The Faulty Logic Behind the Attack on BDS

Defenders of Israel are using flawed logic in trying to tar supporters of the age-old tactic of boycotts as anti-semitic, argues Lawrence Davidson.

By Lawrence Davidson

If you search the topic boycotts on Google you immediately realize how historically common they are. There are a lot to choose from, and one of the first listed is the 1769 boycott instituted by the First Continental Congress against Great Britain over the issue of “taxation without representation.” That makes a boycott against a perceived oppressive power an integral part of American heritage.

As you move into the modern era, a reaction against racism also becomes a noticeable motivating factor for many boycotts. The Chinese instituted a boycott against the United States over the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1892 and 1904. Then, in 1933, the American Jewish Congress declared a boycott of Nazi Germany in protest to its racially motivated oppression of the German Jewish community. In the 1940s, Ghandi would encourage Indians to boycott imperial Britain. In the 1950s and 1960s, African Americans would boycott segregated institutions in the U.S. South. In the 1960s through the 1990s, much of the world would boycott South Africa over the issue of apartheid. And this is but a short list.

In 2005, 170 Palestinian civil society organizations, including unions, refugee networks, women’s organizations, and political parties, put out a call for a boycott of Israel. This was to be a non-violent effort to pressure the Zionist state to conform to international law and cease its oppression of the Palestinians. The call was also for divestment from Israel and all entities that assisted and profited from its behavior, as well as for eventual sanctions. This is known as the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, or BDS for short.

Redefining Anti-Semitism

Protest in front of City Hall in Capitoline Hill on February 28, 2017 in Rome, Italy. The event organized by the Italian BDS movement. (Photo by Stefano Montesi/Corbis via Getty Images)

Even though Jews had suffered in the Holocaust during World War II and had used boycott as a weapon against their oppressors, the Israelis and their Zionist supporters have taken great umbrage at the call for boycott by the Palestinians. They see it as “anti-Semitic.”

For instance, in the U.S. the Zionist Anti-Defamation League has this to say about the BDS campaign on its website:

Many of the founding goals of the BDS movement, including denying the Jewish people the universal right of self-determination … are anti-Semitic. Many individuals involved in BDS campaigns are driven by opposition to Israel’s very existence as a Jewish state. … And, all too often, BDS advocates employ anti-Semitic rhetoric and narratives to isolate and demonize Israel.”

This statement expresses the “official” Israeli/Zionist position, and at its core is a purposeful conflation of the Jewish people and the Israeli state. By insisting on this identification of Israel and all Jews, the Zionists are able to redefine anti-Semitism. Indeed, they take a very old and well-understood phenomenon and give it a radically new, and quite suspect, definition.

The traditional definition of anti-Semitism is a dislike of or bias against Jews by virtue of their imagined inherent “Jewishness.” Note that this is very different from objecting to, say, the criminal behavior of someone or some group that just happens to be Jewish. In the first case, it is “Jewishness” that you object to. That is anti-Semitism. In the second case, it is criminal behavior that you object to, regardless of whether the criminal is Jewish. That is not anti-Semitism.

However, by arbitrarily conflating all Jews with the Israeli state, the Zionists tell us that criticism or opposition to Israeli state behavior—even if that behavior is criminal—is anti-Semitic. This is because Israel stands in for all Jews. Thus, they redefine anti-Semitism in a way that allows Israel to sidestep all moral responsibility by turning the argument around and pointing fingers at their critics. For instance, do you object to Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians? Well, for the Zionists the issue is no longer the criminal nature of ethnic cleansing, but the alleged anti-Semitism of those criticizing that behavior.

Let’s consider this Zionist maneuver against the following background:

  • In June, 2018, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), representing 1.5 million Americans, “voted unanimously” to support the BDS campaign.
  • In July, 2018, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church USA voted to support BDS by screening suspect companies that might be aiding Israel in the violation of Palestinian human rights and divest from them if this proves to be the case. The Episcopal Church USA represents 3 million Americans.
  • There are, in fact, dozens of Jewish organizations worldwide supporting the BDS campaign. These have thousands of members.
  • All together we are talking about millions of people, both Christian and Jewish, a good percentage of whom support, or at least are in sympathy with BDS. Are they all anti-Semitic? According to the Zionist’s novel definition—the one that conflates Jews with the Israeli state—the answer is yes. But clearly this assertion can’t be right.

