BDS will keep Israeli tanks from moving and F15 from flying, Oren says

Israel/Palestine
on 47 Comments

A few nights ago in New York, Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador who is stirring up controversy with his new book Ally, was asked “What Israeli policies should be reformed to combat the BDS movement on American college campuses?”

Oren said it was more important to fight BDS than to reform Israeli policies.

Right now Israel spends less on the struggle against BDS– boycott divestment sanctions, the effort to delegitimize Israel in the world– spends less on that effort than it spends on a platoon of tanks or on a single F15 plane, and yet if we are delegitimized, denied the right to defend ourselves, the tanks won’t be able to move and the plane wont be able to take off.

So the first policy recommendation would be to allocate significant resources to train the appropriate personnel to deal with BDS, because you can fight it. I had the honor for the last year to work with a number of members of Congress, particularly Peter Roskam of Illinois [Republican], in passing the first anti-BDS legislation in Congress, coming up for for some important votes. You can fight back, there are ways you can fight back that have an impact. But you got to have the resources…

BDS is not about the territories, not about settlements. You can take out all the settlements, you’d still have BDS. BDS is not about the outcome of the ’67 war, it’s about the outcome of the ’48 war. But BDS uses settlements and our policies toward Palestinians as a tool. I’ve seen BDS websites where they call for Jewish young people, to join us, fight against the apartheid state, and then you look at who’s sponsoring the website, you see, these are not organizations that don’t oppose settlements, they oppose Israel’s existence.”

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Oren then conceded that Israel could make some policy changes, to promote the economy in the West Bank and Gaza, though not creating a Palestinian state.

So if we move ahead in the way I’ve suggested on the two state situation, I think that will also help us on BDS. There’s a diplomatic responsibility.

He spoke at the 92nd Street Y. Moderator Jonathan Rosen commented, So you do think that Israeli settlement policies are affecting BDS. Oren responded:

Sometimes– sometimes they make BDS’s work easier for them.

F-15s and tanks were used extensively in Israel’s war on Gaza last summer that killed 2200 Palestinians, including more than 500 children. The UN Human Rights Council has accused both sides in the conflict of war crimes. Seventy-two Israelis also died, most of them in uniform, but including one child.

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47 Responses

  1. Donald
    June 26, 2015, 10:46 am

    That is one of the strongest arguments for BDS that I have ever heard. Someone should thank Oren for a great talking point.

  2. Philip Weiss
    June 26, 2015, 10:57 am

    Thanks Donald, I was thinking of saying, Oren promises, in the headline.

  3. John O
    June 26, 2015, 11:02 am

    I thought from reading the headline that Oren was saying that BDS would adversely affect Israel’s military capability. But what Oren actually said was just baffling, even after a couple of reads.

    However, I did read some while ago that South Africa’s inability to modernise its military equipment because of sanctions was a factor in ending apartheid – when they realised that neighbouring countries were starting to acquire more modern fighter jets than the SAAF had, they knew the game was up.

  4. Steve Grover
    June 26, 2015, 11:26 am

    Beautiful Photo!
    Thanks for posting it!

    • amigo
      June 26, 2015, 12:35 pm

      “Beautiful Photo!
      Thanks for posting it!”S Grover

      I agree, as long as they stay on the ground.

      A better photo would have been one of these murder , sorry , slaughter machines with it,s nose stuck deep in the ground , much like Israel,s leaders and apologists like you.

      • John O
        June 26, 2015, 12:41 pm

        Yes, they just don’t have the same aura as a squadron of Spitfires – the defensive weapon that stopped Hitler in his tracks, kept Britain in the war, and thus paved the way for the defeat of a monstrous tyranny.

      • Citizen
        June 26, 2015, 9:28 pm

        John O

        How about a squadron of Me-109s or Stukas, set to pounce on Poland & The East, in 1939? You know, for lebensraum?

      • RoHa
        June 27, 2015, 5:16 am

        Technical note. Hurricanes brought down more German planes than Spitfires did. There were more of them, and they had a faster turn-around time. They were a bit slower than Me109s, so the preferred tactic was to send the Hurricanes against the bombers and the Spitfires against the fighter escort. (Though sometimes it ended up being the other way round.)

        But the main defensive weapon was radar (invented by Robert Watson Watt) integrated into the Dowding System of early detection. This enabled the RAF planes to accurately find and intercept the Luftwaffe planes.

