Ask someone who was active in BDS for years and ragequit anything

Oldfag here (well, not THAT old but closer to 30 than 20). I used to be highly active in Palestine solidarity activism starting in 2006, got involved in boycott-divestment-sanctions in 2009, and got dismayed with the whole "scene" a few years into it. Ask me anything and I will reveal.

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Wanted to add: for anyone wishing to label me a hasbara controlled opposition: I was out protesting AIPAC while you youngins were still in middle school. Literally spent the best years of my life organizing protests against Zionist trash, then realized the whole thing is a farce and westerners can't do shit for the Palestinians.

What examples of actual anti-Semitism have you seen within the BDS movement?

go on

Most of the actual anti-Semitism I've seen in BDS (and yes, there is quite a bit, to be perfectly honest) revolved around invoking anti-Jewish conspiracy theories, like claims that Israel or AIPAC was somehow railroading not just American foreign policy in the Middle East, but ALL American policies. There's also a great deal of denying Jews their agency, i.e. telling Jews the "moral" thing for them to do is to "stop being Jewish" (think Shlomo Sand) and instead take up Palestinian cultural norms as their own.

It's not exactly PC to say, but I personally think a lot of this comes from the fact that, despite all the racial profiling and Islamophobia, Palestinians in the West live very, very well compared to how they live back in Palestine (take into account immigration controls make it so the only Palestinians who are able to come to the US are the nerds going for school or work). They see the American system as "working" for them, so they become highly reluctant to criticize or attack it.

Zog is real

All jews 205 degrees

Flag related top kek

Palestinians aren't going to resist based on what some Trot party in London or coffeehouse intellectuals in NYC tell them to do. They're going to resist in accordance with their material conditions and local/cultural ("indigenous") epistemologies. So, it's pointless for westerners to be investing so much effort into their struggle. This isn't about standpoint epistemology, it's about recognizing the limits of what you're actually able to do when it comes to shit going on in the 3rd World.

Fucking Nazis ruined anti-Zionism.

why does American antifa not protest AIPAC fundraisers

Pure cohencidence!

Why does Chomsky the kike oppose BDS?

There are plenty of protests against AIPAC. I've been to ones in Los Angeles, Washington DC, and NYC, to name a few. Granted, this was years ago so my actual memories of them are quite blurry.

Like I said, Palestinians in the US live very well, so they naturally try to divorce Israeli crimes from American ones.

Why did emma Goldman and Albert Einstein deride nationalism and patriotism while defending Zionist settler colonialists?

The chosenites are shifty kikes, that's why!



When I realised that that last sentence can be applied to all leftist actions I became a left-com and am now openly a reactionary leftist

I tend to agree with Chomsky on his views. He makes the point a lot of BDS stuff is useless and will only enable the Israeli far-right (which it has).

One major problem I see with the pro-Palestine/Anti-Zionist crowd is that they fall into the same trap as the rest of the left (granted most anti-Zionists are not leftists/socialists and you don't need to be). They don't offer any real *alternative* to what exists now and yet they're ultra-moralistic to the point of annoyance. Like, they want to blackmail people into accepting a vision they don't even really have themselves. Slogans like "Free Palestine!," "Abolish Zionism!,"muh one democratic state!," are just that, slogans. There's no policy inherent to them, they're as useless a catchphrase as "support our troops."

I think Chomsky opposes BDS because he doesn't want his fellow chosenites to actually suffer for running an apartheid state. He just wants to pay lip service like all good leftist jews. But that's just me.

TBH I can sympathize with Chomsky. The man's getting old (knocking on death's door from what I've recently been told) and he's coming to the realization he's not going to live to see some grand global anarcho-syndicalist revolution. At this point, he just wants to ease the wounds enough so he can die knowing his followers did their best.

Who cares? I mean really, who gives a shit? All of these people are dead now.

It's the hypocrisy of it all is all…

There are more important things than calling out the hypocrisy of individuals who died years ago.

Are Nazis allergic to Occam's razor?

networks of conspiracy over race, when in reality it just fuels personal opinion.

Albert Einstein

Einstein stated that the Balfour Declaration's proposal to establish a national home for Jews in Palestine "redresses the balance" of justice and history,[27] claiming that "at the end of the first world war, the Allies gave the Arabs 99% of the vast, underpopulated territories liberated from the Turks to satisfy their national aspirations and five independent Arab states were established. One per cent was reserved for the Jews in the land of their origin".[28] Einstein remained strongly supportive of unlimited Jewish immigration to Palestine.[29][30]

Emma Goldman

Chomsky support BDS he just has reservations about the idea of a cultural boycott (boycott by academics and artists to prevent purely intellectual/cultural exchanges) which is reasonable imho

Idk why you feel the need to misrepresent peoples beliefs. While Emma Goldman and Einstein could be said to support the idea of a Jewish homeland (not state) in the Middle East they weren't really Zionists in the sense you are claiming. You are just straight up misrepresenting Chomsky's position. Also someone post that passage which talks about Jewish communists in the USSR fanatically suppressing Yiddish and Jewish organized religion.