Logical Fallacies and Erroneous Thinking

Toulouse. France. May 12, 2018. (Photo by Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Zionist gambit is actually an act of obfuscation using a logical fallacy called the “straw man.” It is “based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent’s argument, while actually refuting an argument that was not presented by that opponent. One who engages in this fallacy is said to be attacking a straw man.”

Thus, as suggested above, every time someone charges that the state of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is, say, in violation of international law, the issue of the validity of this charge is replaced by “straw man,” which in this case is alleged anti-Semitism of the critic. It is to be noted that in most of these confrontations only one side has any real evidence.

The critic might point to evidence of ethnic cleansing, property destruction and land theft, and various policies that have, according to David Harel, the vice-president of the Israel Academy of Science and Humanities, turned Israel into an “apartheid” state. On the other side, however, those using the straw man fallacy often have no objective evidence at all. Their claim of anti-Semitism is based on their own idiosyncratic definition of this prejudice. Making a case in this way also involves “begging the question” or “circular reasoning,” which are also erroneous ways of arguing. This occurs when a person “assumes as evidence for their argument the very conclusion they are attempting to prove.”

The great 18th-century Scottish philosopher David Hume once remarked (referring to the subject of miracles) that “those with strong religious beliefs are often prepared to give evidence that they know is false, with the best intentions in the world, for the sake of promoting so holy a cause.” We can ascribe this sentiment to the true believer of just about any belief system deemed “holy” in one sense or another. Certainly those with strong Zionist beliefs would qualify—though I am pretty sure theirs are not “the best intentions in the world.”

Hume goes on to say that “people are often too credulous when faced with such witnesses, whose apparent honesty and eloquence … may overcome normal skepticism.” Thus, the faulty logic of the Zionist attack on the BDS campaign has not prevented partial success. This is particularly true in the halls of power where faulty logic is combined with Zionist lobby power that can help or hinder the politician’s reelection. Here Zionist power and influence are being used to actually outlaw BDS. To date some twenty-five U.S. states have tried to do this even though, as an infringement of free speech, their efforts are clearly unconstitutional. In this case lobby power proves more compelling than either the U.S. constitution or logic.

Let’s end by quoting George Orwell. His experiences with the pervasive propaganda used by all sides just before and during World War II gave him “the feeling that the very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.” Such efforts have not stopped.

This piece first appeared on Lawrence Davidson’s blog.

Lawrence Davidson is a history professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. He is the author of Foreign Policy Inc.: Privatizing America’s National InterestAmerica’s Palestine: Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood; and Islamic Fundamentalism. He blogs at www.tothepointanalyses.com.

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55 comments for “The Faulty Logic Behind the Attack on BDS

  1. DaveJie
    August 22, 2018 at 10:04 am

    Thank you Comsortiumnews for having the guts to criticize Israel. Instead of screaming Russia, Russia, any sane person should be screaming Israel, Israel. Israel has completely taken over our country.

    My hats off to Philip Giraldi for continuing to tell the truth: how the “Jewish neocons” in America has taken over our country

    http://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/why-confronting-israel-is-important/

    And specifically he gives the example of Senator Ben Cardin’s attempt to destroy First Amendment rights by making any criticism of Israel illegal. The non-violent Israel Boycott movement (BDS) has already been sanctioned in many states, the result of intensive and successful lobbying by the Israeli government and its powerful friends.

  2. Shahar
    August 21, 2018 at 10:08 am

    Any attack on BDS is faulty!

  3. DaveJie
    August 20, 2018 at 7:50 am

    Boycott Israel – a racist, apartheid, colonial entity.

  4. Bobzz
    August 12, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    I am late to the party, but by the Zionist definition of anti-semitism, the prophets of Israel were anti-semitic. They criticized the sins of Israel deservedly so and encouraged them to turn back to the God they abandoned—repentance.

    • Moi
      August 20, 2018 at 1:46 pm

      And not just the prophets, even the God of the Old Testament displayed his wrath at the Israelites on occasion.

  5. Pablo Diablo
    August 12, 2018 at 6:30 pm

    BDS NOW !!!!.

  6. Tekyo Pantzov
    August 12, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    “Boycott” and “anti-Semitism” are red herrings.
    “It’s not an accidental and unwitting omission that BDS does not mention Israel. You know that and I know that. It’s not like they’re ‘oh we forgot to mention it.’ They won’t mention it because they know it will split the movement. Cause there’s a large segment of the movement that wants to eliminate Israel.”
    –Norman Finkelstein
    http://www.stopbds.com/

  7. Michael Fetterolf
    August 12, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    HOW CAN THIS INDIVIDUAL SUPPORT BDS?