      • John O
        June 28, 2015, 2:01 pm

        @RoHa

        Absolutely right. I might add that Neville Chamberlain, for all his faults (and his name frequently comes up when Israel is bleating about the “existential” threat from Iran), got his top military priority right in the run-up to WW2 – build a state-of-the-art air defence system for the UK.

    • lonely rico
      June 26, 2015, 9:01 pm

      > Steve Grover

      Beautiful Photo!

      Curious to know what the kill marks stand for;
      we know courageous Israel fighters avoid doing battle with equally armed forces.

      Perhaps they stand for –

      UN shelters destroyed,
      hospitals reduced to rubble,
      Gazan children shredded.

      You have much to be proud of Mr. Grover.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 26, 2015, 9:13 pm

        their mommies must be proud of them, slaughtering whole families with their big bad flying machines. they probably think they’re kids are civilized since they don’t wear the scalps of the babies they kill on their belts, like pelts.

      • ivri
        June 27, 2015, 8:32 am

        @ lonely R, “curious to know”…:
        The star,
        Thunder
        The rain (or the shooter
        ….

      • Mooser
        June 27, 2015, 11:10 am

        Ooh, watch out! “Grober” is getting very brave, brave enough to insinuate!

        Enjoy your mess of pottage “Grober”.

      • Steve Grover
        June 28, 2015, 5:32 pm

        @just
        You are correct. Israel also needs long range strategic bombers like the B-2 stealth bomber to make the Iranian nuclear program moot.

      • CigarGod
        June 28, 2015, 6:11 pm

        Nice peace plan.
        Just kill everybody.

      • just
        June 28, 2015, 6:22 pm

        “@just You are correct. Israel also needs long range strategic bombers like the B-2 stealth bomber to make the Iranian nuclear program moot.”

        Exactly what post of mine are you responding to?

    • ivri
      June 27, 2015, 8:26 am

      @Grover
      Well, brother, that was my first reaction too. You look at that and you feel, as an Israeli, what a long way we have come in just 7 decades– a sense that nobody can beat us. So I second the thanks. The words that follow it are less pleasant but then we know that you can`t have it all – so let`s settle with what we have.

      • just
        June 27, 2015, 9:41 am

        “You look at that and you feel, as an Israeli, what a long way we have come in just 7 decades– a sense that nobody can beat us.”

        Terrible and sad, imho.

      • bryan
        June 27, 2015, 10:16 am

        Ivri – “you feel, as an Israeli, what a long way we have come in just 7 decades– a sense that nobody can beat us.”

        Still a fair way to go before you recover the Ancient Hebrew heartlands stretching from the River of Egypt to the River Euphrates. And if you are so confident of your invincibility why so many soiled pants contemplating BDS, Hamas, Iran and other existential threats – or is that all play-acting?

      • ivri
        June 27, 2015, 10:42 am

        @just
        That`s human nature – it is what decades of warring does to people. The Arab world and the Palestinians have turned Israel into a Sparta – or, rather, an Athena-Sparta mix.

      • Mooser
        June 27, 2015, 11:14 am

        ” The Arab world and the Palestinians have turned Israel into a Sparta – or, rather, an Athena-Sparta mix”

        Oy Gevalt! Listen to the macher! Yup, I bet you guys are just like they were in ancient Greece. Tribal Unity! You’ll never leave your little boys behind!

        “ivri” does it ever, ever occur to you that maybe people can see exactly what Israelis are, and you aren’t fooling anybody. They can see for themselves.

        Oh BTW, Athens and Sparta, weren’t they slave-based economies?

      • just
        June 27, 2015, 11:24 am

        “The Arab world and the Palestinians have turned Israel…”

        ivri~ the responsibility begins and ends with Israel. You seek to blame those around you, but the bunker/siege mentality is brand Israel. Coupled with its massive military machine, wmd, demonstrated willingness to massacre civilian populations, continued illegal settlement creation, violent military Occupation, and no intention of moving toward a just peace~ it’s a terrible thing.

      • Mooser
        June 27, 2015, 11:33 am

        “an Athens-Sparta mix”

        Oh no, a Hellenizer!

      • talknic
        June 27, 2015, 1:33 pm

        @ ivri “That`s human nature – it is what decades of warring does to people”

        So go kvetch to the Zionist Federation they’re the people who started this war

        “The Arab world and the Palestinians have turned Israel into a Sparta”

        I see they invited the Zionist Federation to colonize Palestine ….. Strange there’s no mention in any of the Zionist Federation’s minutes

      • Steve Grover
        June 27, 2015, 4:09 pm

        Ivri,
        You say,

        “The words that follow it are less pleasant but then we know that you can`t have it all – so let`s settle with what we have”

        Just like 98.67352% of the world I don’t give a rats ass about their less pleasant words. I wish you the best and keep on telling them how full of it the really are.