Wanted to say, one other thing which you could call "anti-Semitic" that BDSers often do is tag Jews who are anti-Zionist as "REAL Jews" while tagging Jews who are pro-Israel/pro-Zionist as "fake Jews." This is more of what I meant when I said a lot of the anti-Semitism in the BDS movement comes form denying Jews their agency. Who are you to say who the "real" vs. "fake" Jews are?

To be perfectly honest it sounds like it’s the other way around. Like all the big leaders of BDS and the pro-Palestine movement scramble around to claim that the US isn’t run by Israel and that Zionism is a secular nationalist opposed to “true” Judaism.

Chomskyites and most others the mainstream anti-imperialist Left often argue that Israel is a puppet of Israeli imperialism. But that doesn’t make sense at all, the most generous thing you can say is that Israel and the US are two evil twins working together whose interests rarely clash and even that’s a somewhat strained analysis. America’s global interests are undermined by Israel and the relationship is almost entirely one-way.

I remember Norman Finkelstein coming out with the party-line that Israel doesn’t control the US and he got fucking spanked in a debate with James Petras. It wasn’t even close, Petras tore him a new one.

The thing I’ve percieved is that Chomsky, Finkelstein and other moderate BDS gatekeepers don’t have arguments that are near as good as the anti-Semitic “conspiracy theorists” when it comes to JFK, 9/11, and the Iraq War. Israel is the obvious beneficiary of all of them. Even the “no more blood for oil” slogan of the mainstream anti-war left is kinda hollow Petra’s explanation of the Iraq war as being pushed and benefiting Zionist interests is far more explanatory than any other explanation. Only Harvey’s complimentary explanation that is a revolutionary new project of neoliberal capitalism makes much sense.

Then the BDS leaders seem to say that it’s crazy to think that Israel wants to rule the world. But all imperialist powers want to rule the world and I don’t think Israel is an exception.

I agree with what Colmain wrote recently:

Truth be told I really don’t hate Jews or anything my SO is ethnically Jewish but I wish the Israeli workers would rise up against their capitalist oppressors. Stopping the violence against Palestinians won’t stop the global violence of Israeli imperialism that exports arms across the world. I hope we agree on this much.

Maybe the membership of BDS is more “woke” than the public frontmen but to me it seems pretty blasé and middle class in its outlook.

Still though, most of the Palestinians in "the movement" as well as the die-hard anti-Zionist white people were pretty anti-Chomsky. They really can't understand nuance.

*puppet of American imperialism

See, this is what I mean. Who gives a shit about what "true Judaism" is? I'm not concerned about whether or not the religion these people are following is the "true Judaism" or not, I'm concerned about whether it promotes Enlightenment values like justice, hope, truth, egalitarianism, universalism, etc. Who gives a shit if it's authentic or not?

Perhaps things have changed since I was in the movement, but I remember how flooded it was with conspiracy theorists who loved promoting the Z.O.G. bullshit.

In what ways? When their interests do clash, 99% of the time American interests are the ones which get carried out.

I don't think it matters at all TBH. I see all states as equally oppressive being an anarchist and all. Israel can't "rule the world," it's too weak, and framing things as such can be dangerous.

Every form of nationalism is oppressive. What makes Zionism any worse?

"I have a black friend therefore I can say the n-word."

And TBH, even if your conspiracy theory were true, there is nothing we can actually do to "end Zionism" as you propose.

How divided is the movement ideologically? How many people are communists vs liberals, islamists, or arab nationalists?

When I was in the movement, you saw a lot of what you could call left-right alliances, whereby anti-war progressives, Trots, ☭TANKIE☭s, Maoists and liberal Arab nationalists would agree to work alongside right-wing conspiracy nuts and Ron Paul-type paleocons (who made a huge deal about being against "neocons" and that neocons "hijacked" conservatism).

That was one thing I didn't like. I just don't get why a liberal Zionist who wants a two-state solution on the '67 border is somehow worse than a full-blown anti-Zionist reactionary.

Forgot to say, I include Islamists in the rightist camp (because they are).

So why weren’t American interests carried out when Obama wanted Bibi to slow down or stop the settlements. How did the Gaza slaughter of 2014 help American interests? You have guys in the state department from the 30s and 40s saying that the Zionist movement would harm US interests.

And it really can’t be said that the Iraq War was beneficial to American interests it accelerated the bankruptcy of an already bankrupted country. Even a significant faction of the ruling class came out against it for that reason.

The Israelis have massive control and significant influence over America. Zionist networks and secret societies have been operating in the US since the 1890s.

In Western Europe particularly France dissent on the issue of Palestine is actually illegal. They don’t allow pro-Palestine marches thanks to the emergency measures there. The leadership of Catalonia independence say they want Israel to be their bank. So we can already see their influence is massive in the Western world and even if you don’t think it’s possible that doesn’t mean their not trying.

I mean for starters the genocide thing in Palestine. Are you going to tell me that Swedish nationalism or Nigerian nationalism is just as bad as what’s happened and is happening there? Even the other “settler states” such as Canada, Australia, etc. allowing their minority populations basic democratic rights which is precluded by Zionist fascism.

