Sunday, September 10, 2017

Barry Shaw: Unmasking BDS: A new method to fight the movement has emerged , and it`s working - Jerusalem Post

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 JULY 15, 2017

From the article:

The old tactic of branding Israel as the Start-Up Nation had limited value. What benefit is it extolling the wonders of Waze if the other side is using negative emotional imagery of a Zionist state as child-killers and brutal occupiers? Instead, a new strategy took root. Take Israel out of the equation. Put the spotlight onto our enemies. Concentrate on the messaging and the character of our BDS adversaries. Target those who are attacking Israel and Jews, and retaliate directly at them. Expose them and expose their hypocrisy and lies.

The anti-Israel BDS advocates are caught in a trap of their own making, namely the paucity of their argument and often the deep antisemitism that drives them.

The battle has been joined and rapid progress has been made. Part of the offensive involves the naming and shaming of Israel’s BDS enemies. Often this is done via the social media as with the Canary Mission website that documents individuals and groups promoting hatred against Israel and Jews on college campuses in America. Their site catalogues people and groups listing their names, locations, which radical group they belong to, the roles they play, and detailing the negative actions or statements made by them. Their profile usually includes a headshot photo. Often the person’s profile includes their social media presence.

In the past, entertainment figures wielded influence in the cultural world. Recently, their radical bias has been exposed and they are increasingly ignored. One example is Roger Waters of “Pink Floyd” fame. Once a BDS icon, he has become a laughingstock, trashed by artists who ignored his demands for them to boycott Israel. Aerosmith was quickly followed by Radiohead, Rod Stewart and the Pet Shop Boys in performing in front of huge crowds in Israel.


Charles Asher Small, the founder of the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy (ISGAP) at McGill University, told attendees at the Annual IDC Herzliya Conference that his NGO is working on the documentary, “Wish You Weren’t Here,” which examines contemporary antisemitism and the BDS movement. He points to Waters’s history of anti-Jewish imagery, including having a floating balloon in the form of a pig at his earlier concerts with a Star of David and dollar signs emblazoned on its body, and his comparisons of Israel to the Nazis. A new ISGAP website calls to boycott Waters’s concerts in reprisal. The website asks people to sign a petition urging others to avoid his concerts in protest.

A 2016 best-selling book, “BDS for Idiots,” urged anti-BDS campaigners to take Israel out of the equation when debating BDS activists and instead to concentrate on the BDs narrative. The book suggests we are engaged in an intellectual ju jitzu fight in which our anti-BDS campaigners need to find the BDS weak spots, of which there are many, and use them effectively to unbalance and ultimately defeat their arguments.

The book details with glaring facts how those who profess to be pro-Palestinian are caught out not really caring and even damaging Palestinian lives.


Pro-Israel groups have been surprised to discover the relative ease in setting back BDS by going on the offensive.

In Spain, Angel Mas and his pro-Israel ACOM legal organization has repealed several BDS actions taken by Spanish cities by applying law against council decisions to boycott Israel. They include La Guardia, the Rivas Vacia district of Madrid, the Olesa district of Barcelona, Campezo and Valencia.


The application of domestic laws has brought multiple successes to UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI), a voluntary group of British lawyers, who have countered BDS resolutions by student bodies at several UK universities by advising the campus administrators that activating student BDS demands to boycott or divest from Israel would put them in serious breach of UK charity laws that could jeopardize their charitable status by which they receive government funding. UK campuses where BDS resolutions became toothless votes thanks to UKLFI include Kings College, City University, SOAC, University College London, Warwick, York, Brunel and East Anglia.


Gilad Erdan’s Strategic Affairs Ministry also joined the same approach against Israel’s delegitimizers. In June, the ministry launched a new informative website that includes cartoons and short videos exposing BDS lies.

American cities and states are lining up to kick back against BDS. In May, Nevada became the 20th US State to introduce legislation outlawing BDS. This success was the fruit of the Christian Allies Caucus, an American group devoted to strengthening ties between Christians and Israel, and the expert legal work of Prof. Eugene Kontorovich through the Israel Allies Foundation.


Across America and globally, BDS is being unmasked and outlawed at local, city and state levels. 

Barry Shaw is a senior associate at the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies. He is the author of the best-selling book ‘1917: From Palestine to the Land of Israel.’