  8. Josep
    August 12, 2018 at 4:34 am

    (Apologies if this is off-topic)
    I’m not against BDS (like I used to be many months ago), but I’m wondering how one can reconcile BDS with the fact that Intel chips are manufactured in Israel. In fact, I’m also wondering why Intel picked Israel and not the USA.

    • anon
      August 14, 2018 at 9:24 pm

      There are IC factories (chip fabs) around the world, especially Pacific rim states.
      Not likely that Intel would limit itself to one state.

      • Josep
        August 15, 2018 at 4:06 am

        That answers my second question, thanks, but not the first. As much as I dislike Israel’s behavior, I’d like to ask: if one is going to boycott Israel, then what’s to be done with all those computers with Israeli-made chips?

    • Moi
      August 20, 2018 at 1:48 pm

      Wikipedia Intel’s former boss Andy (Andrew) Grove. Nuff said.

  9. August 11, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    “In the first case, it is “Jewishness” that you object to. That is anti-Semitism.” Isn’t ‘Jewish’ a reference to religion? Jewish / Judaism? As for the people as a race, Wouldn’t that be Hebrew? Of course, semitic doesn’t include only Hebrews, or Jews if you like. To my knowledge Palestinians are semitic. In any case, Yep, I’m absolutely against a State, at this time, that is identified with a single religion, simply because States invariably include a mix of peoples with assorted religions. One can’t be ‘for’ human rights ‘and’ a State that is Jewish (which I see as a label for a religion) or Muslim or Jehovah’s Witness. (You could have a country in which a particular religion is dominant, but as soon as you make a particular religion the State religion and bend your laws to that religion, automatically other religionists are thereby repressed.) I believe that one day all will worship Jehovah, but that is in the future, after we are all corrected. And you don’t worship Jehovah because you say you do. You have to uphold his standards, which means voicing support for them and walking that talk.

  10. montag2
    August 11, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    By the state of Israel’s logic (and that of the Israeli lobby), if one speaks disparagingly of Meyer Lansky’s or Bugsy Siegel’s criminal activities, it’s anti-Semitism, because they were Jewish, and the prosecutors going after them were engaged in persecution.

    And, comparing the right-wing state of Israel to known Jewish gangsters is perceived as anti-Semitic, too, even though the comparison is often apt. To charge them thusly is to deny them victimhood, the greatest sin of all.

  11. JWalters
    August 10, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    “Zionist power and influence are being used to actually outlaw BDS.”

    There’s a fierce fight going on in Britain to outlaw criticism of Israel. An excellent, slam-bang report on it is in “UK Labour Party is right to drop racist IHRA guidelines of anti-Semitism”
    https://mondoweiss.net/2018/08/labour-definition-semitism/

  12. August 10, 2018 at 6:29 pm

    Drew, that’s odd. Noam Chomsky doesn’t support the 9/11 Truth Movement, but why not BDS? As for Finkelstein, that is also strange. Have to look into that more, thanks for that info.

  13. Drew Hunkins
    August 10, 2018 at 5:45 pm

    One dynamic I find unsettling and a bit disturbing is the manner in which two otherwise excellent critics of Zionist lawlessness and brutality (and two scholars I’ve admired greatly for many years) — Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein — are actually against the BDS movement. I just can’t figure this out.

    The BDS activists are wonderful, smart and committed people and the movement has great potential to bring some modicum of justice to the Palestinians and rein in Zionist sadism.

    Why the heck wouldn’t Chomsky and Finkelstein be ardently on board with this righteous and potentially effective movement?

    • saurabh
      August 11, 2018 at 11:23 am

      “Finkelstein points to the hypocrisy of basing a movement on international law while ignoring or not acknowledging international law that calls for recognition of Israel as one of two states on the 1967 border; and he predicts that under this scenario, Israeli propaganda will win the hearts and minds of the public.”
      http://www.richardforer.com/2014/03/norman-finkelstein-and-bds-2/

      I respect Finkelstein a lot and would say his arguments always deserve a fair hearing.