If we’re doing bad idpol arguments from 2010 I guess I’ll go with I can’t be racist against Jews since I don’t enjoy the economic,cultural and social p.rivilege that Jews in America do. Racism=p.rivilege+power, remember?

I don’t recall saying that we should “end Zionism” in my post. I did say that the Israeli workers should rise up against their bourgeois oppressors, that there should be a socialist revolution in Israel. That would mean a lot more to be than the right of return however just that might be.

You’ve done a lot to deliberately mischaracterize my positions here. Maybe you think your arguing with one of your old BDS buddies or something but since you started an AMA I figured you had come here to discuss the issue in good faith.

Wow that is quite disappointing, sounds like a bit of a shit-show tbh.

Can you link to the debate you're talking about.

The US isn't really interested in ending the settlements.

When did Obama call for the carnage in Gaza to end?

The US didn't even support Israel until after 1967.

The entire ruling class isn't a monolith. Some of them were for it, some against. Either way, most American Jews were against the Iraq invasion, including some serious hardcore Zionists.

I highly doubt a few Zionist organizations can overrun Microsoft, GE, etc.

Because protesters were trashing the streets and causing chaos. It's the same reason why Quebec has tried to outlaw huge marches after the student movement fucked shit up there a few years ago. Again, nothing to do with Israel/Zionism.

The US commits massively huge warcrimes against Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis, Somalis, etc. France committed tremendous crimes akin to genocide in most of its colonies.

Most western states are complicit in war crimes throughout the world. It's not even about states anymore but corporations.

So settler-colonialism is a-okay so as long as it's not Zionism?

It really does reinforce my view that white people (for better or worse) need to stay out of 3rd world solidarity movements, for this reason. You don't get to decide what goes on in Palestine because you aren't there and your actions and opinions have little practice.

One thing which always bothered me was how BDS/pro-Palestine activism became its own trendy subculture. Think about how keffiyehs became in-style back in 2008-2010. But even more so, a lot of those people whom I did activism with were the kinds of people who would *always* wear keffiyehs, would *always* want to eat at restaurants owned by Palestinians, *always* buy Palestinian products online, etc. The issue is, once something becomes a subculture, it de facto turns commercialized. Eating falafel and dancing dabkeh isn't activism, it's self-indulgence.

Plus, that's when you also had all the angry white kids come into the movement only because they wanted to act like edgelords. Being pro-Palestinian was "edgy" and trendy, so they'd join and go to protests and act all militant just for the adrenaline rush. But really, they have no stake in what goes on over there.

Thanks homie

This is so petty-bourgeois it makes me want to vomit

I'd agree with this, western leftists have a super ridiculous patronizing relationship with the third world generally.

lmao, that is extremely cringeworthy.

That's what I mean. For them, it's all a game, all a trend, just a means of enhancing their activist street cred.

It gets even worse when these people try to speak above actual Palestinians/Arabs or become overly confrontational. Like I said, it's all about an adrenaline rush or just a means of looking edgy.

Dog that's lifestylism. It permeates all political movements regardless of the specific ideology. It occurs when casuals take up causes without giving a shit about actual theory.
This occurs within anarchist movements as well. Its a big reason Bookchin broke from American anarchist movement. Nevertheless, lifestylism doesn't invalidate the particular political philosophy, at least not inherently.

I mean in regard to the BDS movement, what you describe sounds shitty for sure. But I don't think you necessarily have to be pro-Palestine to be anti-Zionist. Is boycotting Israeli products really that ineffective to you? I don't know, I'm not as informed, but I was under the impression that it could be very effective, given the resistance against it coming from the neocon portions of government. And further, I am so vehemently opposed to AIPAC that I could never see myself ever rejecting BDS unless it was completely ineffectual.

Well yeah, because consumer choices aren't going to have much effect here especially when you consider the big porkies aren't making money off of you but off of each other. Israel is currently making all sorts of deals with China and India and its economy is actually growing (slowly, but surely). Divestments are a much better idea IMHO.

I prolly gotta research this better. Does divestment involve essentially not investing money in companies that associate with the Israeli economy?

Their not but how do they benefit from Jews LARPing as muh ancestors on Arab land. The land already stolen is one thing but new settlements are quite another and they enrage not just the Arab world but the whole world for good reason. Obama wanted them to taper down their settlement building at least for PR purposes and Bibi said no. As much as they slandered that man as a racist against Jews at best his opinion simply lined up with that of the moderate Zionists.

He didn’t, he was much like any other American President in that regard. But you’re deliberately obfuscating what I said how did America benefit from the 2014 slaughter? If anything it’s image was tarnished by the fact that they played arms merchant and financial banker to that massacre.

Sure thing lol I wonder if you’ll buy the establishment line the next time they repress some protest against police brutality or America’s next War adventure. At least you won’t be alone there are a lot of “leftist” useful idiots out there.

Wrong. I see you swallowed the party line put out by Finkelstein here. The US supported the creation of Israel at the UN under the Truman administration and Zionists funded Truman’s election campaign. Prior to that American Zionism was secretly run by Supreme Court Justice Louis in Brandeis in the early 20th century.There was a clash of interests in 1956 but also the US was opposed to British-French attempts to expand their power using Israel at its expense. The Mossad and CIA had a working relationship from the beginning and Jewish mafias in the United States were also financial backers of Israel. These mafias also have and had major reach in the US establishment.

