its watered-down “liberal Zionist” form, doesn’t cut it.

      • ritzl
        May 23, 2015, 11:50 pm

        Hi echinococcus. I agree that this situation is getting closer to sanctions albeit at a glacial pace.

        The Arab Boycott model doesn’t really work though, imho. It was a matter of contract law and was easily and totally countered via legislation.

        I guess what I was trying to say above is that these efforts are like a legislative Mobius strip where:

        1) Contractually enforced boycotts [of Israel] are bad.
        2) Left alone, contractually enforced boycotts are effective.
        3) Effective legal prohibitions are in place to counter contractually enforced boycotts.
        4) Our cause is just.
        5) We will legislate the method we say we despise, a contractually enforced boycott, to stop people and businesses from exercising their Constitutional rights when it comes to Israel.
        6) This is morally different than a contractually enforced boycott of Israel.
        7) Why? It just is. (But it isn’t really, so back to the beginning.)

        I don’t know, I still can’t wrap my brain around this thinking, so I’m sure I’m still not saying it right.

        BDS!

      • echinococcus
        May 24, 2015, 3:52 am

        Ritzl,

        1. Not even an insane person, I mean not even I would ever think that a request for a government-implemented boycott would be possible today or tomorrow –obvious. An insistent request may, however, allow for a wonderful opportunity to inform the public: asking for strangulation of Israel by the hand of the US until it fully lifts the siege of Gaza is a just, proportionate and easy-to grab request, it can be expressed in less than 140 signs including spaces and looks exaggerated enough to attract a lot of attention.

        That said,
        2. Forbidding a boycott is intolerable curtailment of free speech, in addition to being impossible to enforce at the individual level. The pension funds trick is going nowhere in any case.

        3. On the other hand, enforcing a boycott is what governments do. All governments do it (the US of A more than anybody else ever) and I don’t hear much opposition to that.

  8. Citizen
    May 24, 2015, 5:40 am

    If memory serves, the bill vote in both Illinois houses was 100% in support. And Indiana and NY are copying the legislation. The free speech infringement is glaring. Where’s MSNBC on this breaking news? Ugh!

  9. Atlantaiconoclast
    May 24, 2015, 1:44 pm

    Where is the freaking ACLU?

  10. David Doppler
    May 25, 2015, 12:51 pm

    It is unwise for anyone seeking to wield influence in the US to attack one of our core foundational values in such a blatant fashion. Those public servants who side against the First Amendment are forgetting their oath of office, to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. Only a foolish enemy of the US would rejoice in publicly turning one its public officials in such a corrupt way.

  11. JustJessetr
    May 25, 2015, 8:16 pm

    No complaints about Abbas going to the ICC?

    Lawfare: good for the goose, good for the gander.

    • Atlantaiconoclast
      May 25, 2015, 11:41 pm

      huh? Lawfare is fine as long as it does not attempt to restrict free speech and the choices of private businesses.

  12. Citizen
    May 26, 2015, 11:57 am

    WSJ, today, has piece by GOP house rep in Illinois 6th District, Peter J Roskam; it urges Passage of bipartisan TPA (Trade Promotion Authority) legislation to discourage EU trade partners from supporting BDS. Other sponsors of the bill: Vargas (D Calif), Cardin (D Md), Portman (R, Ohio). They say preserving Israel’s economic stability is a strategic imperative for the US.

    The article notes that these same principles were negotiated successfully into US FTAs with Bahrain and Oman in the mid-2000s; both countries ended their boycotts of Israel.

  13. Peacefan
    May 28, 2015, 4:39 am

    And there is also this , and I can’t believe it is actually legal!
    http://www.canarymission.org/sjp

    • JustJessetr
      May 28, 2015, 9:36 am

      Yes, free speech is legal.

    • Kris
      May 28, 2015, 12:14 pm

      @Peacefan: “And there is also this , and I can’t believe it is actually legal! link to canarymission.org ”

      What you should be wondering about is whether or not the “information” on the canary mission website is true.

