Saturday, April 23, 2011

Failures Of BDS: A J Weekly Interview with Jon Haber

Boston based blogger Jon Haber from Divest this recently visited the Bay area, discussing the failure of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions(BDS) movement with local activists.

From his interview in J Weekly

Since 2001, BDS advocates have tried to persuade colleges, churches and others to buy in to their credo of boycotting Israeli goods, divesting from Israeli companies and urging governments to impose sanctions on Israel.

So far, Haber said, they have virtually nothing to show for their efforts.

Haber was in the Bay Area last week meeting with supporters. His core message: While vigilance remains necessary, the BDS movement has failed.

It has not persuaded a single institution to divest from Israel for political reasons, Haber insisted, adding that boycott efforts often backfire — especially when pro-Israel groups such as StandWithUs organizing “buycotts” of Israeli products.

Notes Haber, “When I talk to Jewish groups I say, ‘Don’t panic, but don’t be complacent.’”

He says the BDS movement is not a movement at all, but rather a tactic that has been employed by those who seek to delegitimize Israel. It launched a decade ago with the U.N.-sponsored Durban Conference, which equated Zionism with racism.

Jon concludes:

“You can only go so long without victories. America is not turning against Israel. The message of [Israeli] apartheid does not resonate at all — in fact, quite the opposite.”

Read the full interview here

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