The first part of this statement maybe true but the second part definitely isn’t. Petra’s showed conclusively that Zionist interests and lobbies mobilized massively in favor of the war and then did a major Hasbara campaign after it started to fail and there was major backlash.

The Zionists have inject a lot of money into American politics through their organizations. That’s why so many congressman and senators swear alliance to Israel since they need the money. Then Mossad also has what’s widely acknowledged to be the best intelligence network in the world.

Many of America’s major companies are Jewish owned and many of these oligarchs are loyal to the Zionist cause it’s estimated that between 20-30% of America’s billionaires are Jewish. In 2011 11% of the worlds billionaires were Jewish so it’s not hard to see how the Zionists might have a lot of influence

Again, you deliberately confuse the issue. The issue isn’t the horrible things that have happened in the past but the horrible things that are happening today. Palestinians are lacking even basic democratic rights in Israel this is a major difference where the indigenious in the other “settler-colonial” countries what a meme have democratic rights. I probably shouldn’t go here but it actually is different, most of the indigenious genocides in the other settler-colonies occurred in the 19th century whereas the Nakba occurred in the middle of the 20th century. Fair number of its survivors and their direct descendants are actually still alive.

Israel STILL commits genocide in the occupied territories. It’s hard for me to contain my laughter when the bourgeois moral leftists say that police killings in America and Israel dropping white phosphorous on civilians are the same thing. Blacks in America are fed by the imperialist state if they are too poor because the capitalists to the tune of billions want to keep them alive as a reserve army of labor. By contrast Israel counts every calorie that goes into Gaza with the intention of “putting the Palestinians on a diet”

Totally the same thing, right?


But look: most of the grocery stores in my city sell Israeli products. I can't afford to take two buses and a train to get to the only one I know that doesn't.

thoughts on the PFLP and DFLP ?

Another point I’m not against the Jewish workers continuing to live in Palestine and practice their culture. I’ve said before I want socialism in Israel-Palestine.

Similarly, I don’t think Canada, the US and Australia have to be “decolonized” and the white working class pushed out to please some purple-haired whackos. I’m not an adherent to the post-colonial disease but you have to be blind to see that Israel is an imperialist fascist state. Even if you disagree with the label the term “Apartheid” is about the most charitable label you can use and even that misunderstands the real problem which is capitalist-imperialism.

*not to see that Israel is

I'm not going to respond to all of this garbage, but let me ask you this: assuming your entire conspiracy drivel is true, WHAT THE FUCK CAN WE DO? Nothing. No one can "end Zionism" at least not from the position we're in (I'm assuming most of the people on this board are non-Israeli or non-Palestinian).

From what I've been told, the PFLP is as active in Palestine as the Green Party is in the US. Palestine is essentially a two-party system.

Still though, you have provided nothing as a feasible alternative. "Socialism in Palestine" is just as vague as "end the AmeriKKKan empire."


So they hold a few rallies. So what? The Green Party also holds rallies. Bernie Sandahs fills up entire stadiums all while losing the Democratic ticket. What are they actually doing?

I hate to defend Bernie but you do know he's one of the most popular politicians in the states at this point so obviously he would fill up stadiums

Yeah but that alone doesn't mean he's going to take power.

their armed wing is very active compared to their political wing which is kinda crippled because their main leader/general secretary is in prison

So what are their chances of taking power? I see a lot of PFLP LARPing but their actual presence in Palestine seems pretty meh.

I suspect that it’s because you can’t refute it. Much like how you couldn’t even make a case for how Israel advances America’s interests or provide any evidence that America is the one who sends the marching orders to Israel. What I’ve said in this post is just documented fact.

It’s not true that we can’t do anything. Even if you can’t cut out consumption of all Israeli products you can go protest or at the very least just raise awareness. Bring it up to your family, fellow workers or even your union rep if you have one. Maybe you’ve done all those things and good for you, don’t think just because you didn’t change the world no difference has been made. Social movements often snowball from very small groups of core believers who are labeled as lunatics.
I mean 16 million farmers are boycotting Israel against the wishes of their government. Do you really think this will have no effect of course that many people doing anything has an effect on popular opinion even in India.

The purpose of BDS isn’t to end Israel as the detractors say but to stop the settlements. Some people think it’s an illegitimate state I think that’s an understandable position but you have to deal with the situation you have now and not how you wish history had gone. Protests against Israel’s wars can be integrated into anti-war work in general in the West and it DOES have an effect that is exactly why Hasbara campaigns exist.

If socialist and other leftist orgs support both Israeli and Palestinian workers and peasants in the fight for socialism then they will know the world is with them and that could change attitudes and lead to a rise in working class militancy.

Prior to the Trump administration you could call for businesses to boycott and divest from Israel. But there have been some laws that just passed that were reported in the news threads that said actually now it’s against the law to financially boycott Israel.