      • jd65
        May 28, 2015, 1:52 pm

        That’s right Kris. Just a couple minutes of looking around this new site reveals it to be in the vein of Geller, Horowitz, Spencer, etc.

        However, this, from its “About” page, distinguishes it from many other similar sites/organizations as being particularly disgusting:

        “We believe in the right of employers to know which potentially threatening organizations prospective employees were affiliated with during their time on campus.”

        I do my best to use appropriate language and try not to go over the line. But that is just scummy. IMO Scum is an appropriate adjective here, and I won’t apologize for using it. And I’m not a lawyer, but maybe there’s actually some legal issues in there. Openly and intentionally doing your best to interfere w/ someone’s ability to hold a job and make a living because you disagree w/ their activism on Palestine doesn’t seem like an activity that someone should be able to do freely. But I’m not a lawyer. However, I am a person who believes he recently lost job due, in part, to attitudes on the I/P conflict. This site now has my keen interest. Thank you for posting “Peaceful.” Free Speech is one thing. Intentionally working against an individual’s ability to support themselves w/ a job is another.

      • JustJessetr
        May 28, 2015, 11:38 pm

        @JD65,

        And my friend lost a potential job due to his posting pictures of himself snorting cocaine. It was his legal right to inquire why he didn’t get the position, and when he saw why, he was put on suicide watch for real. He saw his whole life ahead awash in failure.

        If you’re going to do something publicly in the Internet age, expect people to find out about it. So much of what SJP does could be considered hate-speech, any potential employer would steer clear of it. They won’t spend time consulting with lawyers about it either. They’ll just quietly toss the application in the Delete folder.

        As we all know, anything you do on the ‘net stays on the net. You can’t get rid of it unless you’re a black hat hacker. So be prepared all of you for careers in janitorial services if you’ve been posing with kaffieyehs or posting under your real names when supporting Hamas.

        My prediction: any student who publicly supported the SJP in his/her college days will not be using their degree to the fullest because they will face life-long job discrimination. And I applaud that.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 29, 2015, 12:10 am

        So much of what SJP does could be considered hate-speech, any potential employer would steer clear of it.

        in your f’ing dreams. only in a world where zionist jews ruled w/total control could that happen. were not quite there — yet. the rest of your post reads like a hasbrat wet dream. my prediction: zionists are on the downhill slope zone — which means activism against them (and racism) will work in everyones favor, including employers and employees… and future corporate interest.

      • oldgeezer
        May 29, 2015, 12:42 am

        @JustaJester

        Oh my…. I am sweating bullets now. A career in janitorial services you say? Now why would I want that when I am living quite comfortably on an retirement income? I hope you plan on working extra hard today tokeep my rate of return up there where it’s nice and comfy.

        You must love the canary project? My alternate prediction is that those involved in the canary project will be walking in a small cell for many years dealing with the justice for criminal harrasment and stalking.

      • oldgeezer
        May 29, 2015, 12:50 am

        @JustaJester

        ps. You need a better class of friends. I’m not antidrug to be honest so I’m not referring to his cocaine use. I’m just suggesting that someone with a functioning braincell would understand the potential ramifications of posting proof about the commission of a criminal act in a public space.

        On the other hand your posts indicate that feel more at home in that intellectual milieu.

      • Kris
        May 29, 2015, 9:45 am

        JustJessetr: “So much of what SJP does could be considered hate-speech…”

        Could you cut and paste what you consider to be “hate speech” by SLP?

        Thanks.

      • jd65
        May 29, 2015, 12:59 pm

        @ JustJessetr

        This post from you:

        @JD65,

        And my friend lost a potential job due to his posting pictures of himself snorting cocaine. It was his legal right to inquire why he didn’t get the position, and when he saw why, he was put on suicide watch for real. He saw his whole life ahead awash in failure.

        If you’re going to do something publicly in the Internet age, expect people to find out about it. So much of what SJP does could be considered hate-speech, any potential employer would steer clear of it. They won’t spend time consulting with lawyers about it either. They’ll just quietly toss the application in the Delete folder.