      • August 12, 2018 at 4:46 pm

        I suspect Finkelstein is incorrect on his view that there is “international law that calls for recognition of Israel as one of two states on the 1967 border[.]” There is the U.N. General Assembly Partition Plan. But that was only a recommendation that required Security Council approval to take effect. The Council never voted on that plan because of united Arab nation resistance on the manifest ground that the Partition Plan violated Mandate Territories’ right under the U.N. Charter to national self-determination of their form of government. That is a right that is (at law) superior to any U.N. *imposed* partition.

        Over the years, the Israeli government has developed and wielded a propaganda theme that Israel accepted the Partition Plan but the Palestinians did not; therefore Israel acquired rights under the Partition Plan but the Palestinians did not, leaving the West Bank and East Jerusalem open to settlement by Israelis while Israel is closed to Palestinian immigration, whilst somehow legitimizing the Two State Solution as a goal of other governments. That theme is preposterous; the Partition Plan never went into effect because the Security Council never adopted or implemented it. See the 1947 General Assembly resolution adopting the Partition Plan itself: “The General Assembly … Requests that … The Security Council take the necessary measures as provided for in the [Partition Plan] for its implementation[.]” https://unispal.un.org/DPA/DPR/unispal.nsf/0/7F0AF2BD897689B785256C330061D253

        But perhaps Finkelstein knows of some international law that I have never encountered, calling “for recognition of Israel as one of two states on the 1967 border?” I have not researched his relevant beliefs.

        • Tekyo Pantzov
          August 12, 2018 at 5:17 pm

          Palestine was one of the numerous fragment into which the Ottoman Empire broke up. At the time they became independent states, all of those fragments except one – Lebanon – had a Muslim majority. In every one of these Muslim-majority states, non-Muslims were eventually oppressed and in almost all cases expelled from the country.
          Accordingly it is reasonable to conclude that Muslim-majority countries are incapable of respecting the rights of their non-Muslim citizens. If that is the case, then the arguments in favor of self-determination for Muslim-majority countries lose all their force. In Muslim-majority territories, non-Muslim minorities must be granted their own sovereign states. Otherwise they are inevitably stripped of all rights and eventually eliminated.

          • alley cat
            August 12, 2018 at 9:51 pm

            “Accordingly it is reasonable to conclude that Muslim-majority countries are incapable of respecting the rights of their non-Muslim citizens.”

            Tekyo, your conclusion is unreasonable because your premises are false. Several Muslim states respect and protect non-Muslim minorities. Even if all current Muslim states were uniformly intolerant of non-Muslim minorities, your conclusion still wouldn’t follow, because what the Palestinians might do if Israel became a secular democracy that respected gentiles and honored the Palestinians’ right of return is sheer speculation. Speculation is neither legal nor moral justification for Zionists to pre-emptively massacre and ethnically cleanse Palestinians on Palestinian land. Ultimately, Zionist ideology is based on selected Old Testament texts, which have no validity or standing under customary international law, and which are cynically misinterpreted to justify discrimination against gentiles.

          • August 13, 2018 at 2:36 pm

            Tekyo brings Islamophobia to the forefront. Saying the exact same things about Judaism would warrant one being branded an anti-Semite. And we’re witnessing today Israel carrying out ethnic cleansing with the star of David on its warplanes, ships and military uniforms.

          • Dzates
            August 20, 2018 at 3:26 pm

            Sir you seem to be too obvious with your utterly insipid anti Muslim commentary. We get it, it is okay that Zionists came to Palestine not to assimilate with the indigenous population but to uproot them, abuse them, and kill them. These were the primary motives of the Stern Gang, and LeHi…groups from which the likes Begin, and many influential Israeli leaders came from.

            Jews were forced out of Muslim nations because of the actions of Zionists in Palestine which had begun at the turn of the twentieth century, and slowly gained traction in the 1920’s. Zionism unto itself has nothing to do with God, virtues, or any moral construct. It has always been a terrorist ideology used as a weapon against all non-Zionists, and most Jews not adhering to its terrorist principles.

        • August 12, 2018 at 6:39 pm

          Tekyo, I’m not sure at all that I accept either your premise or your proposed solution. All majority Muslim parts of the former Ottoman Empire did not devolve into nonsecular states. Syria and Turkey would be good surviving examples of secular states.