I guess that legislation doesn’t have anything to do with Zionist power in America and is merely the attempt of legislators to control unruly college kids, am I right?

*doesnt have an effect on popular opinion

India has over a billion people, dude. 16 million is a drop in the bucket. And as I've said again and again in this very thread, boycotts against Israel aren't going to do shit and haven't done shit.

That's the problem. This isn't something which can be done from overseas. It has to be something organic which happens in Israeli and Palestinian society internally. If anything, you should be pressuring leftist American Jews to make aliyah and try to agitate from the inside-out, not the outside-in.

I should probably ask too: what if NEITHER side really wants socialism?

See, awareness is a really fucking stupid thing. I can raise "awareness" about anything without complimenting it with any direct action.

BDS was declared in 2005 and so far it hasn't done all that much. And I repeat myself: whatever you do in the comfort of your own armchair matters nothing compare to what Palestinians (and Israelis) are doing *on the ground*. You can boycott all you want, but unless the Palestinians act for themselves nothing is going to get better for them.

But it can have a wider effect and in fact Modi’s government is the first pro-Israeli government in India’s history. BDS hasn’t stopped Israel but it does have an effect I think on its potential economic earnings abroad. So the choice could be 500,000 settlers on some land that’s not all that valuable or multi-billion foreign dollar contracts. Something arrangement can probably be worked out. The boycott and sanctions on Rhodesia and Apartheid South Africa contributed heavily to the down fall of those regimes. I don’t think it did them in but it did accelerate their down fall.

Kinda reminds me of the whole debate over whether or not leftists should enter the military on this board. I mean theoretically both strategies can work but the former means entering hostile territory.

In Israel the word leftist is a heavy pejorative and keep in mind that most “leftists” in Israel really just think that Israeli capitalism should be more equal and that Israel shouldn’t build so many new settlements so quickly.

I mean I wouldn’t rule it out altogether but moving to foreign countries to agitate usually just results in adventurism and revolutionary tourism.

We will force them to be free.

The thing is, making and spreading propaganda actually IS action. Our enemies invest a lot of time, money and effort into making propaganda for a reason. It’s not like I’m saying that shouldn’t be the only action taking but let’s say all someone does in a movement is make propaganda well that’s objectively doing a lot more than doing nothing at all.

I disagree. There’s been a sea-change in the public perception towards Israel - I remember when you never heard criticism of Israel everywhere and opinion polls substantiate that the vast majority of public opinion has been on the side of Israel for sometime. But that unquestioned ideological consensus has really taken a hit in the past decade or so.

Why are they trying to outlaw or suppress BDS in the US, Britain, France, Canada and elsewhere? I’ll give you a hint, if you’re part of the ruling class you generally don’t try to outlaw things that don’t have any effect.

They are acting for themselves —armed resistance wings from Hamas, Hezbollah and the PLFP have sprung up. Prior to being shattered and undermined by Israeli Intelligence the secular PLO had its own military wing as well.

Hezbollah actually beat the Israeli army when they invaded Lebanon in 2006. That’s no small feat considering Israel has more fighter jets than any European country, one of the top 4 most powerful militaries and as many nuclear weapons as China.

In 2014, during Operation Protective Edge, Hamas hurt Israel enough that they withdrew from the Gaza Strip. Finkelstein has pointed this out and he had a good argument for it.

As to your other point, yes, what’s going on on the ground typically has the biggest effect. That’s why this century’s military defeats and stalemates have harmed Israel’s self-image and image abroad somewhat. But it’s not like you have to be some slave in Libya or travel to Libya to violently oppose slave-owners there to be against slavery and to bring it to the worlds attention. Maybe someone will have to kill these slavers to get them to stop, true, but the rest of us can play a role.

It doesn't and it hasn't. China is also doing a ton of economic work with Israel.

International boycotts had very little effect for both. In Rhodesia's case, the country/colony lost a war. In South Africa's case, the US no longer needed it as an ally in the Cold War AND, on top of it, there was full-blown anti-apartheid resistance by black South Africans going on all the time. Compare that to the Palestinian resistance which has dwindled in the past ten years.

Isn't your entire goal to agitate for socialism? You're not going to be effective if all you're doing is spreading messages through a computer. On-the-ground activism is much better in that regard.

By denying them agency.

Now I know you're probably a troll who isn't interested in real-world pragmatism.

Not necessarily. Trots have been doing this for decades and yet they haven't made many gains.

Most "Zionist propaganda" isn't even in-your-face propaganda a la newspapers but just something in the culture that's assumed.

It has little to do with BDS though. If anything, it has more to do with just general anti-war/anti-imperialist sentiment in general.

Really? Most measures to persecute BDS have failed. Look what happened in Texas recently. The thing was killed almost instantly.

But their resistance hasn't been very active compared to what it was ten or twenty years ago. Either way, BDS does little to give these groups any more strength.

And how has that awareness worked out? I'm not kidding when I say Zizek is right for pointing out how sometimes doing nothing is the most effective thing you can do, because engaging in petty mindless actions are worse.

"Look mom I'm helping by liking a page on Facebook. REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE."

