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Israeli government minister takes credit for 27 U.S. states passing anti-BDS laws

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A leading Israeli government minister takes credit for 27 U.S. states passing laws aimed at curbing citizens’ advocacy for BDS, the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign targeting Israel.

Gilad Erdan, minister for strategic affairs and information under Benjamin Netanyahu, addressed the Jerusalem Post conference in New York two weeks ago, and bragged that the Israeli government had taken its fights “to the enemy,” and that includes BDS.

When I was charged with leading this fight, BDS leaders operated freely and were largely successful in disguising themselves as human rights organizations… We tore off their masks. We exposed their ties to terror, we exposed their deeprooted antisemitism, we exposed their opposition to peace, and we exposed of course their hypocrisy. They couldn’t care less about the real human rights violations, for example in Syria and Iran. All they care about is demonizing and delegitimizing the world’s only Jewish and democratic state.

Erdan then took credit for American laws:

Our efforts are producing results. 27 US states now have counter-BDS legislation. Let’s give a hand to all the governors and state legislators who supported this law. They deserve it.

The minister cited a report he produced called “Terrorist in Suits” that aims to show that supporters of BDS include some Palestinians convicted of being members of terrorist organizations– ergo BDS is a haven for terrorists. Now “BDS is on the defensive,” Erdan said.

But Israel and its “friends” in the audience must push for even harsher laws in the U.S.

We need to take the fight against BDS to the next level. We must encourage investigations of terror-linked BDS groups and promote legislation that counters all forms of anti-Semitism including of course the anti-Semitic delegitimization of Israel.

So it is a huge scandal that Russia interfered in the 2016 election but Israel is messing in our politics all the time, and that’s standard operating procedure.

Remember those Facebook ads from Russia? Part of Erdan’s effort is establishing and leading “a global community of advocates,” more than 100 bloggers around the world who counter efforts to delegitimize Israel on the internet. These advocates explain the ancient Jewish connection to the land, etc.

On a related note, at the same time that advocacy for boycotting Israel is being punished/circumscribed in the U.S., other boycotts are promoted by progressives. Here is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the Hollywood Reporter calling this week for boycotting Georgia, Alabama, and Missouri for passing abortion bans that he says have the effect of marginalizing powerless groups.

Abdul-Jabbar notes the virtues of boycotts.

A boycott is a clear statement that we value conscience over commerce. It means stop doing business with or in these states. For Hollywood, stop making films there. For businesses, stop buying their products or holding conventions or building there. For the average person, don’t visit. No tourism dollars. And we continue this practice until legislators reverse the policies or are removed from office.

And he acknowledges that they cause pain (as boycotting Sodastream cost some Palestinians their jobs), but that’s inescapable. Even in Montgomery in 1955.

Boycotts cause hardships to the innocent as well as the guilty. That’s the whole point. Hardships motivate the self-righteous leaders to face the consequences of their political greed. A boycott’s success depends on the commitment of those seeking change to endure suffering. Rosa Parks’ arrest in 1955 kicked off the Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama that lasted a year and led to great hardships for whites and blacks. One of the boycott’s leaders, 26-year-old Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., had his home firebombed. The bus company suffered financial setbacks that affected its employees and other businesses. The black boycotters, who were 70 percent of the buses’ ridership, also suffered. For a year, they walked or carpooled until they were triumphant.

Thanks to Allison Deger. 

 

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of Mondoweiss.net and founded the site in 2005-06.

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16 Responses

  1. LiberatePalestine on July 2, 2019, 12:35 pm

    → more than 100 bloggers around the world who counter efforts to delegitimize Israel on the internet. These advocates explain the ancient Jewish connection to the land, etc.

    How could that possibly justify the Zionist entity? It’s well known that there is also an ancient Roman connexion to Palestine. Does that justify an Italian takeover?

    And the connexion of the Palestinians to Palestine is even more ancient—and also continuous.

    • Misterioso on July 3, 2019, 10:34 am

      @LiberatePalestine

      Well said!

      Over the millennia (about 15,000 years) Palestinians have known many invaders and occupiers of their ancestral homeland. It is estimated that the Hebrews did not invade until circa 1184 BCE and their resulting United Kingdom of Israel, which never controlled the coast from Jaffa to Gaza, lasted only about 75 – 80 years, less than a blip in the history of Canaan and Palestine. Even the Hasmonean Dynasty under the Maccabees lasted only about 70 years (circa 140 – 70 BCE) and it was under Roman tutelage.

