Israel commandeers UN for anti-BDS pep rally

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The United Nations is usually a venue for criticism of Israeli human rights abuses. But on May 31, the Israeli Mission to the UN commandeered the General Assembly for a day-long pro-Israel pep rally, filled with an estimated 1,500 people–many of them college students–who listened to speakers rail against the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel.

The attendees gathered at the UN to hear typical pro-Israel stump speeches, bash the UN for criticizing Israel, wave Israeli flags, sing Hatikvah and the Star Spangled Banner and listen to Matisyahu, the Jewish-American reggae star. The focus of the “Ambassadors Against BDS” summit was on the global movement to boycott Israel–and speakers criticized BDS advocates for spreading “lies” about Israel and for alleged anti-Semitism. The conference was organized by the Israeli Mission to the UN, and was co-sponsored by a number of pro-Israel groups.

The summit reflected the Israeli government’s increasing focus on the BDS movement. In recent months, Israel advocates, helped along by U.S. pro-Israel organizations like StandWithUs, have put on conferences in the U.S. and Israel to discuss the movement. In March, the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth held an anti-BDS conference in Jerusalem featuring Israeli government officials. The conference made headlines, and attracted criticism, after an intelligence official said Israel should engage in “targeted civil elimination” of BDS advocates, and after Aryeh Deri, the Interior Minister in Israel, said Israel may revoke BDS activist Omar Barghouti’s residency status in the state. Last month, Israeli officials effectively imposed a travel ban on Barghouti after not renewing documents that allow him to travel out of the country.

The day at the UN started off predictably, with Israeli officials and pro-Israel advocates sauntering up to the General Assembly stage to bash the BDS movement. Danny Danon, the Israeli Ambassador to the UN, called the gathering “historic” and said “BDS is the new face of modern anti-Semitism.” Danon vowed to defeat the BDS movement “once and for all,” though he said the movement represented a new threat because “we can’t stop it with weapons.”

Ambassador Danny Danon: "This isn't a sight you see everyday: The UN General Assembly is sea of Israeli flags" (Photo: Facebook/Israel at the UN)

Ambassador Danny Danon: “This isn’t a sight you see everyday: The UN General Assembly is sea of Israeli flags” (Photo: Facebook/Israel at the UN)

Ronald Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress, said that the “era of the quiet Jew, the timid Jew, the ghetto Jew” is over–and that now, the Zionist movement knows how to fight against people like BDS advocates. He claimed that Students for Justice in Palestine was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood–an unfounded accusation–and pledged to place ads in major newspapers to encourage students to report BDS and anti-Semitic activity to the World Jewish Congress. “If your school, or your professor, is backing BDS in a public way, contact us,” Lauder said before urging alumni to stop donating to schools unless they stop the BDS movement on campus.

The BDS movement’s strong presence on college campuses was a particular area of concern for many attendees. Andrea Bhatti, a College of Staten Island student who attended the summit, told me she was “harassed” and “targeted” by Students for Justice in Palestine after she authored a petition calling for the shutdown of SJP. Melissa Sherman, a student at Brooklyn Lawn School, said she hoped the summit would teach her “how to be a better storyteller about Israel.”

The first half of the day was filled with typical stump speeches. But a panel on college campuses and BDS was more measured. David Sable, the Global CEO of the advertising company Y & R, had a surprising message for the attendees: your pro-Israel narrative is not working. “Not everyone who criticizes Israel is an anti-Semite,” said Sable, who admonished pro-Israel advocates to “stop talking to ourselves” and instead reach out to other people not already convinced of the righteousness of Israel. He also said Israel was losing the social media war. “We get killed in the blogs,” he said, while he showed slides of visually compelling pro-Palestinian content on websites.

Sable attended the Democratic debate in Brooklyn between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, and he said was surprised that people who he described as the “Black elite” from Harlem cheered on Sanders’ message on Israel/Palestine.

Frank Luntz, the famous Republican political consultant and pollster, had a similar message to the summit-goers. He showed slides that summed up the result of recent polling he did of college students. 22% are more pro-Palestinian than pro-Israeli, he said, and 44% believe Israel is practicing apartheid. “Schools across the country are facing enormous challenges,” said Luntz. “We’re losing people who were once softly pro-Israel.” Luntz said pro-Israel advocates have to “speak young” and “speak left.”

That message was apparently lost, though, on the speakers who closed out the day. Shoham Nicolet, the CEO of the Israeli-American Council, blasted the BDS movement as “a violent, racist hate movement.” Daniel Birnbaum, the CEO of BDS-target SodaStream, claimed the West Bank is “not legally occupied”–that it’s “disputed” land. Birnbaum encouraged the summit-goers to both fight the BDS movement but also reach out to people with a more positive message. His idea of a positive message? “There are good Palestinians. They’re not all terrorists.” He urged people to make Palestinian friends and send Palestinians Ramadan greetings next week.

But in one of the more bizarre moments of the conference, Birnbaum said that an Israeli soldier “wants to come home to his family, and he wants to go to the beach and he wants to travel after military service. He is not motivated by 72 virgins”–a reference to a belief among some suicide bombers that they will be rewarded after their death.

The BDS movement shows no signs of stopping as long as Israeli control over Palestinians continues. And while some speakers at the conference vowed that Israel would win the battle against the movement, it’s clear more anti-BDS conferences will likely take place in the coming years. It’s one of the favored tools pro-Israel advocates use to rally the troops–but so far, it’s failing to put a dent in the growth of the boycott Israel movement.

About Alex Kane

Alex Kane is a freelance journalist who focuses on Israel/Palestine and civil liberties. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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70 Responses

  1. pmb1414
    June 1, 2016, 12:46 pm

    “Birnbaum encouraged the summit-goers to both fight the BDS movement but also reach out to people with a more positive message. His idea of a positive message? “There are good Palestinians. They’re not all terrorists.”
    There are also many good Israelis, and they too are not all terrorists. The problem in both Israel and the US~ the truly good don’t get elected in large enough numbers to make a difference.
    That’s why it’s so important for us to support organizations campaigning for justice for all citizens of the world, such as Mondoweiss, Jewish Voice for Peace, WRMEA and If Americans Knew.

  2. John O
    June 1, 2016, 12:54 pm

    They are seriously scared of BDS.

    • Kay24
      June 6, 2016, 9:44 am

      They are scared because apparently it will cost them billions of dollars if BDS is successful.

      Why should the leaders of the zionist nation personally keep making statements about it, and making American puppet politicians condemn it?