Did ya'll plan or organize any big rallies?
Do you plan on doing more activism or are you just tired of left protesting culture in general?
Was there a single event that made you want to leave or was it a cumulative thing?

Quite a few, actually. Most of them were definitely not "big" unless you count over 40 people in attendance as being "big."

I'm pretty much done with the whole thing. I started getting involved when Trump was elected but now I'd rather dedicate my time to stuff that's more practical, like workplace organizing (you can't really blame Israel for why American unions suck so badly), anti-racism, or tenants' defense type stuff.

Definitely cumulative. It was a mix of too many assholes in the movement (self-righteous progressives, conspiracy theorists) combined with ineffective tactics and extreme dogmatism.

Like, notice how "calls for a boycott of Israel" has become this religious-like thing. Yeah, anyone can "call for a boycott" from their armchairs, the real question is whether or not it as an effect.

Also, I'll let you in on a little secret. You know that whole Gaza Freedom March from back in 2009? I was one of the original organizers along with Finkelstein and some mutual comrades of ours. Me, Finkelstein, and a bunch of others quit primarily due to all the shit we got from the activists in CodePink (Medea B. is a fucking diva if there ever was one). GFM started off about ending the Gaza blockade, a noble goal, but the march's organizers broke out in sectarianism and eventually wanted the entire thing to be about - surprise surprise - BDS instead.

Better than nothing. Any media coverage?

Dumping Israeli couscous into the ocean pales in comparison to Chinese investments:

This whole thread just feels like you're wallowing in defeatism. You ran into a bunch of cringy lifestylists and sectarian infighting, like fucking any other political movement, therefore the solution isn't to fight for better praxis but to abandon the cause altogether?

We'd get some depending on the size of the rally. The biggest protest I went to was during January 2009 when Israel was savagely attacking Gaza. We almost shut down the city that day. It was cold as fuck and rainy too.

Yeah I'm getting involved in Antifa and I also want to start a solidarity org similar to SeaSol. Gentrification is a huge issue in my city.

There was one notorious incident I remember, not between left vs. right but between a Chomskyite friend of mine (a journalism assistant professor at my then-school who happened to be Egyptian) vs. a full-on Trot who happened to be a major prof at the same school (I won't name names because this guy is a huge asshole). He angered her so badly that she came running to be crying one day. Terrible.

Defeatism, no. Pragmatism, yes. It's not about doing nothing but recognizing the limits of what you're actually able to do. You want to help the Palestinians? Great, go join the International Solidarity Movement and fight the IDF firsthand. Or, just target the military-industrial complex. Go after the big fish like Raytheon rather than the little fish like the Israeli biscuit company.

do you believe in a one state solution

I like the idea of no states, but whether or not Israel-Palestine is one or two states has nothing to do with me or what I want. It all depends on what is able to be accomplished given the existing conditions by the people who are actually there and whom this conflict and subsequent decisions affect.


States are autonomous actors with their own interests even if they are heavily dependent on other states. Your assertions prove nothing.


lol, didn't notice you were an anarkiddie

Calling for a boycott, divestment, etc. seems pretty damn pragmatic to me. You mock "liking a facebook page" but it's going to be a hell of a lot more realistic to get people to look out for brands to avoid than pushing them to get on a plane and give their life to the cause as you seem to suggest. Pic related, a boycott movement that made serious inroads in accelerating the abolition of slavery.

Divestments and sanctions would be better than boycotts in terms of the effect they would have. I still don't buy Israeli products but as a movement I would say it's useless. Going after politicians or corporations supplying weapons to Israel is pragmatic and has an effect.

Keep in mind you're talking to someone who was highly passionate about boycotting Israel for a while up until the entire movement degenerated.

I also wanted to add that many institutions are rejecting calls to boycott Israel. So if this is the case, and boycotts are proving to be ineffective, maybe it is better to move on to a different strategy instead of waiting for shit to instantly pick up.

Anyway I have to go to bed now but I'll finish this conversation tomorrow.

I'm sorry you're getting so much shit just for talking about your personal experience, OP.

I seem to recall you saying this:
So how does the story you’ve linked jive with your assertion that America’s will is dominant over Israel? America doesn’t want its “greatest ally” doing multi-billion dollar tech trade deals with its major rival if it can avoid it.

So, it goes back to what I’ve said before the Finkelstein-Chomsky line that Israel is a puppet of the US is just flat out wrong.

That goes back to what I’ve said earlier there are two credible hypothesis on Israel:
1. Israel’s and the US are evil symbiotic twins that are on the page most of the time
2. Israel’s power and influence is dominant over the US. The disproportionately large Jewish elite often set the agenda when it comes to Israel and the US Mideast agenda

Even for #1 to be credible it has to be explained what benefit from derives from their relationship with israel that allows them to overlook their faults because it is certainly not obvious. The answer is the benefit that the US establishment gains from having powerful Jewish oligarchs, mafias and spy networks who are loyal to Israel on its side. Middle Eastern politics by itself doesn’t really explain it tbh. Even the most milquetoast explanation of the West’s seemingly blank check to Israel has to deal with Jewish power. But culturally we aren’t used to seeing Jews as having power post-Holocaust.