          But even more to the point, to the extent that your premise accurately describes the plight of former Jewish inhabitants of the former Ottoman provinces, you err in your conclusion by ignoring the major cause of the later discrimination against Jews. The Ottoman Empire itself was a theocratic Muslim state but it tolerated very large minority religions. Prior to the illegal seizure of a large portion of Palestine by “Jewish” criminal paramilitary gangs, by 1924, the Turkish parliament had dissolved the powers of the Caliphate, and introduced French style “strong secularism.”

          The criminal gangs’ first order of business was expelling some 750,000 Muslims from the Palestinian territory they seized. The gangs, of course, claimed to act in the name of all Jewry. In that light, moves to expel Jews in the former Ottoman nations (and in other Muslim lands) deserve to be attributed to the discriminatory and horrendous crimes of the “Jewish” gangs who proclaimed “the Jewish State” of Israel.

          And therein lies the fault I perceive in your conclusion: This is the tale of the inevitable flaw in non-secular states that rank religion and race above norms of non-discrimination. Israel’s practice of religious and racial discrimination provoked the countering moves of states adhering to a different religion. As such, the lesson I would draw is the opposite of yours, that we need to work toward the elimination of racist and religious discriminatory action by all governments involved. Acceptance of the equality of all human beings’ rights is key.

          Perhaps the maxim of reciprocity found in nearly all religions and systems of ethics might form the religious and ethical basis for needed political education and changes in now non-secular states’ laws? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule

  14. alley cat
    August 10, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    He who defines the terms wins the debate.

    This adage was never more true than when debunking the Zionist claim that “anti-Zionism” is the same as “anti-Semitism.” In common English usage, both “anti-Semitism” and “Zionism” are forms of racism. Anti-Semites discriminate against ethnic Jews, while Zionists claim to be God’s “chosen people” and therefore discriminate against gentiles. Racism plain and simple, on both sides.

    It follows that anti-Zionism is, by definition, anti-racism.

    So to equate “anti-Semitism” with “anti-Zionism” in the public mind is a major propaganda coup. Zionists can pay journalists to disseminate, and legislators to codify, this semantic hocus pocus. Like the oligarchs in Orwell’s 1984, they can declare war on the English language and on reality itself. But reality has a way of asserting itself, and the most likely outcome will be the same as in South Africa, where colonial land-grabbers are now fleeing for their lives.

  15. August 10, 2018 at 12:46 pm

    Joe, my post of hours ago disappeared, too. So I’ll retry. Faulty logic abounds these days as well as outright lying, as Realist cited in Pompeo’s latest screech about Russia and Skripals with zero evidence. But Pompeo is short on logic, anyhoo. He is as fundamentalist as Mike Pence. He professes to follow Jesus but apparently the God of the Old Testament is more his role model, The Smiter. He may even believe in The Rapture, an article I read mentioned. A world war would suit these guys to bring the Second Coming.

    As for the Zionist Israelis, they do have big evangelical support in the US, as well as the Israel lobby. So it’s money, greed and hypocrisy keeps them rolling and the antisemitic victim card is always pulled out whenever they are criticised for their brutality and inhumanity. I read there is a code from some rabid rabbi that clarifies they are even commanded to treat the Palestinians and other Arabs as enemies to be vanquished, considered dogs, removed Not the Torah, of course, but some other document adopted by Israel.

    I lived in Boston when BDS started and there is a Sunday morning radio program from WZBC Boston College, Truth and Justice Radio, features a segment called “This Week in Palestine” with reports from Palestinian activists. You can hear it online weekly. That’s when I started supporting BDS. I try not to consume much, anyway, for the sake of Mother Earth.

  16. Joe Tedesky
    August 10, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Okay now 2 of my comments have disappeared…. wtf is up?

    • Realist
      August 10, 2018 at 12:13 pm

      Somebody thinks I am posting under your handle.

      (JUST KIDDING!)

  17. Joe Tedesky
    August 10, 2018 at 10:54 am

    Hey my comment disappeared…. what’s up with that? I was number 12.

  18. Jeff Harrison
    August 10, 2018 at 10:51 am

    Zionism is to Judaism what Evangelical Christianity is to Christianity. An extreme version with a healthy dollop of zealotry such that it is largely unrecognizable by the root religion. Evangelical Christianity is an embarrassment to Christians and Zionism is an embarrassment to Jews.

  19. Joe Tedesky
    August 10, 2018 at 10:28 am

    So while we American citizens are discouraged from boycotting Israel, our American government sanctions three quarters of the world for unproven crimes with nothing more than hearsay allegations.