      • eljay
        June 28, 2015, 8:42 am

        || ivri: … The Arab world and the Palestinians have turned Israel into a Sparta … ||

        Similarly, unco-operative victims and a society that condemns captivity and rape have turned the rapist into a Sparta: Unafraid to defend his right to self-determine himself in the women he chains in his basement; resentful of the fact that no-one loves him for who he is.

        Aggressor-victimhood is such a tough gig… :-(

      • Mooser
        June 28, 2015, 1:14 pm

        “You look at that and you feel, as an Israeli, what a long way we have come in just 7 decades”

        Hey, “Grober” and “Irvi”, I’m sorry I’m being so unpleasent and sarcastic about this. It’s just that, well, to tell the truth, I’m jealous. I’m Jewish, and I don’t have any fighter jets. Not a single one.

      • pjdude
        June 28, 2015, 2:27 pm

        its easy to win with a rigged deck. israel would lose any fair fight mainly because it doesn’t know how to win with out in overall advantage. mainly because its always had that advantage. shoddly trained and heavily reliant on superier tech. look at the flight logs of Israel pilots. next to nothing compared to actual top notch countries. its all about patting them selves on the back for killing people with no effective means of fighting back.

      • Steve Grover
        June 28, 2015, 4:51 pm

        @Bullwinkle the Mooser

        “I’m Jewish, and I don’t have any fighter jets.” I don’t have one either. Because Israel does you are free to be a blow hard.

      • just
        June 28, 2015, 5:00 pm

        Huh?

        How do fighter jets given to Israel by the US translate into freedom for people in the US, including Jewish ones?

      • Mooser
        June 28, 2015, 5:45 pm

        ” Because Israel does you are free to be a blow hard.”

        I have got to get that “Call-in-an-IDF-air-strike-from-your-smartphone-if-you-are-Jewish-and-anybody-gives-you-a-hard-time” app.

  5. amigo
    June 26, 2015, 11:42 am

    “BDS is not about the territories, not about settlements. You can take out all the settlements, you’d still have BDS. BDS is not about the outcome of the ’67 war, it’s about the outcome of the ’48 war. But BDS uses settlements and our policies toward Palestinians as a tool ” Oren.

    Then this !!.

    “He spoke at the 92nd Street Y. Moderator Jonathan Rosen commented, So you do think that Israeli settlement policies are affecting BDS. Oren responded:

    Sometimes– sometimes they make BDS’s work easier for them.” Oren.

    No , Israel makes them work easier for BDS.

    It,s the settlements stupid.And the security around them and the Jews only roads and the military law for Palestinians v civil law for illegal squatters and the attacks by said illegal squatters and the night time raids by Israel,s so called defence forces and the daily arrest of Palestinian children and so on and so on.

    • just
      June 26, 2015, 12:21 pm

      +1, amigo! It’s the illegal settlements and the interminable grinding and sadistic military OCCUPATION.

      Oren is the gift that keeps on giving.

      For a pov on the illegal settlements, I found this interesting:

      “Haaretz publisher Amos Schocken: Israel’s settlers have won

      … Amos Schocken, as the publisher of Haaretz, do you still believe in peace?

      “Of course, there’s no other option?.”

      After such a long period when peace efforts have failed time after time, isn’t that messianic blindness?

      “Not at all. On the contrary, I think that there’s messianic blindness in Israel’s decision to prevent peace at all costs, by continuing the settlement enterprise rather than giving it up. That, in effect, is the strategy of the Israeli government.”

      Was the evacuation of Gush Katif [Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip] justified in the way in was carried out?

      “Yes, every evacuation is justified. Settlement in the occupied territories is like theft – you come, take territory that isn’t yours and settle there. It’s not recognized by international law, but they look for all kinds of ways to make this theft kosher.”

      Why do you consider it ethical to accept the occupation when it comes to Sheikh Munis [now part of Ramat Aviv where Tel Aviv University stands] and not when it comes to Ariel [in the West Bank]?

      “Because it received international recognition, and the Arabs recognized it, too. The Jordanians and the Egyptians recognized it, and even Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recognizes it.” Bear in mind that even Israel recognizes Ariel only as an Apartheid presence. Its territory is not part of Israel, its Israeli population is under Israeli law, but its Palestinian neighbours are under Israeli martial law. …

      … And you’ll agree to say, “That’s our limit”?