Even under apartheid revolt didn’t happen everyday. Unless you’re talking about the passive resistance meme then the Palestinians certainly qualify as much as blacks did under Apartheid with the qualification that since Israelis don’t need even need their cheap labor in the same way that the Apartheid regime needed black labor there’s even fewer opportunities for “every day acts of non-violent resistance” or “small acts of resistance” to be effective.

You still don’t get it I said that because Finkelstein is a wet blanket and so are you

Considering that BDS started in 2005 I’m not sure how you can claim it had no impact on that shift in public opinion. Paradoxically you seem to hold up the example of one book as having the power to provoke discussions and changes in public opinion in the US while saying that propaganda is essentially ineffective.

Was it just one bourgeois writer who has the power to change the public mind or did some of the things the Left had been saying about Israel for decades also begun to sink in? Don’t you think those activists critical of Israel may have played some part in that change of heart. Was it all simply an “organic” change of the American mind? The question maybe what provoked it and appealing to a general sense of anti-imperialism isn’t very explanatory either. Without those crying out against war it’s possible
that pro-War atmospheres can be maintained for sometime until people start experiencing the real pain of the conflict. 30,000+ American soldiers died in Korea and there were very few anti-war protests in America? One might say that the massive repression of Left-wing activists in those years might have something to do with that.


I just wanted to point out a few things regarding OP's experience and the other posts on here decrying them:

1. The Palestinians who have called for BDS are by in large Palestinian elites like the Barghouti family. In no way do they represent the majority of "the Palestinian people" as activists love to claim. Regular Palestinians remain heavily divided on BDS and what things like "cultural boycott" or "academic boycott" would do for them in terms of ending the occupation.

2. Many Palestinians are going to be hurt by certain parts of BDS. Remember SodaStream? Scores of Palestinian workers lost their jobs as the company moved out of the West Bank. Was the company operating illegally? Absolutely. Was boycotting their products the right thing to do? Absolutely. But were Palestinians hurt by the end results of the campaign? Yes, that too. This is where nuance comes in. If people are going to be hurt in the short-term, is it worth it to keep carrying out the tactic in hopes that it will work in the long-term? Accelerationists seem to think so.

And speaking of accelerationism….

3. There are Palestinians (many of them diaspora elites) who will cheer on settlement construction simply because they know the more land settlers carve out the less likely a two-state solution on the '67 border will be a thing, granting them an immediate one-state solution. Hence, their struggle goes from a struggle of independence to a struggle for civil rights. Consider this for a moment. What does it mean to have a population which has been torn apart by ethnic cleansing, wars, corrupt leadership, and is stuck in limbo between apartheid and a hard place maintain that state of limbo just because they believe heaven will eventually spring from their current hell?

The main point I'm trying to make is, as OP suggested in their posts, western activists seem to be more obsessed with promoting BDS as a tactic than they are in the end results of said tactic. If unintended consequences arise, they ignore them or make excuses for them because they're (erroneously) convinced BDS is the only way to go and that the majority of Palestinians vocally support it (they don't). The fact that OP complains about the behaviors of white activists in the movement shouldn't surprise anyone either.

Note: I have no stake in this game. I'm not Israeli or Palestinian so I can't make the last call.

Is the Mossad dental plan as good as they say?

It's scared.

Wow leftypol is just apologists for genocidal maniacs now.
Knew you guys were always crypto fasc but this bullshit anti BDS thread proves it. I'm out.

Seriously, I wasn't ready to accuse OP but just the composition of just reeks of reddit astroturf. There's something fishy going on here. I admittedly haven't been up to date with Palestinian solidarity movements but BDS was the only one I've heard of. Clearly the movement can't be that ineffective if numerous governments are trying to ban them.

Jesus fucking christ, who said anything about supporting the IDF or making excuses for Israeli apartheid?

Read my post again. I said BDS needs to be looked at skeptically because the primary people pushing it are Palestinian elites (whether in Palestine or in the diaspora) who aren't going to face whatever unintended consequences may arise. If anything, it should be viewed as ultra-left because it's pushing an agenda which, while good-intended, is not what the people have consented to. And yes, everyone wants to end the occupation, but the real question is how. You can agree with an end goal while finding fault in the strategy used to obtain that goal. Means and ends, m8.

How does my post apologize for Israel exactly? I'm trying to critically examine the BDS movement and what it's shortcomings are. You are labeling me as a hasbara troll only because you think I'm wrong for doing what amounts to self-criticism? If I were a real Israeli agent I'd be outright denying the existence of apartheid or ethnic cleansing all together.

Hey, I recognise this argument! This is the same one neoliberals trot out about how huge corporations using third world labour at near-slave wages to make exorbitantly-priced luxury commodities is actually extremely good.

"Phil Knight's not a ghoul profiteering off of human misery, he's giving those little Bangladeshi kids jobs! Sub-dollar daily wages are much better than they could get before, and will contribute to Bangladesh's hypothetical eventual development. Besides, Knight deserves every cent of the profit he gets from charging hundreds of dollars for shoes. He drew a tick!"