    Talk about changing the subject, I can think of nothing better than Russia Gate as it being a prime example of this irony. Once again we are told to look over there, because there is nothing to see here. So chasing after Russian ghosts becomes the narrative over fixing a primary election fraud. The worst part is, is that this distraction worked for the corrupt DNC.

    Would the same debating logic work for a Native-American, as it does a Zionist quoting from the Torah?

    The real question we should all ask ourselves, is why is the U.S. so beholding to the Middle East land thief’s, as this is the question of questions to be answered. Remember when asking this question, you will be deemed anti-Semitic. So good luck with that.

    • robjira
      August 10, 2018 at 2:57 pm

      Joe, this article might provide a partial answer to your question.
      https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/08/10/why-trump-cancelled-iran-deal.html
      I’ve noticed over the years that while there are plenty of Semites who are either Muslim or Christian, “anti-Semitism” seems to apply only to Jews…funny that.
      Peace.

      • Joe Tedesky
        August 10, 2018 at 8:44 pm

        Yes two feathers of the same bird does apply to American strategic thinking when it comes to accomplishing the final goal of all American foreign policy. It doesn’t matter who’s in power, the goal is the same.

        I fear for the average Jew. Much does get blamed on them. I use the term Zionist when describing what it is I disagree with Israel over. Even that isn’t as absolute as I’d like it to be, but it separates out the average Jew in my way of using the term Zionist.

        The Saudis are relevant. Yes, often they are left out of the criticism of our country’s Middle East policy.

        In the total of things which sets America on a continual path towards war there are far more many than just those of Jewish or of Wahhabism. Let’s not leave out our UK buddies and gals.

        Always good to correspond robjira Joe

  20. Al Pinto
    August 10, 2018 at 9:43 am

    There are actually 12 states that either have anti-BSD laws or executive orders:

    https://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Politics-And-Diplomacy/The-success-story-of-US-state-legislatures-steadily-hammering-away-at-BDS-470233

    Quote from the above link:

    “He also slammed those criticizing the laws as violating the US First Amendment’s free speech principles, but who also support laws penalizing LGBT discrimination in violation of the First Amendment.”

    Interestingly, the US Supreme Court ruled in a 7-2 decision, that the baker has first amendment right to refuse baking cake for same sex couple:

    https://www.inc.com/suzanne-lucas/supreme-court-your-bakery-doesnt-have-to-bake-a-gay-wedding-cake.html

    The US Government’s Trans-Pacific Partnership includes an anti-BDS provision, intended to discourage European Union to participate in the BDS movement:

    https://www.timesofisrael.com/obama-signs-anti-bds-bill-into-law/

  21. nonsense factory
    August 10, 2018 at 9:27 am

    Outside of Washington DC, most people recognize that the Israelis and their allies, the Saudis, are undemocratic countries with huge human rights problems, and we should not be selling them weapons, supporting their wars, or financing them with US taxpayer money. For example:

    “Judge says he’s likely to dismiss suit accusing San Francisco State of anti-Semitism“
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/Judge-says-he-s-likely-to-dismiss-suit-accusing-13142524.php

    “Even if other San Francisco State students shouted down the mayor’s speech and excluded Hillel from the fair because of its Zionist views, Orrick said, the lawsuit presents “no plausible allegation that the administration discriminated against, or encouraged others to discriminate against the plaintiffs” because of their religion or viewpoint.”

  22. historicus
    August 10, 2018 at 8:27 am

    “Taxation without representation” is a catchy slogan but in realty John Locke’s phrase doesn’t mean much of anything. The American colonies were exempt from most of the taxes that other Britons were required to pay, yet Parliament could scarcely be termed representative of the class interests of the great majority of Englishmen, as Samuel Johnson and many others pointed out at the time. Britain nearly bankrupted the Exchequer defending the colonies in the French and Indian War, and now the time had come time for their special status to end and the colonists kick in their fair share of the costs of their own defense.

    In 1769 a number of leading Bostonians, among them John Hancock, signed the “Non-Importation Agreement”, publicly vowing not to trade with England as a tax protest. But an enterprising journalist, John Mein of the Boston Chronicle newspaper, published Bills of Lading stolen from their vessels showing they were secretly continuing the profitable trade with England. The result? Hancock sent the “Sons of Liberty” around to Mein’s office, where they hung him in effigy as a warning about too much truth telling – so he gave up and went back to England.

