Monday, November 2, 2015

The Vampire's Kiss: Berkeley Style.

Via Emunah:

From the Jerusalem Post, written by our friends at Divest This.

Legend (or at least Bram Stoker) posits that a vampire can only enter someone's home if he or she is invited across the threshold.

There could be no metaphor more apt for the divest-from-Israel campaigns that have proliferated among schools, unions, cities and churches in the US and Europe over the last four years.

Either small, unrepresentative groups of activists invite BDS into their organization, or outside activists join only in order to infiltrate it. The key to the strategy, as he and others have pointed out, is the “halo effect,” which allows puny groups of extremists to “punch above their political weight.” The strident clamors of a fringe group, which would otherwise go unnoticed, acquire gravitas and urgency when issued under the auspices of a respected organization. By the time the majority of the membership wakes up and sees the carnage, it is too late. The organization is left wounded and debilitated, and the vampire moves on to its next victim.

We recently witnessed this phenomenon in Berkeley.  Over the course of a year, anti-Israel activists have lobbied, virtually unchallenged,  a Commission  mandated with administering federal block grants to alleviate poverty to adopt a divestment resolution targeting Israel. 

Originally appearing on the Human Welfare Commission’s agenda on September 17, 2014, the divestment resolution introduced by Cheryl Davila has reared its ugly head on nearly every Commission agenda since then.  The divestment resolution appears on the Human Welfare Commission agenda on November 11, 2014. January 28, 2015. February 9, 2015. February 28, 2015. April 15, 2015. May 20, 2015. June 17, 2015. September 16, 2015. October 21, 2015.

Its rather a remarkable achievement  for a group that still insists its voice has been "silenced'

In spite of the wording which co-opts the language of the civil rights movement, this divestment resolution and the whole tactic of BDS is not about peace with Israel. Its about peace- without Israel.   Cheryl Davila is no innocent. She knows the truth. She stood with her BDS colleagues at the Oct 14 “Day of action”  at UC Berkeley while SJP chanted  “From the river to the sea”  and “We support the Intifada”. And again, on October 15, she stood with them in front of the Israeli consulate on Montgomery Street when they chanted “We don’t want one state. We want 48"  She attended the Atlanta Conference of the US Campaign when an award was given to Rasmea Odeh- a convicted terrorist responsible for the death of 2 young Israelis.

Cheryl’s willingness to neglect the Human Welfare Commission’s core responsibility in pushing this resolution ultimately led to her dismissal from the commission.   

During the public comment period before the Commission's October 21 vote, 54 spoke against the resolution, and 36 spoke in favor. The resolution failed to pass. 

But like Bram Stoker’s vampire, (or Monty Python’s parrot) BDS in Berkeley may not be quite dead, yet. Commission Chair Praveen Sood  is pushing his own BDS-lite resolution. And local anti-Israel activists are attempting to groom Cheryl Davila to seek an elected office.

This time Berkeley is mobilized to fight back.  Tired of having community institutions hijacked, a local attorney has written to the city, urging them not to continue squandering public funds and community resources. 

Again from Divest this!

Divest-from-Israel campaigns are kind of like Count Dracula: no matter how many times a stake is driven through their heart, they keep trying to get up (albeit always a bit more decrepit and overwrought than the time before).

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