Most of the cases you're referring to aren't even "banning BDS" but only targeting specific institutions from engaging with groups promoting BDS. Yes, it's a clear violation of free speech and should be opposed, but it's in no way a "blanket ban".

I wasn't making a neoliberal "muh job creeaturs" argument, only giving an example as to why Palestinians would be skeptical towards boycotts if such boycotts would fuck with them in the short-term.

Take a look at any intelligence history and this obviously isn't true

Having such emphatic resistance to a simple boycott just seems ridiculous to me. It's like arguing against the West Indian sugar boycott out of "nuance" because then the masters won't have the money to free their slaves. Agitate for action beyond a simple boycott, sure, but actively arguing against the largest and most known Palestinian solidarity movement is absurd to be coming from a "leftist".

*feed their slaves

It sounds a lot more like you were justifying colonial profiteering because the colonists paid wages.

Honestly I don't give a shit about "anti-semitism" in the US. It's like whining about deeply triggering and problematic shit. Yeah it's there but the massive power disparity between the two groups makes it nowhere near as destructive as the status quo. Fuck Zionists and fuck your feelings if that makes you feel bad.

I'm not saying I oppose boycotts all together or against boycotting Israel on principle, I'm saying these are things to consider. You have to be critical of all your tactics.

Well then I apologize if I came off that way.

Also ITT

I can't speak for Palestinian groups. If the majority of Palestinian people aside from their local porkies and diaspora openly declare unanimous support for BDS then there's no reason to be skeptical. The problem is activists who become so emotionally invested in one particular tactic they lose sight of whether or not that tactic is doing any good; it's how dogmatism becomes a thing.

This assertion isn't wrong. It's like the anarkiddies who run off to Greece because they think they're going to be part of some 1936 Barcelona redux when they don't speak Greek, can't read the Greek alphabet, don't know how to shield themselves from tear gas, have never been in a riot, have never handled a molotov, and who, after coming to all these realizations, understand war is hell and run back to their little luxury hotels. Palestine fetishists are the same way. They love romanticizing armed anti-colonial struggles and desire to "bring the war home" a la the Weathermen.

I'm not seeing many native Palestinian people condemning the boycott. Literally the only argument you have to oppose the BDS boycott is "muh colonial job creators". If a Saudi boycott movement started to gain momentum I bet we'd be seeing shit like this as well.

I'd add to this that the Palestinian-Americans who participate in these movements are themselves college-educated and middle class. Palestinian proles don't have the time of day to go to rallies and risk losing their jobs by having their names on public boycott statements.

Something which I never stated, in fact I stated the opposite, that boycotting SodaStream was the morally correct thing to do given the occupation is illegal and genocidal. I was merely pointing out the fact that there may very well be Palestinians who are skeptical about BDS in the way it's being carried out now if they're going to be faced with unintended consequences.

What I believe should have happened with SodaStream is, anarkiddies should have gotten off their asses and made an attempt to organize the Palestinian workers so they could seize those factories themselves (or at least build up enough momentum for a potential strike). Clearly, something like mass unionization of Palestinian workers would be a much better tactic than just boycotting.

The key is nuance, which is something this board doesn't understand (imagine my shock).

What's your alibi for being here then, other than searching out keywords to shill for?

Just give me a direct answer, stop weasling back and forth: do you support a boycott on Israel, or not?

Yes and no. I support boycotting illegal settlement products. I am completely against cultural boycotts or academic boycotts because I believe human livelihood and knowledge matter.

Listen: if you're going to take anything from this, realize people are assholes. There can be thousands of calls for boycotts of Israel and yet very little actual boycotting because most people just don't give a fuck. Grand moral projects like this are always a clusterfuck.

Most Israeli products aren't even sold in big consumer outlets, but in niche stores like kosher grocers or Judaica shops, shit gentiles wouldn't care about anyway.

It’s time to log off Mrs. Rowling

Perhaps it would be better to demonstrate the effectiveness of cultural boycotts, rather than insult?

Explain why it’s bad beyond muh human spirit and muh globalization peaceful international exchange.

I mean if Israel continues to commit ethnic cleansing why is it so terrible that people boycott their books or academic conferences? Never let genocide stand in the way of Art and Science I guess…

No shit you can't just yell "boycott apple" like Trump does and instantly cause an effect. That doesn't mean that boycott movements can't and haven't effected real positive change in the world.

Most Israeli products aren't even sold in big consumer outlets, but in niche stores like kosher grocers or Judaica shops, shit gentiles wouldn't care about anyway.
Bullshit. Nice one Mossad!

I never stated boycotts are in themselves useless, only that you can't expect the people involved to be morally perfect at all times. How many Americans give enough of a shit to avoid shops like Trader Joe's because they sell Israeli hummus vs. how many Americans would shop there anyway because they just don't care?

Artists and scientists aren't the ones perpetuating the genocide. By your logic, we should also boycott American, British, and French artists and scientists as well. It's also funny, because artists of most countries tend to be far to the left of their respected governments.

Oh no I've been caught!! AHHHHH!!!

Will you join in case of revolution?

Shit, looks like Finkelstein was right about BDS.