        As we all know, anything you do on the ‘net stays on the net. You can’t get rid of it unless you’re a black hat hacker. So be prepared all of you for careers in janitorial services if you’ve been posing with kaffieyehs or posting under your real names when supporting Hamas.

        My prediction: any student who publicly supported the SJP in his/her college days will not be using their degree to the fullest because they will face life-long job discrimination. And I applaud that.”

        …makes it quite clear what you’re about. Part of me wants me to thank you for your honesty. And the other part of me wants… Well, let’s just leave it at that.

  14. JustJessetr
    May 29, 2015, 7:19 am

    Oh, Annie. Don’t blow a gasket. Maybe if you wanted to hire someone to help you run the pottery wheel, sure. It wouldn’t matter to you.

    But to most people where money is a concern, political activism of this sort is pure poison. Employers do their own Google searches all the time. And a picture of your favorite Israel-basher coming up is an instant thumbs-down. Israel is great for business, and no one wants ideology-addled notions of morality to screw it up. Go ahead and deny the reality of hiring all you want, but you’re leading your impressionable public down the road of under-employment. Haven’t the 1% made it difficult enough? Don’t make it worse.

    • Annie Robbins
      May 29, 2015, 1:46 pm

      Don’t blow a gasket jester. i’ve read some of those profiles. they are lame — big on accusations and weak on evidence. (like this: http://www.canarymission.org/individuals/#/larakiswani/ claiming someone used the word hate ..whoa dude. the rest is just a bunch of paragraphs (same ones used repeatedly on the site demonizing the bds movement). then there’s a video of her giving a speech, nothing radical there. or this http://www.canarymission.org/individuals/#/rebeccapierce/ like big deal. nothing radical there (paraphrasing ‘she wrote an article on mondoweiss’ and is a member of sjp which is a radical group’)

      But to most people where money is a concern, political activism of this sort is pure poison.

      have you read this?: http://www.haaretz.com/news/israel/.premium-1.658622

      During a discussion of the issue at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, the chairman of the Council of Presidents of Israeli Universities, Technion president Prof. Peretz Lavie, said it was still possible to stop the snowball effect of the movement, but warned that “we are at the 90th minute.” Lavie, who attended the meeting together with fellow university heads, called for “strategic action” to stop the boycott movement in Europe and the United States.

      “Anti-Israel student organizations were once very few; now they are at all the leading universities. We are appealing to you to place the issue on the agenda,” Lavie said, addressing Rivlin.

      During the meeting university heads noted a number of results of the boycott movement, including a significant decline in collaborative scientific research with international companies out of fear that the resulting products would be boycotted, the rejection by academic journals of articles by Israeli researchers and enormous pressure from student organizations on academic leaders around the world to participate in the boycott.

      the tide is turning. smart people (“leading universities”) know what israel is doing. you act like bds is some fringe movement, it is not. if you think all these people hiring for the top corporations are in love w/israel you’d be wrong. the days are over when all criticism of israel was assumed to be anti semitic. your scare tactics won’t work. the world has changed.

      a comment regarding cocaine usage has nothing to do w/bds. it’s a false equivalent rhetorical trick that no one will fall for.

  15. JustJessetr
    May 29, 2015, 7:21 am

    Old Geezer,

    Taking pictures off the internet and doing research from publicly available resources is a perfectly legal thing to do. It’s even done here on MW.

    • Annie Robbins
      May 29, 2015, 3:26 pm

      jester, could you use the reply button please (scroll up to the nearest) it makes it easier to follow the conversation. thanks.

  16. JustJessetr
    May 29, 2015, 8:44 am

    Ms. Kat Yang-Stevens? Prepare for a career in janitorial services.

    • Annie Robbins
      May 29, 2015, 4:06 pm

      so, where does she go to school? she doesn’t. she’s not a member of sjp. nor does she have a degree. there’s no evidence she’s out looking for a corporate job or any other kind of job. she shows up at a divestment hearing at a school once — doesn’t make her part of any movement.

      how is this person even applicable to the topic? she’s not even listed here: http://www.canarymission.org/individuals/

      she just some random load mouth you’re dragging into the conversation to try to bring the movement down. she represents no one but herself. #fail

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