  3. ritzl
    June 1, 2016, 12:56 pm

    So Ronald Lauder seeks to turn 6 million Jews into snitches on the other 300 million of us.

    I’m sure that can only end well.

    Again, everything the anti-BDS crowd does or tries to do is counterproductive/detrimental to their own avowed self-interest. They have no viable options left to keep the debate entombed in the “traditional” boundaries.

    The discussion is over, but strangely their lips are still moving.

    • italian ex-pat
      June 1, 2016, 10:03 pm

      My immediate thought – snitches – exactly.

      “. . . and he (Richard Lauder) pledged to place ads in major newspapers to encourage students to report BDS and anti-Semitic activity to the WJC”.

      Students informing on professors and fellow students! What’s next? Neighbor informing on neighbor, friends on friends, children on parents? What does that remind you of?

    • hophmi
      June 2, 2016, 10:46 am

      300 million Americans support BDS? Pray tell, whst is it when some student uses Palestine Legal to fight her battles for her on campus?

      • Annie Robbins
        June 2, 2016, 12:50 pm

        300 million Americans support BDS?

        try to follow the conversation hops. encouraging students to spy on society casts a net far and wide. the reference to 300 million is the population of the US. big duh.

        he (Richard Lauder) pledged to place ads in major newspapers to encourage students to report BDS and anti-Semitic activity

        but he should go ahead and place those ads — see how much people like having their classrooms monitored by student spies for israel.

      • ritzl
        June 2, 2016, 5:56 pm

        Thanks Annie.

        hophmi, the Palestine Legal comparison is a complete disconnect.

        Placing ads in newspapers encouraging US Jews (ie. advertising the fact that they will now be doing this; Beware!) to report any and all completely legal and constitutionally protected BDS activity to some secret central Jewish database with the specific intent/implicit threat of [potentially career-ending] retaliation (cf. Steven Salaita and Leanne Mohamad) is not the same as representing someone – after the fact – who has been actionably wronged.

        To me anyway.

        If Palestine Legal (to use your example) advertised nationally to have people report to them any pro-Israel comments in the classroom or at McDonalds that would be equally implicitly threatening, chilling, and flat wrong (and would likely get a few US Arab/Muslim kids killed as “terrorist spies” in the resulting paranoia). But they don’t, do they?

    • hophmi
      June 3, 2016, 2:25 pm

      “encouraging students to spy on society casts a net far and wide. ”
      “try to follow the conversation hops.”

      I follow the conversation just fine. Lauder said nothing about American Jews spying on the rest of the American population, and such a reading by ritzl, and by you, is deeply antisemitic, but typical of the antisemitic paranoia that infects the BDS movement. The words could have come right out of David Duke’s mouth.

      All Lauder said was that students should report BDS activity to advocacy organizations in a position to address the problem. I don’t see how this is any different from BDS students reporting their own issues to organizations like Palestine Legal. Spying suggests that BDS is some secret activity. But it’s clearly not that.

      “Placing ads in newspapers encouraging US Jews (ie. advertising the fact that they will now be doing this; Beware!) to report any and all completely legal and constitutionally protected BDS activity to some secret central Jewish database with the specific intent/implicit threat of [potentially career-ending] retaliation”

      Oh please. First of all, BDS activity at private colleges, at least, is not Constitutionally protected. Second of all, you’re the one creating a paranoid myth about a “secret central Jewish database,” as if BDS activity amongst students and faculty was some big secret.

      I have to laugh at people in the academy that complain about how repressed pro-Palestinian academic are because one or two of them got in trouble for saying something stupid before they had tenure. First of all, most Americans already think that humanities professors are coddled babies who believe that they should be able to say anything about anything without consequence under the rubric of academic freedom, and they react like the tiny children that they are every time someone dares to criticize them in any real way.

      If the academy was a place where a pro-Palestinian prof couldn’t get a job, it would be one thing. But it’s exactly the opposite; it’s the pro-Israel professors, including those with tenure, who don’t speak out because they fear retaliation and social ostracization from colleagues. Norman Finkelstein has said repeatedly that it’s almost impossible to be pro-Israel on a campus.

      “If Palestine Legal (to use your example) advertised nationally to have people report to them any pro-Israel comments in the classroom or at McDonalds that would be equally implicitly threatening, chilling, and flat wrong (and would likely get a few US Arab/Muslim kids killed as “terrorist spies” in the resulting paranoia). But they don’t, do they?”

      No one is telling anyone to report every comment that they hear. Again, YOU’RE the one who says that.

      Pro-Israel Jewish students on campuses with robust BDS movements must contend with nasty people who attempt to cast them as white supremacist racists for not supporting BDS, and this has created an atmosphere on some campuses where these students self-censor because they’re afraid of social ostracization. Of course, this sometimes backfires for BDS. BDS isn’t popular, but it’s super-aggressive and well-organized, and it is effective at blackmailing identity groups on campus by threatening to smear them as being in league with white supremacy if they don’t support BDS, so it has had limited success in ramming resolutions through some student governments, and since it faces little comparative opposition on campus, it’s had an effect on student populations.

      But it remains unpopular, and that’s why, almost without exception, BDS has lost every referendum vote it’s attempted, including at extremely liberal schools like Vassar.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 3, 2016, 5:39 pm

        such a reading by ritzl, and by you, is deeply antisemitic

        of course! why didn’t i think of that?

        All Lauder said was that students should report BDS activity to advocacy organizations

        oh really? is that what you call the “World Jewish Congress”? an advocacy group? and that’s not all lauder said, he said he would place ads in major newspapers to “encourage” students to report on BDS activities [i.e. activists]. that sounds an awfully lot like recruiting little spies if you ask me.

        I don’t see how this is any different from BDS students reporting their own issues to organizations like Palestine Legal

        bds student activist don’t run around reporting zionist student activities to pal legal, they report incidences of abuse and intimidation directed at them and attempts to shut them down. they are not recruited with ads in major newspapers to report on other students activities.

        Spying suggests that BDS is some secret activity. But it’s clearly not that.

        oh clearly!!! because that anonymous canary group doesn’t spy heavens no!!! because stand w/us has not already been busted with spying on kids and keeping files on them heavens no! no pro Israel group compiles secret dossiers on pro-Palestinian speakers! oh wait, they do!! – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/02/compiles-palestinian-speakers/#sthash.0Q4UIssb.dpuf

        not only that these people (lauder etc) have unlimited funds and are backed by billionaires (or maybe you forgot about that lil las vegas anti bds convention — minimum million investment just to be part of the “in” group allowed at the sunday session when they devised strategies). or is it also “deeply antisemitic” (cough) and typical of the “antisemitic paranoia” to bring that up?

        you don’t scar me hops. not in the least. pal legal defends and protects victims of an oppressive well funded apparatus that targets human rights activists. no amount of wailing “david duke!” will change that. phff!

