I have read Eric Alterman’s articles in the past and I agree with everyone else here who sees the man as a buffoon.
However, as it regards BDS, it is just one of hundreds of various movements that is attempting to fight similar issues earnestly.
This simply cannot work in the long term due to the diverse and subsequently diffuse nature of all such movements. This is not to say that BDS has not won any victories, as it has. However, the war that BDS is fighting will continue unless the actual tactics change.
No movement in history has ever won its claimed issues directly. Such changes in society have come about from sociological changes that many movements have begun. However, let us take a classic example of where there is a perception of change that was initiated by a movement; the Women’s Movement that began in the 1970s, though aspects of it had actually begun in the 19th century.
The Women’s Movement appears to have changed the situation that women find themselves in relating to the former second-class citizens they were forced to endure as. The result has been numerous laws to protect women from various infringements on their rights. However, such changes have been rather limited to a great degree.
Most women still cannot get equal pay as compared to their male counterparts in many professions. Women are still raped and attacked and many of these perpetrators escape the consequences. I believe in New York State alone, thousands of rape kits in the law enforcement’s hands are simply filed away and never developed as evidence against perpetrators. And even today, women who have been raped must go through various levels of emotional trauma in the courts to win any sense of justice. As a result, many women still do not report such abuses to the authorities since they know what will happen to them.
However, with BDS things are very different in that the people this movement is fighting for no longer have the leisure to wait for change. And this is where one sociologist has criticized such politically, important movements; while the movements are doing their thing, people are suffering terribly.
Thus, to make BDS more effective, it has to become more cohesive and one with similar movements where resources can be more centralized and subsequently more efficiently controlled.
Further, most such movements appear to be very soft opponents for the people they are going up against; meaning that such movements are filled with people who have little understanding how to truly fight conflict. Instead, the “activism” itself becomes a means to an ambiguous end and subsequently becomes the overriding concern of all such movements, leaving the actual reason for the movement in the first place as a secondary endeavor.
So what is to be done?
From a military analytical point of view, the BDS movement is now fighting the wrong war. This is because so much of original Palestine has been absorbed into the Israeli state while fracturing the Palestinian People to the point that there is no hope whatsoever of ever achieving equality and rights for all of the dispossessed Palestinians from Israel; that ship sailed a long time ago. And attempting to deal with Israel rationally today as BDS is attempting to do is an impossibility as Israel is a classic sociopathic state, marching to its own very narrowly focused agendas.
However, this does not mean that BDS should give up. Certainly not! However, they should be going after a goal far more achievable than the “pie in the sky” task they are attempting to achieve now; getting the Palestinians out of Palestine so that they can rest and recover as a people in a way that will lead to a rejuvenation of their culture and health.
Of course Israel will take the rest of Palestine for themselves but it will be a rather temporary victory as Israel as a nation is finished as the younger generations in the United States increasingly turn against the Israeli state. And with Israel’s close relationship to the behemoth that is stomping all over the globe, it is highly unlikely she will find many substantial allies once US ideologies change in the long term.
However, once they do, then the Palestinian People can begin to address their grievances from a position of strength and not their current position of tragic weakness.
I believe, with the size of Iran and its support of the Palestinian cause, she could be negotiated with to bring the Palestinians into her borders where young and capable Palestinians can join the Iranian military forces and get training while the older of the Palestinians could develop their own and newer forms of supportive agriculture among other endeavors.
My concept is based on the idea that defeating the Israeli state must take a long term approach and not the hoped for short-term and short-sighted BDS approach that the movement is currently working under.
To get an in depth understanding of such an approach militarily, one must study military science. And the book for this is Captain Liddel Hart’s famous treatise on the “indirect approach”, entitled, “Strategy”, which is still available though first published in the 1930s…