January 16, 2014 15:17
by Alex Margolin
Everything you need to know about fighting BDS and the assault on Israel’s legitimacy.
Today’s Top BDS Stories:
1. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop comes out hard against the BDS Movement, calling it anti-Semitic and hypocritical in an exclusive interview with The Times of Israel.
She strongly condemned the global anti-Israel BDS movement: “It’s anti-Semitic. It identifies Israel out of all other nations as being worthy of a boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign? Hypocritical beyond belief.”
2. BDS founder Omar Barghouti continues to promote BDS as a “human rights movement” and some media give him a free pass to say things like this:
“93 percent of the state land in Israel is off limits to non-Jews, so if you’re a citizen of Israel and you’re not Jewish you cannot rent or lease,” Barghouti said. “In South Africa, the comparison is it was 86 percent for whites so even less than Israel.”
In reality, that 93% is area administered by the Israel Lands Authority, which includes 79% owned by the state and 14% privately owned by JNF. The state-owned area is leased on equal terms to anyone. Read more about land rights in Israel.
3. Daily Beast castigates Al-Jazeera for manufacturing controversy about actress Scarlett Johansson’s new job as SodaStream spokesperson.
What if you try to create a celebrity scandal and no one listens?
Such was the case on Al Jazeera’s blog “The Stream,” which reacted to the news that Scarlett Johansson had been named the “global brand ambassador” of Israeli carbonation company SodaStream by latching onto the potentially ideal recipe for outrage—a Hollywood A-lister plus the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—with an article on Monday entitled “Criticism as Scarlett Johansson becomes new face of SodaStream.”
The only problem? Amid the dozens of articles about Johansson’s partnership with the fizzy water company, there was virtually no mention of a bubbling critical movement.
SodaStream, based in Ma’ale Adumim, remains a major target of BDS activists despite employing hundreds of Palestinians at competitive wages.
Other BDS-related content:
* Pro-Israel Christians protest Dutch firms that divested from Israel.
* Divest This, a blog that tracked BDS failure, has returned with an assessment of the BDS’s accomplishments in the past year.
The doubling of exports during a period when BDSers worked tirelessly to get the public to stop buying Israeli goods (not to mention a ten point jump in popularity of the Jewish state during a decade when activists worked 24/7 to get the public to loath Israel as much as they did) better demonstrates gains and losses for the “movement” than would any pithy slogan or shouted argument.
Naturally, the boycotters have found a solution to how to deal with the challenge these numbers present: by adding this information to the huge pile of facts and arguments they routinely ignore. Thus Israel’s blockbuster 2013 tourist year, the huge influx of investment in Israeli companies and the mad scramble of colleges and universities to forge partnerships with their Israeli counterparts must all take a backseat to Meg Ryan cancelling her vacation plans. (Whoops! Looks like that was another BDS hoax. Guess I’ll have to stop using Meg for my punchlines.)
* Law firm suggests universities that maintain institutional membership to the ASA risk facing a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which bars “employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin.”