      “I think so. After all, the Jews’ right to this land is a somewhat strange right. Someone comes and says: ‘In some history from 2,000 years ago I was here, and therefore it’s mine and I have rights.’ According to this logic, our rights in Yavne (a city in proper Israel) are no less than our rights in Hebron. That’s clear to me. But we cannot deny the Arabs’ rights to Sheikh Munis and Abu Kabir. Our way not to deny their rights and simultaneously to protect our rights is to say: ‘Okay, in a situation where everyone has rights in the region – let’s share.’ We’ll give up the right to Hebron, and they’ll give up the right to Sheikh Munis.”

      Going back to Ariel University for a minute, would you hire someone who studied there?

      “Of course. We also have settlers who work here.”

      Do you consider Ariel University legitimate?

      “Everything that’s there shouldn’t be there. I was visiting Chancellor Yigal Cohen-Orgad at the university. I said to him: ‘Great, but why here?'”

      Hatred is not a tool

      About two years ago, at a panel discussion, you said that the settlers have won. Do you still believe that?

      “When Ayelet Shaked [Habayit Hayehudi] is appointed justice minister – there’s no greater victory than that. It’s clear that the settlers have won; the settlers are running the country. They are only a handful. Count all the people who live in the territories ­– they are not a significant percentage of the country’s inhabitants. But their influence is not insignificant at all.”…”

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/israel/1.662793

  6. a blah chick
    June 26, 2015, 1:17 pm

    “…BDS uses settlements and our policies toward Palestinians as a tool. ”

    That is a very VERY telling remark. Talk about burying the lede.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 26, 2015, 1:34 pm

      BDS uses settlements and our policies toward Palestinians as a tool

      bwahhhh!! BDS uses truth as a tool ! gee, ya think!

      • Citizen
        June 26, 2015, 9:33 pm

        Did the Confederate States use Slavery as a tool to justify itself?

      • Annie Robbins
        June 26, 2015, 9:41 pm

        no but the north used it against them, and rightly so.

  7. Kris
    June 26, 2015, 2:35 pm

    Oren:

    Right now Israel spends less on the struggle against BDS– boycott divestment sanctions, the effort to delegitimize Israel in the world– spends less on that effort than it spends on a platoon of tanks or on a single F15 plane…

    Does Israel spend anything at all on tanks and planes? Isn’t that what the U.S. annual dole of $3.5 billion to the apartheid state is for?

    Maybe Oren is now thinking of repurposing the U.S. “aid” and using it to buy off more members of the U.S. government:

    I had the honor for the last year to work with a number of members of Congress, particularly Peter Roskam of Illinois [Republican], in passing the first anti-BDS legislation in Congress, coming up for for some important votes. You can fight back, there are ways you can fight back that have an impact. But you got to have the resources…

  8. just
    June 26, 2015, 2:50 pm

    “Israel largest state user of explosive weapons in 2014 due to Gaza war

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israel was the single largest user of explosive weapons among international states in 2014 as a result of its war on Gaza, a London-based NGO said this week, providing further testimony to its devastating use of force on the coastal territory last summer. …

    Gaza accounted for a staggering 35 percent of global fatalities from aerial explosives and experienced the largest increase in civilian deaths from explosive weaponry in 2014 — in line with a five percent rise in total casualties worldwide. …

    Israel launched over 6,000 airstrikes and fired 50,000 artillery shells into the densely populated coastal territory during the war, representing a 533 percent increase from artillery use in Operation Cast Lead and averaging 680 shells fired into Gaza each day of the conflict.

    The statistics reinforce findings from the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza war, which on Monday decried the “huge firepower” used in Gaza which caused unprecedented “devastation and human suffering.”

    Rob Perkins, a senior weapons researcher at AOAV, told Ma’an that Gaza experienced the third highest number of civilian casualties from explosive violence in 2014 – surpassed only by Iraq and Syria.

    “The operation in Gaza was characterized by the use of heavy explosive weapons, like massive aircraft bombs, or unguided artillery shell. These weapons affect a wide area, and after the extent to which these weapons were used in populated areas of Gaza, it is no surprise to see it so high in the table.”…

    Children bear the brunt of explosive violence

    The 50-day conflict in Gaza killed 539 children and injured 2,956, most of whom are now struggling with trauma and life-long disabilities, according to the UN children’s agency UNICEF.

    Of the 28 different countries and territories where child fatalities from explosive weapons were reported, 40 percent were killed or injured in Gaza, the largest proportion in any international conflict zone ahead of Syria at 25 percent, AOAV said.”…

    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=766173

    Israel’s Number 1 !!! Pass it on! What a distinction!