        Pro-Israel Jewish students on campuses … must contend with nasty people who attempt to cast them as white supremacist racists for not supporting BDS

        that’s likely a blatant lie — don’t confuse justifiable criticism for supporting a supremacist racist apartheid colonialist state with “not supporting BDS”. if students are being criticized for what they DO support, maybe they should examine other options, like not supporting a supremacist racist apartheid colonialist state, or not openly in public. but if they do support a supremacist racist apartheid colonialist state, don’t expect to not get called out for it on campus.

      • Mooser
        June 3, 2016, 5:58 pm

        “such a reading by ritzl, and by you, is deeply antisemitic”

        “Hophmi”, I admire your integrity! Giving Mondoweiss fair warning of the indictments and accusations you will be reporting to Lauder (if you haven’t already done so ) reflects your exquisite sense of what is fair.

      • ritzl
        June 3, 2016, 9:24 pm

        Oh FFS. Lauder himself laid it out.

        To repeat Lauder’s words as reported:

        “. . . and he (Richard Lauder) pledged to place ads in major newspapers to encourage students to report BDS and anti-Semitic activity to the WJC”

        Breaking it down:

        ● “report BDS…” = report constitutionally protected political speech. Why? Define all BDS “activity.”
        ● “…and anti-Semitic activity” = equating BDS to hate speech, implying punishment is in order.
        ● “to the WJC (World Jewish Congress)” = Jewish database.

        Is this proposed Jewish database of reports of BDS activity by who knows who under who knows what circumstances going to be open to everyone to research and/or dispute? If not, it’s SECRET. I didn’t see Lauder offering it up for public scrutiny. Yep, SECRET in its conception.

        The canary site Annie mentioned is NOT open for that type of investigation and it is SPECIFICALLY set up to punish activists for Palestinian justice by “encouraging” employers to check there first. The precedent is in place for using this WJC database in that way, and when BDS activity is likened to hate speech – by the proposer of such a database – it’s perfectly reasonable to believe that that’s exactly what it will be used for (punishment).

        If this proposed database isn’t going to be used to capture every comment then why “encourage” informers to report BDS comments (are comments an activity?). BDS activity as defined by whom? That’s so utterly broad as to be meaningless and is a clear exhortation for anyone to report anything. Aren’t there currently a dozen places one can go to report anti-semitic behavior? Why a new database if BDS activity isn’t the primary target? Why collect the information if you’re not going to use it – at the macro or micro level?

        Unless you subscribe to the strange notion that this type of information has historically been, and therefore will prospectively be, used with discretion and caution by the Lauder’s of the “BDS is anti-semitic” (clue: NOT a discrete or cautious equation) community, this is an incredibly, incredibly, incredibly bad idea. It pits a small number if Jews directly against a large number of non-Jews (and Jews).

        As far as my anti-semitism goes, F’k off. I didn’t propose this abortion and I’m not reading anything into it that isn’t without precedent. Actually, skipping the double negative, it’s all completely precedented. What IS new is formally folding clearly-political BDS activities in with the ugly stuff to be reported. That’s WAY over the line.

        And it’s absolutely not my fault or flaw that none of you anti-Palestinian types can seem to grasp how alienating this constant barrage of symptoms-targeting, morality-crushing garbage is. It just constantly pits a small amoral segment of the US Jewish community (while claiming to speak for all Jews) against tens of millions of reasonably-moral normal people. Lauder has a really messed up/dangerous worldview, imo.

        Solve the base problem (Israel’s violent subjugation of Palestine and Palestinians) and all this goes away. What a better world it would be if all your energy went in that direction instead of perpetuating it.

  4. Ossinev
    June 1, 2016, 2:26 pm

    But in one of the more bizarre moments of the conference, Birnbaum said that an Israeli soldier “wants to come home to his family, and he wants to go to the beach and he wants to travel after military service”

    I am sure that he is 100% correct. After a while even live target practice can get to be a bit dull.And routinely terrifying defenceless innocent women and children can also end up being a bit repetitive and boring.

    So it is entirely understandable that the “soldier “will want to chill out and spend some quality time with family and relaxing on the beach.

    I expect going back a few years soldiers in the SS felt exactly the same thing

  5. amigo
    June 1, 2016, 3:35 pm

    Zionists are like the players on a team , (pick any team sport) who are getting a pasting and resort to committing fouls against their opponents and matters only get worse.The end result is a given and always results in defeat and sometimes relegation or suspensions .

    Zionists cannot see this and do not have a leader to show them the way.

    Oh well , no accounting for bad losers.

  6. amigo
    June 1, 2016, 3:44 pm

    “Ronald Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress, said that the “era of the quiet Jew, the timid Jew, the ghetto Jew” is over “.

    Seems to me that day was over some 70 years ago when ” zionits kidnapped Judaism from Jews and used it to be anything but quiet and timid.

    This gathering is proof positive that ziocaine works on large groups just as well as it does on individuals.

    I could almost feel sorry for these reprobates but get over that emotion in a nano second.

    • Kay24
      June 1, 2016, 4:44 pm

      Yes of course, Israel’s neighbors know exactly how quiet and timid the Jews of Israel have been.
      It is not as if they used soundless precision bombs, and the illegal squatters were initially mice.
      It is a miracle that quiet, timid Jews were able to occupy and steal lands to that extent.

  7. amigo
    June 1, 2016, 3:50 pm

    ” He claimed that Students for Justice in Palestine was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood–an unfounded accusation–and pledged to place ads in major newspapers to encourage students to report BDS and anti-Semitic activity to the World Jewish Congress “Lauder.

    OOOOOOHHHH shiver me timbers –aaaarh ,cappin ook is on the prowl and is going to make us walk the plank.

    Dumb pitiful f—s.

  8. mcohen.
    June 1, 2016, 4:03 pm

    could bds unite world jewry.definitely.

    • Mooser
      June 3, 2016, 6:15 pm

      “could bds unite world jewry.definitely.”

      You know, “mcohen” it might! After all, Jews all over the world have very few resources to defend themselves from Zionism or make any stand against Zionism, or even against the more intransigent aspects of it.
      BDS is certainly one Jews everywhere could unite around.
      If Israel achieves its aims, its ends, it will be a disaster for Jews everywhere.
      BDS allows Jews some participation in the possibility of moderating those ends, hopefully avoiding that disaster.

