From The Editor’s Desk: Thought of the Day (TOTD)
If you’re a regular to CAMERA on Campus, or even a recipient of one of our famous packages of “goodies” (accurate, informational material and CAMERA swag to pass out on campus), you’re probably familiar with the pamphlet and blog, Divest This.
An expertly-written, and often deliciously searing indictment of BDS, the Divest This blog also frequently covers the antics of some of our favorite closet fans– Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).
Recently, Divest This perfectly summarized the approach to BDS and SJP that we have come to expect, know, and love from the site: Don’t Panic, But Don’t Get Complacent Either.
This perspective is especially helpful for students who are rightly interested in showing SJP as the hate group it is, but also having a little fun in the process.
We’ve excerpted a bit from the entry in question here, and you can always check out the full piece here.
Even back in the early 2000s when BDS was just “divestment” (and divestment efforts led by the now-defunct Palestinian Solidarity Movement – PSM – vs. the new SJP incarnation of anti-Israel activism), college administrators (i.e., the grown-ups who actually make investment decisions) made it clear that they were not going to listen to demands from a propaganda campaign masquerading as a human rights movement. And we should never forget the fact that SJP rose to prominence by pushing that BDS hoax at Hampshire College, one which (among other things) convinced college administrators of the peril of even answering the phone when the divestment cru calls.
Which is why BDS battles on campuses have basically been fought within student governments over whether they would pass toothless divestment resolutions that everyone knows will be ignored. And, even here, after years and years of effort by the boycotters, less than ten such resolutions have passed. And even then, such “wins” have been the result of BDSers infiltrating student government and midnight deals passed during Shabbat rather than the Israel haters convincing anybody of anything.
But such votes do give groups like SJP the platform to rant and rave about Israeli “crimes against humanity” for hour after hour before a captive audience. And the very impotence of their activity with regard to generating genuine consequential action may explain why they have to scream about their few “successes” ever louder in order to convince people that their message is embraced by more than a marginal fringe.
That screaming has also been coupled with ever-more aggressive “direct action” on campuses, and I suspect that this is one of the reasons passions about schools in flames run so high.
Part of this aggressiveness has to do with the nature of radical politics, a dynamic in which those who propose the most outrageous plans tend to rise to leadership positions due to their “passion” and “intensity.” And let’s not forget that the BDSers are aligned to a broader, global anti-Israel project that has always been a mix of propaganda, threat and violence (with the latter two taking precedent as the Middle East goes up in flames).
But we should also not forget that a sociopathic political movement like BDS is all about pushing limits of civilized norms. While every other political and human rights issue on the planet plays out in a reasonable fashion whenever they come up on college campuses, only the Arab-Israeli conflict has devolved into shout-downs of speakers, pat-downs of students in front of mock “Apartheid Walls,” hostile pranks like last year’s eviction notice outrages, and demands that every student on campus take a side (SJP’s) or be condemned as faux-progressives or enemies of human rights.
And when such limit-pushing is not met by significant resistance by those charged to keep campus live civil (i.e., administrators who know a Lawyer’s Guild shill for SJP is in the wings if they ever clamp down on the group’s outrageous behavior), that simply incentivizes the thugs to push even harder next time and communicate via the globe-spanning, free new media what others are now likely to be able to get away with on their campuses.
Not only can you check out the rest of the Divest This canon, but you can hear the illustrious author of this series on #BDSFails, Jon Haber, at an upcoming panel with Professor Richard Cravatts, as well as several members of CAMERA’s all-around brilliant staff.
To have a chance to pick their brains, check out the event page here, and register NOW!