Is BDS working? Here is one point of view from a Rabbi in Illinois. Is this just more Israeli propaganda? Pictured here is the Red Spokes bike ride from Edinburgh to London to highlight the plight of children in Gaza.
First, the liberal Zionist group J Street publishes a blog by an Evanston, Illinois, rabbi about a visit to the West Bank in which she sees the one-state reality. J Street states that her views are not necessarily those of J Street, but the damage has been done. Remember that J Street has sought to deny one-state awareness; but now it is inside the family. Rabbi Andrea London at one point states that violence is inevitable when you oppress another people:
To keep the Palestinians quiet, the military has to rely on collective punishment and mass intimidation…
Salwa [Duaibis of Military Court Watch] was able to shed light on the psychological damage that’s been done to Palestinian society; people don’t trust each other because they don’t know who’s an informant, Palestinian children don’t see a future for themselves, and the population feels powerless to change its circumstances.
This is good for a military trying to control a population, but it has devastating effects on the prospects for peace.
People who despair are more likely to commit acts of violence because they see no hope for a better future….
Then she quotes the great Iyad Burnat of Bil’in, that it’s one state.
Iyyad believes that a one-state solution is the only practical resolution to the conflict. He doesn’t see how the populations could practically be separated.
Item two. The Forward is a Zionist publication. It supports the Jewish state. It offers short essays from six Jewish students this week about the climate on campus. And look at who turns up! Three of the students are all but out for Palestine. While one student states that pro-BDS activists–boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel– intimidated her, two others are members of the Students for Justice in Palestine chapters on their campus, and a third states that he sympathizes with the pro-Palestinian movement on campus and “the Jewish community devalues my identity because it’s not parallel to theirs.”
Ben Berman of Clark University is in the anti-Israel lobby:
As I educated myself more about the Zionist project’s ongoing confiscation of Palestinian Arabs’ homes, land and resources, I concluded that even if many early Zionists never intended to commit such structural oppression, Jews today are obligated to stand against injustice — especially when it’s being committed by some of our own.
Rose Asaf of NYU “rejects the conflation of Judaism and Zionism,” and
I believe that Jewish people, myself included, are responsible for robustly opposing the oppression we know far too well. Censuring the Israeli government does not mean you are a bad Jew, nor does it mean you are anti-Israel; it means that you care. I am a critic of Israel but remain a proud Jew.
the BDS movement has hijacked the Zionist narrative, and the narrative of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. The fact that we are even having an argument about BDS means we have already given our enemies 80 percent of the victory…
Notice the power that Eisner grants to BDS:
according to the [American Jewish Committee’s] annual surveys of the Jewish community, affinity toward Israel has declined slowly but steadily since 2005 when BDS began (though BDS is not necessarily the main cause of this decline)…
The percentage of “Jews of no religion,” who, as a group, feel less attachment to Israel, has skyrocketed in the past decade, and affinity for Israel, even among the Birthright generation, is substantially lower than among older Jews
Eisner says the pro-Israel community has to shift to a more positive campaign and redeploy smart young Jewish advocates from “responding intensively to the most extreme forms of anti-Israel activity to a much more positive, proactive and strategic approach toward improving sympathy and empathy for Israel.”