  9. xanadou
    June 1, 2016, 4:14 pm

    “an intelligence official said Israel should engage in “targeted civil elimination” of BDS advocates”

    An unfortunate choice of words or subconscious projection of the real intentions of this rally?

    Why was this allowed to take place inside the UN?

  10. Citizen
    June 1, 2016, 4:21 pm

    Hillary fans are on board with getting rid of BDS since they support her rigidly. Bill Kristol isn’t as sure of Trump on Israel as Sheldon Adelson, which is why he nominated David French–main media says it does not know why, but just take a look at the article French wrote on the I-P conflict on the National Review Online–blames hateful Palestinians for everything.

  11. Kay24
    June 1, 2016, 4:33 pm

    That looks like an anti-goyim crowd at the UN.

  12. Mike Hite
    June 1, 2016, 4:52 pm

    Ambassador Danny Danon is quoted under the articles image of the meeting at the UN. Isn’t he the radical settler who was refused as Israels ambassador to Brazil but America is accepting him? Makes me sick.

  13. Egbert
    June 1, 2016, 4:56 pm

    Every hand raised represents a UN resolution ignored by Israel.

  14. casaananda
    June 1, 2016, 5:31 pm

    Lauder: loud mouth. The Zionist thieves have no conscience. ALL the world is really asking them to do is give up the Occupation and siege on Gaza. Lets the Palestinians breathe. Too bad they will soon be a majority west of the Jordan. One loses all sympathy for the racists in Israel.

  15. amigo
    June 1, 2016, 5:35 pm

    Where next—will bibi lead them to the congress. Maybe POTUS hillary will host them in the rose Garden.

    It,s all too funny as they are wasting their time.

    • just
      June 1, 2016, 5:50 pm

      Danon did a pretty good Bibi, amigo. I posted this yesterday:

      “Danon Chides UN for ‘Opening the Door to BDS’ at Summit Against Boycott Movement …

      In an international student summit on ways of combating the BDS movement organized by the Israeli Mission to the UN, and held at the UN, Israel’s permanent representative to the UN Danny Danon borrowed from Winston Churchill, promising to fight the BDS movement in campuses, in courts of law and in the halls of the UN, but also used the podium at the general assembly hall to attack the United Nations.

      In front of 15,000 people, Danon praised the American students present for being “the Iron Dome of the State of Israel,” and promised to win the “battle” against the BDS movement, which he referred to as “the true face of modern anti-semitism.”

      “Everyone will hear us, our friends but also our enemies,” promised Danon, and added that BDS protestors are screaming outside, even though if there was a demonstration, it was really hard to spot. “I have a message for those standing right now outside the UN, holding banners and screaming hatful lyrics against the state of Israel – you will never win. Our people have overcome every threat and every enemy. We stand strong, we stand together and we will defeat you, once and for all.”

      The promise to defeat BDS once and for all generated enthusiastic applause, as Danon continued using militarized language to threaten the BDS movement: “We will fight them on campus, we will fight them in the courts of law, we will fight them in the halls of the UN.” However, Danon also used the podium at the general assembly hall to attack the United nations, hinting that the enemy may actually be larger than BDS activists.

      “BDS has already infected the UN, yes even the UN,” said Danon. “Just recently, the UN human rights council voted to blacklist anyone who does business in Judea and Samaria, in Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. With this disgraceful resolution, the UN crossed a red line. Can you imagine, that 70 years after the Holocaust, the UN is creating lists to encourage the boycott of Jewish companies? This is exactly the kind of hatred that the UN was founded to eradicate. When the UN is opening the door to BDS, we have to respond.””

      read more: link to haaretz.com

      War talk, Holocaust, vitriol, anti- semitism, and lies at the UN~ sounds like Bibi, himself. Despicable. Wonder if he got many ovations, and if Matisyahu rocked the GA hall. Funny that no other article that I read mentioned students before this one…

      Huge thanks to all those peaceful pro- BDS folks outside!!!

      – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/05/governments-sweden-speaking/#sthash.UihNRTEN.dpuf

      Thanks for the article, Alex.

  16. lonely rico
    June 1, 2016, 5:48 pm

    Israel commandeers UN for anti-BDS pep rally
    … the General Assembly for a day-long pro-Israel pep rally

    I’d be curious to know how much it costs these absurd people to rent the GA for a day ?

  17. JustJessetr
    June 1, 2016, 6:12 pm

    BDS had a great head start. But we’re catching up to you.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 1, 2016, 7:06 pm

      it what way are you ‘catching up’. is there any sign the top down heavily funded assault against bsd is having an impact with the masses? the arena aipac and the israeli government adapts itself into our society is thru legislation and pressuring those at the top — in this regard it is having more impact in this direction. but as far as ingratiating itself with the population, i really don’t see any advances. i think, as far as i have heard, bds is growing. and i think it’s growing and spreading at a faster pace than anti bds sentiments. i don’t think it will ever catch up or squash the movement, not unless they start advocating policy changes towards equality which i don’t see on the horizon.

    • Mooser
      June 1, 2016, 7:55 pm

      “BDS had a great head start. But we’re catching up to you.”

      Yeah, you and Edgar Davidson.

      Funny what a different guy “just jesse tr” is when we’re not talking about the co-op.

    • Kay24
      June 1, 2016, 10:28 pm

      Yep you are catching up all right.

      “Israel’s economy could lose up to NIS 40 billion ($10.5 billion) per year and thousands of people could lose their jobs if the country is subject to a full international boycott, according to a Finance Ministry report unveiled last week after a two-year battle.

      The six-page report, completed in mid-2013, warns damage from an international boycott could range from approximately half a billion shekels ($130 million) per year and up to 500 people losing their jobs, to NIS 40 billion and 36,500 firings, depending on the scope of the boycott and its rate of adoption around the world.

      The report, drafted by staff at the Finance Ministry during Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid’s stint as finance minister in the last government, had been kept under wraps until now”

      http://www.timesofisrael.com/state-report-boycott-could-cost-israel-nis-40-billion-per-year/

      • upsondundas
        June 2, 2016, 5:29 pm

        But is the $ 170 millions less than three weeks of Yankee Dollar Aid?