    “BDS will keep Israeli tanks from moving and F15 from flying”

    Full- on BDS!

  9. Steve Grover
    June 26, 2015, 3:20 pm

    “Peter Roskam of Illinois [Republican], in passing the first anti-BDS legislation in Congress”
    And after the Illinois legislature unanimously passed SB 1761, maybe Brant Rosen will want to move out of Illinois. The land of Lincoln and the State that sticks up it’s middle finger to BDSers.

  10. JLewisDickerson
    June 26, 2015, 6:31 pm

    RE: “BDS will keep Israeli tanks from moving and F15 from flying, Oren says”

    ALSO SEE: “Michael Oren’s diplomatic psychobabble”, By Aviad Kleinberg, 972mag.com, 25 June 2015
    Does the former Israeli ambassador really think that an imaginative psychoanalysis of Obama can explain away Netanyahu’s annexationist policies?
    LINK – http://972mag.com/michael-oren-diplomatic-psychobabble/108136/

    P.S. Of course, I’ve also been known to dabble in psychobabble!

  11. echinococcus
    June 26, 2015, 9:41 pm

    BDS is not about the territories, not about settlements. You can take out all the settlements, you’d still have BDS. BDS is not about the outcome of the ’67 war, it’s about the outcome of the ’48 war

    Mr Michael Scott Bornstein seems to be much, much more honest than people like Beinart.

  12. just
    June 27, 2015, 9:56 am

    Oren: “I had the honor for the last year to work with a number of members of Congress, particularly Peter Roskam of Illinois [Republican], in passing the first anti-BDS legislation in Congress, coming up for for some important votes. You can fight back, there are ways you can fight back that have an impact. But you got to have the resources… ”

    And Roskam & Co & AIPAC pull through:

    “U.S. Congress writes Israel boycott opposition into trade talks
    ‘Discouraging’ Israel boycotts would become one of the ‘principal negotiating objectives’ of U.S. officials, trade bill says.

    Congress included a provision in a trade bill that requires U.S. negotiators to raise objections to Israel boycotts in their dealings.

    The language, part of a broad Trade Promotion Authority passed by both chambers of Congress, says that “discouraging” Israel boycotts would become one of the “principal negotiating objectives” of U.S. officials.

    “The provision included by Congress pushes back against actions by foreign governments to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel,” the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which strongly backed the inclusion of the language, said in a statement Wednesday, the day the Senate approved the trade bill.

    The bill “urges the U.S. Trade Representative to seek the elimination of politically-motivated economic attacks on Israel by America’s free trade partners,” AIPAC said, praising its lead sponsors, Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and U.S. Reps. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) and Juan Vargas (D-Calif.).

    The language explicitly includes “persons doing business in Israel or in Israeli-controlled territories” as illegitimate targets for boycotts.

    The bill’s passage could compromise trade dealings with Europe, where most countries have banned boycotts of Israel within its 1967 lines but have regulations restricting trade with Israeli businesses in the West Bank. …”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.663210

    Stupid move. History will not be kind to those that are opposed to justice.

  13. a blah chick
    June 27, 2015, 11:09 am

    ivri:
    “The Arab world and the Palestinians have turned Israel into a Sparta – or, rather, an Athena-Sparta mix.”

    Oh sweet Jesus, so it’s the Arabs’ fault Israel turned to the worship of militarism. All those Jewish kids who get visits from friendly soldiers in their schools or trips to military bases or made to parade around in cardboard tanks that’s the Arabs’ fault too, right?

    Does Zionism ever take responsibility for anything?

    • pjdude
      June 29, 2015, 3:36 am

      no being responsible or acountable for anything is against zionism. its always somebody elses fault jews are perfect superman who should rule over everyone.

    • Louieknoxville
      July 3, 2015, 10:45 am

      Zionism is a failed experiment, the dream of a few imposed by dictate and violence on many. As with most Nationalism movements, Zionism is anti-humanistic.

  14. Louieknoxville
    July 2, 2015, 2:13 pm

    No amount of legislation can stop BDS because it is happening on a grass roots level. No law can force a corporation or institution make its customers, investors or collaborators change their pro-BDS beliefs.
    The only weapon Israel has against BDS, and Oren is using it, is to make anyone with pro-BDS beliefs feel guilty of abandoning, betraying or, being unfaithful to Israel…..all the usual accusations that an abusive partner shouts when the door slams in their face.

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