Article in The National Interest: “Black Lives Matter’s Anti-Semitic Bedfellows”
Recently I have started making the point that BDS is a Settler Colonial Ideology that invades, conquers and subjugates other causes.
Addressing the destruction of the American Indian Studies Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign after its leadership aligned itself with BDS and intersectionality theory, I recently wrote:
While a new way of looking at the BDS movement, and turning around its false accusation that Israel is a Settler Colonial nation, the facts of BDS taking over other movements is something I have been documenting for years.
But as with the Black Lives Matters, LGBT, environmental and other movements, BDS proved damaging. BDS was capable of taking over the intellectual territory of other peoples, but it was not for the benefit of any movement other than BDS.
It’s time for a reboot of terminology. Israel is not a settler colonial nation, but BDS is a settler colonial ideology.
It’s nice to see that approaching BDS from that perspective is gaining some traction.
From Gary C. Gambill at The National Interest, Black Lives Matter’s Anti-Semitic Bedfellows:
With the Black Lives Matter movement’s adoption of a formal manifesto charging Israel with genocide, militant anti-Zionists are threatening to sabotage yet another progressive cause.
Obsessed with spreading demonization of the Jewish state across the Western world by any means necessary and at any cost, time and again anti-Israel campaigners have fought tooth and nail to insert defamatory anti-Israel language into resolutions and bylaws of unions, NGOs, political parties and other institutions advancing unrelated progressive agendas. Time and again, this hijacking has driven more enlightened activists out of the host movement, contributing to its decline.
It’s difficult to find a progressive cause that hasn’t been compromised in some way by the so-called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, from the antiglobalization movement to the fight against sexual assault. “BDS destroys everything it touches,” observes Cornell law professor William A. Jacobson.
Gambill makes another good point. It is the cause of the Palestinians themselves that has suffered form the BDS desire to take over other movements:
Perhaps the most thoroughly wrecked, ironically, is the Palestinian cause. Having occupied the commanding heights of Middle East Studies departments in many major Western universities, anti-Zionist “progressives” have tiptoed around religious extremism, oppression of women and other social maladies in the Palestinian territories for fear of distracting attention away from Israel.
They have even been willing to ride roughshod over Palestinian artistic freedom in their zeal to defame Israel.
And then makes to connection to classical anti-Semitism:
What accounts for this extraordinary nihilism on the part of supposedly progressive BDS activists? Holding an extreme position on Israel is one thing—that can be the result of ideology, religious beliefs, ignorance or something else. Being willing to sacrifice all other causes and concerns ordinarily convergent with one’s worldview for the sake of hurting the Jewish state is something altogether different.
This unusual grade of obsessive, self-destructive antipathy is a hallmark of classical eliminationist anti-Semitism. Unlike ordinary intergroup prejudice “found in the suspicion and resentment which are often directed against neighbors of another tribe, another race, another faith, or from another place,”explains historian Bernard Lewis, anti-Semitism is a “special and peculiar hatred” that attributes to Jews “secret and diabolical power.”
Against such a perceived enemy, no sacrifice is too great. Nazi Germany’s diversion of much-needed resources in the final months of World War II from fighting the Red Army (and providing for the escape of German refugees) to exterminating more Jews makes sense only to someone who sees the latter as a cosmic evil.
Although anti-Semites often go to great pains to avoid expressing their hatred as anti-Jewish (indeed, they coined the term “anti-Semitism” itself as a politically correct euphemism for Judenhass), this unique cognitive signature is easy enough to spot—just take a measurement of what the subjects are prepared to sacrifice to harm Jews.
To date, however, mainstream liberals in America have been reluctant to call out the anti-Semites wreaking havoc within the ranks of the Left. If black lives—or socioeconomic justice, peace, women’s rights, etc.—really matter to them, why have they allowed the cancer to metastasize this long?
I hope we can have a reboot in the terminology.
Repeat after me: BDS is a Settler Colonial Ideology.DONATE
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.