    • Marnie
      June 2, 2016, 12:49 am

      Yeah, I see you’re another “hit it and quit it” kind of guy, but I’d repeat Annie’s question “In what way?” You’re just like

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=__x4BKDuqt8

      (you don’t get the real deal)

    • Talkback
      June 2, 2016, 8:59 am

      JustJessetr: “BDS had a great head start. But we’re catching up to you.”

      With your silencing methods and intimidation tactics you will only turn more people to BDS. It will become a global movement represeting anyone who’s freedom Zioinism wants to restrict. Good luck with catching up.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 2, 2016, 12:13 pm

      not even israel agrees w/you. this is from a week ago: I

      Israeli Foreign Ministry Failing in Fight Against BDS, Report Says

      Read more: http://forward.com/news/breaking-news/341326/israeli-foreign-ministry-failing-in-fight-against-bds-report-says/#ixzz4ARGJtGIt

      plus, this is recent, from bds central: https://bdsmovement.net/2016/evidence-suggests-israels-responsibility-cyber-attacks-bds-website-14165

      “For all its financial clout, Israel may have shot itself in the foot by launching this all-out war of smearing, demonization and criminalization against BDS. In the last few months, three European governments and an array of the world’s largest human rights organizations — including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) — have defended the right to advocate and campaign for Palestinian rights through BDS.”

      Further exacerbating Israel’s frustration is the fact that indicators of the growing impact of BDS have piled up at a higher rate in 2016 than at any comparable period since the movement was launched in 2005 by the absolute majority in Palestinian civil society.

      In the first week of January 2016, the $20-billion Pension and Health Benefits Fund of the United Methodist Church declared the five largest Israeli banks off limits for investment and divested from the two that it held in its portfolios.

      Also in 2016, Irish building materials corporation CRH and French telecoms giant Orange announced their withdrawal from Israel following effective BDS campaigns against them. Coming on the heels of the decision by Veolia, another large French company that ended its involvement in Israeli projects that violate international law, these exits have been hailed by BDS activists as a start of a “domino effect.”

      The Brazilian state of Bahia decided on April 2 to end its cooperation agreement with Israeli water company Mekorot, and more than 27 local councils in Spain have declared themselves “Israeli Apartheid Free Zones” over the last few months.

      Support for Palestinian rights has grown impressively in the US. A recent Pew poll reveals that the number of liberal Democrats who say they sympathize more with Palestinians is now higher than it has been at any point in the last 15 years (40%), and support for Palestinian rights among millennials has tripled over the last 10 years (to 27%).

      so what comparable data is there of this ‘catching up’? more like one step forward 2 steps back — because since the well funded assault began, and arguably because of that assault, bds has gone mainstream whereas just a few years ago lots of ordinary people had never even heard of it. now it’s in the news all the time and that could not have happened without the assault against it which has only made us stronger.

      one more quote from the bds movement link, which embeds/links to the nyt for the first quote:

      A staunch anti-Palestinian director of a New York-based multinational advertising agency recently admitted, “BDS is driving the conversation, and the anti-BDS side is reactionary. Ours is a negative message, just not that inviting. We look like a corporate brochure. So we have a problem, my friends.”

      Nawajaa concludes, “Israel seems to be losing its plot and resorting to extreme measures in fighting BDS not just because the movement is effective and strategic. Trying to sell its system of occupation, settler-colonialism and institutionalized racism is not easy at all, as the former apartheid regime in South Africa had found out.”

      it’s gonna take more to ‘catch up’ than simply claiming you’re catching up. the only way to end bds is to demand israel change it’s apartheid policies — until they do.

      • oldgeezer
        June 2, 2016, 12:30 pm

        @annie

        Let’s not forget that the hasbara that was being spewed here (and elsewhere), just a few months ago, was that BDS wasn’t accomplishing thing and represented a fringe that would never catch on. It’s gone from nowhere to something that they can barely see the taillights on as they try to catch up.

        The world is sick of Israeli oppression particularly as they try to spread that oppression into our own nations and limit our freedoms in their favour.

        Human rights are not an Israeli gift to hold back or dish out as they see fit or if Palestinians give up enough at the negotiating table. Uphold international law and rein the rogue state in.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 2, 2016, 12:39 pm

        yep!

    • Misterioso
      June 2, 2016, 12:33 pm

      JustJessetr

      Nonsense!

      To wit:

      http://www.timesofisrael.com/dysfunctional-israeli-leadership-failing-utterly-in-battle-against-bds-state-watchdog-warns/

      Times of Israel – May 24, 2016

      EXCERPT:
      “Dysfunctional Israeli leadership failing utterly in battle against BDS, state watchdog warns

      “Highlighting dismal propaganda performance during 2014 war, comptroller cites lack of overall strategy, absent funding, divisions between ministries, failure to coordinate with IDF.”

      To quote Patrick Martin, Canada’s Globe and Mail correspondent in Israel:
      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/parliament-votes-to-reject-campaign-to-boycott-israel/article28863810/

      Globe and Mail, Feb. 23/16

      EXCERPT:
      “Israel is increasingly concerned with the successes of the boycott and divestment efforts. In 2014, foreign direct investment in Israel dropped 46 per cent from the previous year, in part, a United Nations report said, because of BDS efforts.

      “These initiatives are taking hold at North American universities, churches and trade unions, where many institutions are dropping investments in Israel or Israel-connected companies. In Europe where hundreds of academics and entertainers are personally boycotting Israel, major companies such as telecom Orange and water company Veolia are pulling out of Israeli ventures, and some EU governments are putting warning labels on products produced in Israeli West Bank settlements.”

      http://www.haaretz.com/.premium-1.719064?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
      “Israeli Exports Slump to Seven-year April Low. Harel says weak trade performance to cut 2016 economic growth outlook.”
      By Moti Bassok – May 11, 2016

      EXCERPT:
      “Israel’s deteriorating export performance hit a new low last month, as merchandise exports fell to their lowest April total since 2009, the Central Bureau of Statistics reported on Tuesday….”

      https://electronicintifada.net/content/ireland-latest-eu-state-defend-bds/16866
      Electronic Intifada ​ – 28 May 2016
      Ireland latest EU state to defend BDS

      http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/In-huge-blow-to-Israel-Netherlands-declares-BDS-free-speech-455162
      Jerusalem Post – 05/26/2016
      In huge blow to Israel, Netherlands declares BDS ‘free speech’

      https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/french-court-overturns-illegal-ban-bds-event
      Electronic Intifada – 31 May 2016
      French court overturns “illegal” ban on BDS event

  18. pabelmont
    June 1, 2016, 7:40 pm

    This meeting (comandeering) at UN is not an anomaly or wrong. After all, there is (or was) an annual day for meetings on Palestine; I’ve attened a couple over many years.