      By way of comparison, the Crusaders occupied Palestine in whole or in part for about 200 years; Egyptians ruled the region between the River and the Sea for 615 intermittent years, including the era of the Muslim Mamelukes; the Romans ruled the region for 677 continuous years. It was also ruled for several centuries by two other peoples: the Arab Muslims for 447 continuous years (638-1085) and the Ottoman Turkish Muslims, for 401 uninterrupted years (1517-1918). The Zionist occupation will prove to be one of the shortest.

      • RoHa on July 3, 2019, 7:50 pm

        On that basis, the Romans have the best claim. Rebuild the temple of Jupiter, and make Aelia Capitolina great again!

    • Nathan on July 15, 2019, 8:28 pm

      You were wondering, LiberatePalestine, how could explaining the ancient Jewish connection to the country justify the existence of the State of Israel. Well, Misterioso often claims that the Palestinians have been in the country for 15,000 years. That’s obviously nonsense. Who knows the identity of the inhabitants of the country from prehistoric times? However, his oft-repeated claim that the Palestinians have been in the country for so long is an indication that he believes that ancient connections have some importance in the political debate of today. It seems that you, too, attach importance to ancient roots because quite ironically you felt the need to explain to us that “the connexion of the Palestinians to Palestine is even more ancient”.

      It is worthy of mention that this whole topic of antiquity is just a propaganda ploy. It’s perceived as having some potential impact on public opinion. However, it really is totally irrelevant. The State of Israel exists, and that’s that. The Palestinians and their supporters like to claim that the Jews are not a people (and hence have no right to statehood), and still the State of Israel will be there tomorrow morning. Many people here like to claim that the Jews are “European invaders with no roots in the land”, but the reality of political science is that they are citizens of the State of Israel (which is on the western shore of the Asian continent). That’s how things turned out.

      • LiberatePalestine on July 15, 2019, 10:06 pm

        Misterioso and I, not to mention others, have made it perfectly clear that whose ancestors were or were not in Palestine two or fifteen or any other number of millennia ago makes not the slightest difference to questions of equity today. I won’t speak for Misterioso, but it is evident from context that he (assuming male gender because Misterioso is a masculine form) invoked the Palestinians’ lengthy and continuous ancestral heritage in Palestine not for its own sake but to point up the Zionists’ folly of relying on such distant matters—especially when, as is clear, the Zionists’ ancestral claims are false.

        Yes, the Zionist entity exists. That’s not controversial. If that’s all that you have to say, well, we’re in complete agreement, and the discussion is now over.

        Of course, that is not all that you have to say. I don’t know what you have in mind, but defending the status quo just because it is the status quo is foolish. Would you have said the same thing about any other monstrous crime? «Many people here like to claim that the Jews of Eastern Europe have rights, but the reality of political science is that the Nazis are killing them by tens and twenties»?

      • eljay on July 16, 2019, 7:17 am

        || Nathan: … It is worthy of mention that this whole topic of antiquity is just a propaganda ploy. … ||

        Which is why Zionists employ it.

        || … … The State of Israel exists, and that’s that. … ||

        You’re right: The State of Israel – the state of and for all people living in or up to n-generations removed from within its / Partition borders – does exist.

        Some of the problems with Israel are that since its inception it has been:
        – operating as a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” primarily of and for Jewish Israelis and non-Israeli Jews;
        – stealing, occupying and colonizing territory outside of its / Partition borders; and
        – committing (war) crimes deliberately and with impunity.

      • Talkback on July 16, 2019, 8:38 am

        Nathan: “It is worthy of mention that this whole topic of antiquity is just a propaganda ploy.”

        It’s indeed. The only relevant question is who was a citizen in Palestine in 1948. Only they and there descendants have the right to decide Palestine’s goverment.

        Nathan: “The State of Israel exists, and that’s that.”

        You don’t have to remind us that Apartheid and active settler colonialism is still happening in this world. That’s why we have to join and overcome it.

        Nathan; “The Palestinians and their supporters like to claim that the Jews are not a people (and hence have no right to statehood), …”

        People don’t have an automatic right to statehood. Especially not, if the term people doesn’t not refer of the denizens or citizens of a country. The right to self determination applies to the people OF a country who were living under alien domination. Whether by colonial powers or by settler colonist.