  23. August 10, 2018 at 8:27 am

    A partial quote from the Anti-Defamation League above, “opposition to Israel’s very existence as a Jewish state.” I think it is right if you include the word exclusive before Jewish. There is opposition, rightly so, to a country that denies the political participation of millions who live their as disenfranchised citizens. Only corruption of our own political system allows the United States and Europe to turn blind eyes to the blatant injustice that exists.

    • Anne Jaclard
      August 10, 2018 at 9:28 am

      Also important to note because the statement “existence as a Jewish State” implies that a multi-ethnic or secular Israel would not be acceptable and would be anti-Semitic. This makes the argument by BDS opponents racist by definition.

    • Realist
      August 10, 2018 at 12:21 pm

      The EU formally disapproves of its member states trying to maintain their ethnic make-up by denying entry to the Middle Eastern migrants. Look at the hullabaloo directed at the Visegrad countries from Brussels. It would be inconsistent of them not to condemn Israel on the same grounds, no?

  24. August 10, 2018 at 8:18 am

    Faulty logic seems to be quite prevalent these days, along with outright lying from official ‘high’ places. Note Realist’s reference to the latest screamings against Russia from the State Department with absolutely no logical proven basis, accusation is enough. And note also that Mike Pompeo, head of State Department, is a fundamentalist Christian as much as VP Mike Pence. Pompeo may even believe in “The Rapture” from what I’ve read. Guess Pompeo’s concept of God must come from the Old Testament, however, the old spiteful Smiter.

    When BDS started years ago, I lived in Boston area and WZBC radio has a Sunday morning program anchored by Boston College students featuring a segment “This Week in Palestine” with reports of Palestinian activists, which you can get online. That’s how friends and I became BDS supporters.

    No matter how much these old nasty supporters of Zionist supremacism in Israel and the Israel lobby in the US play the screeching “antisemitic” card, they will ultimately lose to truth. These folks have no concept of the Golden Rule which exists in all the world’s religions, they hide behind victimization speech while bludgeoning their victims. We won’t stand for it anymore.

  25. mike k
    August 10, 2018 at 8:13 am

    It’s remarkable how sensitive those engaged in serious crimes and abuse of others become about any form of criticism of their actions. It seems they always have a way to make themselves seem righteous and pure, while smearing their critics with all kinds of slanders and accusations. Evil always tries to wrap itself in the highest ideals, and pretends to be beyond and above any criticism.

    Israel the global sinner strives to see itself as saintly, and hopes to convince others of this obvious absurdity. Their behavior is beyond sickening.

  26. Sam F
    August 10, 2018 at 8:05 am

    “the Zionists… redefine anti-Semitism… to sidestep all moral responsibility”
    I have never met an anti-Jewish person, but meet many morally concerned anti-zionists.

    Tribalism is the bane of civilization. The founding idea of a movement becomes mere advertising, the perfect disguise for primitive tyrants, who soon take over.

    The tenets of the tribe are usually just used as a facade to recruit the naive and cover the wrongdoing. They all claim that “Our tribe never does anything wrong; all wrongs come from the other tribes.” Simply because they all claim opposition to wrongs. Whether the tribe be a village, nation, religion, or ethnicity.

    Each tribe consists mostly of naive believers and persons who see the truth but do not dare oppose the tribal tenets, because they are socially and economically dependent upon their tribe. Once that situation is established, primitive tyrants rise to power, inventing outside enemies so as to pose as the protector of the tribe, to demand power within the tribe, and denounce their opponents as disloyal.

    It is the social and economic dependencies, the failure of courage to oppose dictates, the lack of education to see the tyranny, the lack of dedication to moral principles, that corrupts all tribes.

  27. Sally Snyder
    August 10, 2018 at 7:38 am

    As shown in this article, there is a significant difference in how American Jews and non-Jews view the state of Israel:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/06/who-backs-israel.html

    White evangelical Christians’ support for the Jewish possession of Israel is higher than for any other religious group other than modern orthodox Jews and is nearly twice the level of religious Jewish support for the concept of a God-given promise of a Jewish homeland.

  28. Brendan
    August 10, 2018 at 5:37 am

    The justification for BDS is based on opposition to Israel’s illegal oppression of millions of people. It has nothing to do with whether Israel is Jewish or not. If the same crimes were committed by a Buddhist or Christian or Arab or European state – or one based on any religious or ethnic identity – a boycott would be equally justified.