    But I’m glad to see Israel get flustered about BDS. And even glad about the anti-free-speech work being done (France, USA, maybe UK) at Zionist bidding, because it shows the world Zionist power (if it had any doubt) and menace. People are surely thinking more, these days, about whether the holocaust (or anything else) justifies the fierce racism of the Zionist presence in Palestine (or even the Zionist presence itself). BDS asks only for democracy, non-discrimination, an end of occupation (BDS does not say what is to replace it) and a Palestinian Right of Return (PRoR) for the exiles of 1948 and later (exiles of the continuing Nakba). I think the world will learn this and contrast it with the hysterical Zionist claims that BDS means to destroy Israel — or to delegitimize Israel as opposed to what Israel has done illegitimately.

  19. Ossinev
    June 2, 2016, 8:17 am

    On the subject of sanctions an interesting leading report in today`s Haaretz on Jeremy Corbyn,the UK Labour Party leader and coments he made with regard to alleged “anti-semitism” in the party

    http://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/1.722734

    His rejection of the allegations in the context of the fly on the wall video is low key but may one can only hope lead in due course to a more forthright shredding of the bogus allegations coming from the Ziowhingers in the UK`s Jewish community. What is more enlightening are the accompanying details of earlier letters from Corbyn in the Haaretz report where he is seen to be categorically denouncing Israel (not Jews !!) actually calling on the then UK Foreign Secretary to “stop allowing Israel’s criminal politicians to come to our country freely”.

    The Ziolobby in the UK have got a major problem on its hands with Corbyn and the UK Labour Party. Corbyn is a traditional socialist who quite naturally would find JSIL and JSILi policies towards the Palestinians repulsive and the antithesis of democracy. Even more importantly and even more worrying for the Ziobots is that (as in the US with Bernie Sanders) Corbyn enjoys huge support amongst the younger and more politically informed generation in the UK.

    As for BDS and the desperate attempts by the JSILI government and the various international Ziolobby groups to stem the tide – absolutely hilarious. It is always a hoot to watch frustrated bullies punching themselves in the face.

    • just
      June 2, 2016, 11:38 am

      I so respect the man, Ossinev. I read that piece this morning, and those excerpts from his letters made my heart sing. The engineered witch hunt after Labour is doomed to fail. As to his support~ UK friends/family of mine certainly back him unequivocally.

  20. Talkback
    June 2, 2016, 9:03 am

    After oppressing Palestinans these fascist thugs are trying to oppress the whole world and trying to restrict our right to free speech.

    • CigarGod
      June 2, 2016, 10:18 am

      Already have.
      Just so gradual we don’t even notice we’ve lost the lily pad and the pond has become a boiling pot.

  21. Ossinev
    June 2, 2016, 1:04 pm

    @amigo
    “Zionists are like the players on a team , (pick any team sport) who are getting a pasting and resort to committing fouls against their opponents and matters only get worse”

    Like the sporting analogies. Would add that they are also mildly addicted to “taking dives”:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diving_(association_football)

    In both instances given that the” referee” is the good old USA they avoid the red cards (the USA occasionally waves a hesitant yellow card ) and they also get the free kicks and the penalties.

  22. eljay
    June 2, 2016, 1:10 pm

    … The day at the UN started off predictably, with Israeli officials and pro-Israel advocates sauntering up to the General Assembly stage to bash the BDS movement. Danny Danon, the Israeli Ambassador to the UN, called the gathering “historic” and said “BDS is the new face of modern anti-Semitism.” …

    Like all hateful and immoral Zio-supremacists, Danon conflates Israel with all Jews and all Jews with Israel. Why does he – why do all Zio-supremacists – hate Jews so much?!

    … Ronald Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress, said that the “era of the quiet Jew, the timid Jew, the ghetto Jew” is over …

    …and the era of the Captain Israel underpants-wearing Jew has begun.

    … “If your school, or your professor, is backing BDS in a public way, contact us,” Lauder said …

    Captain Israel, the “Jewish State” and I hypocritically believe that there is no place in I-P for justice, accountability and equality and, so, we wish to do everything in our power to wipe them off the map and push them into the sea.

    • Mooser
      June 3, 2016, 2:52 pm

      “If your school, or your professor, is backing…”

      “Your school”? “Your professor”? What about a website which is beamed all around the globe? And a popular website, at that!

      C’mon “Hophmi”, c’mon “Yonah”! This is your chance to make good on all those accusation and indictments. Get in touch with Lauder, and start trampling through the warehouse where the tropes of hate are stored!

  23. kma
    June 2, 2016, 1:33 pm

    they can knock themselves out over BDS, but it won’t be the last or only tactic to protest the ethnic cleansing of Palestine. The only thing that will stop the movement is the end of the apartheid and ethnic cleansing… kind of like a few others throughout history.

    would love to see someone stand up on that stage and propose that solution to stop BDS.

    and I cannot wait until the tide finishes turning in the US where it is becoming clearer to us all that we see ourselves in the mirror every time we look at Israeli soldiers manning checkpoints, dropping bombs, occupying land, killing people for nothing and then lying about it, labeling dissidents ‘terrorist’, demonizing Muslims, etc. Sending US cops to train with the IDF only helps to cement the symbol of a Palestinian flag as a recognizable statement in a Black Lives Matter crowd. I do feel sorry for zionists who think they are desperately fighting for their ‘existence’, but publicly going after BDS on the UN stage is just calling Mandela a ‘terrorist’, and jailing Mandela didn’t stop the boycott. We know what did.

  24. echinococcus
    June 2, 2016, 10:33 pm

    Bravo! Applause! They are giving more free publicity on Zionist crimes and occupation in one day than the whole solidarity movement could afford in several years. They are making the boycott movement heard across the world! Think of it, at the UN!

    I’m sure most of the people who will hear of it and have a timid look at what it’s all about won’t stop at the pseudo-boycott, or libZionist boycott, of post-1967 only. The Zionist entity will be boycotted more widely and more consciously than the coopted post-67 boycott. What we need is much more of this. More Yahoos and morons and Beitenoos in power, to do the outreach for us. No “liberal”-or-“Labor” Zionists anytime, please.

  25. just
    June 3, 2016, 7:27 pm

    “Copy BDS tactics, pro-Israel activists told at UN conference

    “When I was in school,” recalled Republican pollster and right-wing propaganda consultant Frank Luntz, “there was no opposition to Israel whatsoever.”