        Nathan: “Many people here like to claim that the Jews are “European invaders with no roots in the land”, but the reality of political science is that they are citizens of the State of Israel (which is on the western shore of the Asian continent). That’s how things turned out.”

        It’s obvious that you choose fist law over justice. That’s just your nature being a Zionist. And there may be no way to redeem yourself.

  2. Refaat on July 2, 2019, 1:15 pm

    “Let’s give a hand to all the governors and state legislators who supported this law. They deserve it.”

    Of course this means let’s give hell to those who insist on respecting the US Constitution. Let’s have them replaced until they kneel at the feet of Mighty Israel.

  3. Misterioso on July 3, 2019, 10:48 am

    Because it blatantly violates the Constitution, anti-BDS legislation will inevitably be overthrown by the courts.

    Again, I am reminded of George Washington’s words of wisdom: In his Farewell Address, he admonished his fellow citizens to steer clear of a “passionate attachment” to another nation, as it could create “the illusion of a common interest… where no common interest exists.”

    • LiberatePalestine on July 3, 2019, 11:19 am

      Yes. And people who are principled enough to support BDS will also be principled enough to challenge the constitutionality of Zionist legislation that would suppress political rights for the benefit of a contemptible genocidal apartheid régime occupying distant Palestine.

    • echinococcus on July 3, 2019, 4:41 pm

      Misterioso,

      “Because it blatantly violates the Constitution, anti-BDS legislation will inevitably be overthrown by the courts.”

      The eternal optimist. A lot of things that very blatantly violate the Constitution, to start with the police state laws, the practical suppression of habeas corpus, the cancellation of the Fourth and some other violations of the First, have all been blessed by the courts, including the Supreme.

      Courts are not, repeat not, friends of the Constitution. If a couple freak verdicts from the Civil Rights era (issued under huge pressure from social movements that did exist at the time) gave you such an outlandish impression, it’s time to review what the American judiciary stands for.

      • LiberatePalestine on July 3, 2019, 7:40 pm

        It’s true that the handful of decisions from the civil-rights era were far more political than legal. The US had come to look embarrassingly like—well, the Zionist entity. The same courts (not least the US Supreme Court) that had long thrown their weight behind apartheid and other state-backed oppression came under heavy political pressure to uphold formal equality, and of course they had to do so with reference to law.

        It’s also true that the US’s courts have often give their imprimatur to unconstitutional acts.

        Here, however, I expect that the anti-BDS laws that I have read will not withstand constitutional challenges.

  4. Kathleen on July 5, 2019, 11:39 am

    “So it is a huge scandal that Russia interfered in the 2016 election but Israel is messing in our politics all the time, and that’s standard operating procedure.”

    “Standard operating procedure” indeed. Decades of softening up, convincing the public that Israel is U.S. BFF. Not to be questioned.

    My last effort to shed light on how Israel, Aipac, Jinsa has been pushing the U.S. into a military confrontation with Iran for a very long time. How Israel has and continues to refuse to sign the NPT and international inspections for their hundreds of nuclear war heads.

    Listen to Rep Spanberger cover for Israel. Does not get near my questions. Host either. They allow other callers to go on and on. However when you touch the nerve of U.S. Israeli relations C-Span’s Washington Journal Host cut you off as quickly as possible. A result of CAMERA successfully targeting the formerly open avenue on Washington Journal to get accurate and much needed news out to millions about the destructive role Israel plays in influencing U.S. foreign policy.

    Spanberger does not get anywhere close to the NPT and Israel’s refusal to sign. Does not get anywhere near why Iran is suspicious of U.S. intentions based on our efforts to undermine Iran for decades

    My comment and question at 9:10

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?462042-5/washington-journal-rep-abigail-spanberger-d-va-us-iran-tensions

    • Citizen on July 10, 2019, 10:58 am

      ” However when you touch the nerve of U.S. Israeli relations C-Span’s Washington Journal Host cut you off as quickly as possible.”

      Yes, this is a great disappointment!

  5. edwardm on July 9, 2019, 1:55 pm

    I wonder how the average American will feel about Israel when they wake up to the fact that our civil rights are being trampled?

    • Citizen on July 10, 2019, 11:02 am

      If you mention BDS to those average Americans they have no clue what it is or that their First Amendment rights are being buried by a foreign government with the great support of ours legislators and governors.

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