Thursday, August 12, 2010

New Seasons in Portland: The latest BDS victim

Jon at Divest this has pointed out the predictable misfortune that befalls any institution dragged down the path of BDS. The latest victim targeted appears to be the New Seasons chain in Portland, Oregon, who really are just "trying to mind our own(local )business."

New Seasons, here's what you can expect during the coming weeks, courtesy of "Divest this" (italic comments mine....)

1. A divestment resolution is brought before a representative body of a large respected institution (such as the Berkeley Student Senate, the Aldermen of the City of Somerville, or the professional leadership of the Presbyterian Church) by a group of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists. (or in this case, your grocery store)

2. Because most members (and leaders) of the BDS group come from outside the community being asked to divest, local activists are given a high profile to make the divestment action seem as though it is welling up from the community itself. (The boycott petition is being circulated worldwide. do you really think that someone in the UAE has the right to tell local shoppers what they can and can't buy?)

3. Discussions of divestment are carried out behind closed doors or are rushed in hope that a divestment vote can be taken before the wider community becomes aware of what is being voted on in their name.

4. At some point, word gets out regarding what is happening and a controversy, often leading to a last-minute public hearing, ensues.

5. At the hearing, BDS activists do what they do best: zeroing in on a few, emotionally charged issues (the suffering of Palestinian Arabs, complete with bloody photographs), the flushing of alternative facts and history down the memory hole, and demands that support for BDS is the only democratic and moral choice for the institution considering divestment.

6. Hastily organized opponents of the measure do their best to publicly respond, although their messages tend to be all over the map (refutation of the other side’s facts, history lessons, passionate condemnations of the divestment resolution as unfair, etc.)

7. The body considering divestment either votes it down immediately (in which case, skip to step 12) or passes it.

8. If passed, word immediately goes out on a hundred Web sites, 200 blogs and 500 Facebook pages that the institution is now in full agreement with the real message of divestment advocates: that Israel is an Apartheid state alone in the world deserving economic punishment. (if it fails, like the Davis Co-op, the Berkeley Bowl, or Trader Joes, no one hears another word about it ever again)

9. People in the community wake up one morning to discover that a tiny minority has handed the reputation of the institution over to a single-issue, partisan group that is now leveraging their name for their own narrow political ends.

10. Outrage ensues, both from inside the community (which was never consulted before their representatives signed the institution up to join the BDS bandwagon) and externally.

11. Responding to the outrage, and appalled at how the decision is being portrayed publically (despite assurances by BDS advocates that a divestment vote was a simple, uncontroversial human rights matter), the institution finds a way to vote down or otherwide undo the hasty, controversial decision.

12. The BDSers howl at their reversal of fortune, throwing a public tantrum if divestment is voted down at a public hearing, and impotently threatening electoral revenge against those who decided the reputation of the organization should not be handed over to divestment crew, just because they demand it.

13. Because of divestment’s short-lived success, the institution is falsely listed as a divestment supporter for months or years to come in hope that other organizations will follow this now-pretend example.

14. Despite their threats, the BDSers move on, leaving the local leaders alone to deal with the bitterness and wreckage this entire incident has caused.

15. Wash, rinse, repeat at the next institution.

Whats a community to do, when a local institution such as New Seasons is hijacked by a few for their political gain? In this case, resistance is often fertile. According to the anti-Israel petitioners, ENER-G wheat free crackers, MANISHEVITZ memorial candles, KEDEM tea biscuits, TELMA broth cubes, OSEM falafel mix, OSEM couscous, FRONTIER bulk dill weed, and FRONTIER bulk citric acid from Israel are all sold at New Seasons. Its time for another BUYCOTT! Go to the stores. Buy these products, and thank the manger for continuing to carry them. And tell your friends to do the same.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A loose coalition of anti-Semites, socialists and garden variety haters, the "Portland BDS Coalition" had drafted a letter to New Season claiming the "letter quickly gathered more than 500 signatures, many of them customers of New Seasons." But most of them were not customers. Why does anyone think a local business would be swayed by the opinion of someone in Ireland, or Egypt who has never once been in Portland, or set foot in New Seasons?

If these people had any local support at all, they wouldn't have needed to send out a petition world wide trolling for signatures