    But today, he warned, “schools across the country have tremendous challenges” because young people are dramatically more liberal, increasingly hostile toward Israel and more sympathetic to Palestinians.

    To defeat BDS, Luntz concluded that Israel’s supporters must adopt language that appeals to the campus left.

    Luntz was speaking on 31 May to a packed conference hall at the United Nations headquarters in New York, where the Israeli mission to the UN and the World Jewish Congress hosted the first international #StopBDS conference.

    An estimated 1,500 people, many of them college aged, attended the summit to learn and discuss strategies for crushing the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement burgeoning on US college campuses.

    Speak young, speak left

    To illustrate his point, Luntz presented polling he said was taken within the last 90 days showing attitudes toward Israel and the Palestinians among US college students.

    He was most troubled that only one in three students considers themselves pro-Israel. Almost a quarter of students support Palestinians over Israel and 39 percent think Israel should return all Israeli land to Palestinians.

    Forty-three percent favor boycott as a means to pressure Israel to respect Palestinian rights and 44 percent – almost half – view Israel as an apartheid state.

    Luntz sounded the alarm over the decline in support for Israel among US college students.
    “I’m not looking to speak to people who already agree with me,” said Luntz. Anti-BDS messaging, he argued, needs to be tailored to Democrats, women and people under 29 – demographics he identified as most likely to sympathize with the Palestinian struggle for human rights.

    His findings are similar to those of a recent Pew survey that found a dramatic increase in support for Palestinians in the Democratic Party’s liberal base.

    “I want to speak young, I want to speak left and I want to speak to the women,” which requires “promoting equality” and “promoting human rights,” Luntz explained.

    “I want you to focus on democratic language. I want you to focus on language to the left. I want you to imagine when you are communicating Israel that you are speaking to a 21-year-old college Democrat woman,” Luntz advised. “That’s the people that you need to reach out to.”

    Then Luntz abruptly ended his presentation out of fear that his remaining slides would be publicized.

    “There are a couple of people in this room right now who support BDS, who tweet about it, who write about it on social media. I have language that I’d like to show you but I think that I would actually do damage, that people would take photographs of it and put it out,” he said.

    Earlier this year, some of Luntz’s slides from his anti-BDS presentation were leaked.

    When The Electronic Intifada attempted to interview Luntz ahead of his speech this time around, he was upset to learn there was a media presence at the #StopBDS conference. “I didn’t know they were letting journalists in,” he snapped. …”

    Much more @ https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/copy-bds-tactics-pro-israel-activists-told-un-conference

    Love his numbers… they will grow! I think it’s probably impossible to teach these folks how “speak” justice~ you have to believe in it.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 3, 2016, 7:40 pm

      39 percent think Israel should return all Israeli land to Palestinians! wow, that’s impressive.

      • echinococcus
        June 4, 2016, 1:00 am

        While that’s so impressive, there’s something that my mind seems too narrow to comprehend: the many so-called activists and sort-of-hard-talking antizionists who, unlike the healthy youth, kiss colonialist bottom and concede territorial rights, in different sizes of 67 or 48 or 47, to the Zionist entity! They are completely obsolete now. Those 39% will multiply and get vocal: all land back to Palestinians. Its owners!

      • mcohen.
        June 4, 2016, 5:38 am

        us college students.

        The percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in college also was higher in 2013 (39.9 percent) than in 2000 (35.5 percent) (source). In 2013, there were about 12.2 million college students under age 25 and 8.2 million students 25 years old and over.

        2016 would put the number at say 25 million out of a total us pop. of 322 million so 7% of the population are students

        at that age group easy to target and all grouped in fixed living areas,

        i call that delibetate targeting.so who is behind it.ramallah…no money…arab lobby groups based in washington,maybe.some statistics below

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_Students%27_Association

        so annie 39% think that wow wow wow

      • echinococcus
        June 4, 2016, 9:50 am

        McCohen, have you ever looked out of your Zionist bubble for a single minute?

        so who is behind it.ramallah…no money

        Ramallah? Ramallah is where your enslaved puppets “rule”. They’d never even think of helping worldwide opposition to their masters.

        no money

        No money needed. How much does a marker pen and some second-hand cardboard cost?
        The only model for you seems to be highly paid propagandists, corporate outfits, big Fairmont meetings, Luntz, Madison Ave. fees, Zionist propaganda jobs… You’re so high up the bowels of Zionism that you’ll reach the appendix. People don’t need money to talk to people outside your bubble.

        Tell you who is behind it financially: me, low-income guy. Multiply that by a few thousand, who occasionally donate a few bucks to resistance-supporting organizers. They could also do without those few cents: how much does a marker pen and some second-hand cardboard cost?

        …arab lobby groups based in washington,maybe

        Why should “Arab” lobbies be concerned about Palestine?
        The word you are looking for is “Palestinian”. Means owner of sovereignty on all Palestine (hint: they aren’t Saudis or Mauretanians)

        so annie 39% think that wow wow wow

        Don’t believe it? It’s not coming from Annie but your very own murder propagandist, Frank Luntz. Howl away.

    • Kay24
      June 3, 2016, 10:36 pm

      It will be hard for Israel and its agents here to halt the growing number of Palestinian supporters.
      With young people turned off by the media, and the biased coverage, they will get independent information from other sources outside the US, and thanks to the internet, they will be able to get different perspectives, and the facts. The last massacre in Gaza in 2014, left the world shocked, and many beginning to see Israel for what it really is. This would also have earned more sympathy for the Palestinians. Israel’s own evil actions are helping the Palestinians in ways we may not understand.

  26. Talkback
    June 4, 2016, 6:20 am

    “If your school, or your professor, is backing BDS in a public way, contact us,”

    Cause we will make them an offer they can’t refuse.

    “There are good Palestinians. They’re not all terrorists.”

    The same can be said about Jews.

  27. Rooster
    June 4, 2016, 11:30 am

    Birnbaum is such an asshole.

    Not my most eloquent comment, but he really is a remarkable prick.

    • just
      June 5, 2016, 4:16 pm

      Yes, he is. So is Cuomo:

      “N.Y. Governor Cuomo Signs Executive Order Against BDS

      Executive order requires state agencies to divest from companies and groups that back the anti-Israel boycott. ‘We want to take immediate action because we want Israel to know that we are on their side,’ Cuomo says.

      New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday signed an executive order that orders state agencies to divest themselves of companies and organizations that support the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against the State of Israel.