    Israel’s “Jewishness” is irrelevant as far as BDS is concerned, apart from the fact that many Zionists use it in a contrived and logically flawed argument. By smearing Israel’s critics as anti-semites, they are deflecting attention from its unjustifiable actions.

    • Realist
      August 10, 2018 at 7:23 am

      It’s the standard response to ANY criticism directed at Israeli actions, products or policies. I’ve no doubt they’d accuse you of it if you said you didn’t like Sabra hummus.

    • Brendan
      August 10, 2018 at 9:52 am

      [edit – add to end of last sentence] … , which are the real reason why people support BDS.

  29. Realist
    August 10, 2018 at 5:30 am

    Geez, talk about double standards. Washington is presently enacting yet more sanction legislation against Russia,this time so sweeping that it will basically stop all trade, financial transactions, travel between the countries and more, actions so onerous that the Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, who is the most prominent Atlantic Integrationist (favoring most things American and Western) in the government hierarchy, has publicly declared that it will be interpreted as a “DECLARATION OF ECONOMIC WAR” [words his, emphasis mine] by America and “retaliated against by any means necessary.” This status is historically the prelude to cutting diplomatic relations and a kinetic war.

    https://www.rt.com/news/435595-sanctions-economic-war-medvedev/

    And Washington gets lathered up about people supporting a VOLUNTARY boycott of Israeli goods to leverage foreign policy?

    The maniacs in Washington have no connection to reality, the principle of cause and effect, consequences, justice, karma or simple right-and-wrong. Absolutely anything that will damage Russia or back Israel they will do… regardless of merit or consequences. The survival of life on Earth is going to take getting past such a simplistic stimulus-response reflex arc (I was going to say such simplistic “thinking” but I don’t believe that word is applicable). Are these fools capable of finding the path that keeps us all alive? Can they circumnavigate the massive continent of Hubris blocking their path to clarity?

    • michael
      August 10, 2018 at 7:11 am

      And Russia and Israel are strengthening their ties. Maybe DC is trying to give the Israelis a monopoly on trade with Russia?

    • Joe Tedesky
      August 10, 2018 at 11:21 am

      Realist I seem to be having the censorship problem you talked about the other day. I would advise Consortiumnews to correct this algorithm problem, before I quit subscribing to this fine site.

      Other than that, I too Realist sighted Russia Gate as a perfect example of distracting the wondering public eyes. Switch out the narrative, so as we don’t investigate the crimes committed by the DNC, as instead we search for Russian bogeymen by the literal dozens.

      Also would a Native-American be able to lay claim to their land by using the same technique as the Zionist have when quoting from their Torah?

      • Realist
        August 10, 2018 at 11:53 am

        Yeah, I don’t get the censorship standards lately. Like, right below you’ve got the very first post which upon casual inspection looks like a click bait type deal to me. The typical “make big money doing blah, blah, blah.” I have not clicked on its attached link to visit whatever they are selling. But applying a bit of puckish humor to point up how the forum is potentially being abused, I attached a snarky response to it. Guess what? My response is what was quickly deleted. The click bait remains? So, go figure.

        • Realist
          August 10, 2018 at 7:59 pm

          I see the click bait is finally gone.

      • Realist
        August 10, 2018 at 12:06 pm

        Or what if the allegedly extraterrestrial Anunnaki deities returned to Earth and claimed ownership of the entire Middle East. Going back to the days of the ancient Sumerians, their claim should have precedence over anything transcribed in the Torah, Talmud, Vedas, Upanishads, I-Ching, Egyptian Book of the Dead, Tibetan Book of the Dead or even the Kama Sutra no matter how salacious the passages. You are as shrewd as a Philadelphia lawyer, my man.

    • August 10, 2018 at 3:01 pm

      Realist – “The maniacs in Washington have no connection to reality, the principle of cause and effect, consequences, justice, karma or simple right-and-wrong. Absolutely anything that will damage Russia or back Israel they will do… regardless of merit or consequences.” – spot on – thanks.

      Since most people in our society aren’t malignant narcissists, psychopaths or sociopaths – I think it is difficult for them to imagine just how totally amoral and without the least bit of empathy, conscience or scruples our glorious leader actually are. Their off the charts level of amoral criminality simply defies imagination for most people.

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