the fight against BDS should be a relatively easy one.
According to the paper’s authors, it is not necessary – and may be impossible – to “win” a debate over Israeli settlements or Palestinian independence. But these are not the issues at the heart of the BDS movement, the paper asserts.
“BDS shifts the terrain, making the battle one over Israel’s right to exist, over the legitimacy of Zionism, over the anti-Semitic tropes shaping the anti-Israel movement, and the rank anti-Semitism behind the disproportionate, obsessive focus on Israel. It is also a battle about freedom of speech and of open discourses, given the BDS attempt to shut down normal flows of learning and commerce with Israel,” it states.
“This is not a carefully constructed, nuanced document,” Troy told the Post. “This is a brainstorming document that reflects different opinions that don’t always agree with each other. We put drafts up on the Web, and other people added to it. The result was a whole series of ideas, strategies, tactics that capture the growing indignation against this push to be so disproportionate in the zeal to demonize Israel.”
The key point of the final document, which the group hopes to turn into the heart of a new campaign by Israel and worldwide activists, is that “BDS draws a line in the sand.”
According to the paper, “By implicitly shifting the debate from Israeli policy to Israel’s right to exist, BDSers have provided what we could call ‘the J-Street Test.’”
The “test,” Troy explains, is a way of drawing the line between honest criticism of Israel and its policies on the one hand, and demonization that seeks Israel’s destruction on the other.
J Street, much castigated by many the Jewish community for its ongoing, strident criticism of the Israeli government, “passes the test” as an honest critic of Israel because it condemned the BDS movement, he said.
Thus the bankruptcy of J-Street is exposed as is the idea of campaigning against this or that aspect of Israel’s behaviour.