      “In New York, we lead by example. We are also a place of action. We want to take immediate action because we want Israel to know that we are on their side,” Cuomo said during a speech, attended by Jewish leaders, at The Harvard Club. “If you boycott against Israel, New York will boycott you.”

      The executive order – the first such signed by a governor – will command the commissioner of the Office of General Services to compile a list over the next six months of businesses and groups engaged in “boycott, divestment or sanctions activity targeting Israel, either directly or through a parent or subsidiary.”

      Once the process is completed, all executive-branch agencies and departments will be required to divest themselves of any company on the list to be made public, according to the draft first published by The New York Times. “The State of New York will not permit its own investment activity to further the BDS campaign in any way, shape or form, whether directly or indirectly,” the order states.

      “New York stands in solidarity with Israel today and always. This state will not stand for the politics of discrimination in any form, and we will continue to demonstrate our unwavering support for the people of Israel in the fight for freedom, liberty and democracy,” said Cuomo. “I’m proud to sign this nation’s leading executive order, which will help protect Israel from the threat of divestment.”

      Cuomo called on governors from all states to follow his lead and take immediate action to fight the BDS movement. According to the governor’s office, Cuomo has been named as the co-chair of the American Jewish Committee’s Governors against BDS initiative.

      “This order sends the message that this state will do everything in its power to end this hateful, intolerant campaign. New York and Israel share an unbreakable bond and I pray that the Israeli and Palestinian people will find a way to live side by side and find peace, prosperity and security,” he said.

      Following his speech, Cuomo marched in the Celebrate Israel parade on Fifth Avenue, alongside a truck blaring Israeli music. “I am the first governor in the country to sign an executive order saying we oppose the boycott of Israel. I am proud of it and I hope other states follow our lead,” Cuomo told reporters before marching. “It is very important that Israel is strong, not just for the sake of Israel but for the sake of all democracies. Israel is an important strategic ally of the U.S. And we have to keep that relationship strong. And even in this difficult time of turmoil, I want Israel to know New York stands with them.”

      Asked if he has responded to President Barack Obama’s April letter requesting to lift state sanctions against Iran as part of the Iran nuclear deal, Cuomo said: “I would have to check. I don’t know if we have.” …”

      read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.723240

      Where to start? What flag does he salute, anyway? What party does he represent?

      • Kay24
        June 5, 2016, 4:54 pm

        Shame on Cuomo. Obviously he is being another zionist tool, who has personal ambitions (another term or even President) and he needs those lobbies for support, shekels, and the zionist media, to do so. They have no qualms about Palestinians suffering under an occupation,
        or the fact that they are losing their lands to this despicable occupier. It is laughable when you hear these politicians who are deep in zionist pockets speak of democracy and people living in freedom, because you know they are being selective in their sympathy and are ignoring the real victims, all because of their devotion to an alien nation.

      • Mooser
        June 5, 2016, 5:19 pm

        Well, you can’t fight City Hall. And the only sure way to make sure you’re sure you’ll surely never be involved in a boycott of Israel is to be sure never to do any business with Israel in the first place.

      • MHughes976
        June 5, 2016, 5:34 pm

        On the questions a) of privately organised boycotts versus state-organised boycotts of boycotters and b) of free speech. Suppose a group of creationist business owners decide to withdraw from (boycott) supplying state schools because they teach evolution, The Governor, who happens to be Richard Dawkins’ second cousin, hears of this and orders the state pension system to have no dealings with (boycott) those businesses. When questioned, she replies ‘I’ve got free speech too’. Is she in the right? Is she within the law?

      • ritzl
        June 5, 2016, 7:40 pm

        No rational business is going to START doing business in Israel if they risk losing the ability to do any business with the State of NY should they pull out for any reason. There’s absolutely zero assurance that the reason for a pullout will not be judged as a moral boycott by some (single?) Israeli decider and the company denied access to a market many times the size of the Israeli market. It’s just unacceptable business risk.

        The more of these anti-free speech spasms are passed, the quicker new investment in Israel dries right up.

      • Jon66
        June 5, 2016, 10:49 pm

        Ritzl,

        Your interpretation may be correct. This type of legislation may discourage investment. But on the other hand, if the Israeli government or a company asks to do business with a foreign company, the foreign company may be too scared to say no.

      • ritzl
        June 6, 2016, 9:33 am

        @Jon66

        If that’s sarcasm it’s terribly misguided.

        It’s not my interpretation. It’s cost-benefit (risk) analysis 101.

        ● At risk of harming corporate image or branding and losing global business by doing business with what is widely perceived as an Apartheid state. (Mass market brands are most sensitive.)

        ● At risk of corporate liability and/or shareholder suits for violating international law.

        ● At risk of losing access to major markets because some non-defined process or person in, or friendly to, or both, a small market may or may not like their reason for ceasing operations and decided it was a boycott – apparently without appeal.

        Decision: Avoid Israel like the plague.

        You scoff, but all these anti-do-the-right-thing (aka anti-BDS) constitutional perversions lay the foundation for the compulsion you describe. Anti-BDS efforts are the first steps down the path of compelling business behavior in non-public welfare (ie. heretofore totally discretionary decision-making) areas. Anti-BDS tells companies what they must NOT do. If any if these anti-BDS efforts survive with effect, dictating what business MUST do is the next very short step down that compulsion path.

        I say go for it Israel. Nothing like using the power of the state to compell people to like you and want to play with you.

        As Jonathan Ofir just wrote, “The problem is the problem.” The reaction (BDS) to the problem (perpetual violent subjugation of Palestine and Palestinians) is not the problem. Solve the problem. All this attacking personal and corporate conscience only builds resentment (personally) and aversion (corporately). It is counterproductive to your own goals and it does nothing to solve the “problem.”

        In case you weren’t being sarcastic… Nevermind.

      • Mooser
        June 6, 2016, 11:26 am

        “if the Israeli government or a company asks to do business with a foreign company, the foreign company may be too scared to say no.”

        “Hello! This is Israel calling (or merely an Israeli company) and I demand you do business with us at a loss, or else we’ll charge you with a crime! And if that doesn’t scare you, we will report your refusal to GOD!”

        Gosh, “Jon 66” can you really be this dumb about business? And is your idea of Israeli economic power really this fantastical?

      • Mooser
        June 6, 2016, 11:32 am

        “This type of legislation may discourage investment.”

        Oh, don’t say that, “Jon s”! Laws compelling US businesses to do business under disadvantageous conditions with foreign governments and businesses have been a premier feature of the American economy since the Constitution was signed. It’s why we call America “The Land of the Free!”

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