The big anti-Israel boycott movement “victory” in New Orleans has turned into a fiasco for BDS, because it revealed the dishonest and deceptive nature of the movement.
We have seen this movie before, particularly on campuses.
Anti-Israel activists from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement have a Plan A – to get a student council, company, university, faculty group, artist or government entity to adopt the BDS economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel. Sometimes that works, but mostly it doesn’t. The goal is not so much to actually boycott Israel, which they describe as just a “tactic,” but to demonize and dehumanize Israel. It is a goal created at the Tehran and Durban conferences in 2001, to isolate Israel and to equate it to apartheid South Africa.
This Plan A, an explicit boycott resolution, usually fails because the facts and history are not on the BDS side, and BDS increasingly is being recognized as fundamentally anti-Semitic. So BDS frequently goes to Plan B.
Plan B is to pass a resolution that does not mention Israel or a boycott explicitly, and couches its language only in fluffy “human rights” rhetoric. But the intent is to use the resolution against Israel, and Israel almost alone, and to claim a BDS victory from a generic human rights resolution. It’s a deceptive and dishonest tactic, but then again, in most situations it’s all BDS has.
And that is precisely what happened in New Orleans.
The Intercept, run by anti-Israel Glenn Greenwald and staffed by many anti-Israel writers, trumpeted a resolution passed by the New Orlean City Council, New Orleans City Council Passes Measure Pushed By BDS Activists:
NEW ORLEANS APPROVED a resolution on Thursday pledging to take steps to avoid contracting with or investing in corporations whose practices violate human rights — an initiative pushed in the council as part of the campaign to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel for its occupation of Palestinian territories. New Orleans became the first city in the South — and one of the largest in the country — to pass a resolution in accordance with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction Movement, known by its initials BDS….
Five of seven city council members, including the mayor-elect, co-sponsored the resolution, drafted by the New Orleans Palestinian Solidarity Committee, and brought it to a vote on Thursday. Palestinian Solidarity Committee organizers said one of their demands, in the wake of President Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration last year, included a human rights screening for all the city’s contracts and investments to avoid doing business with companies complicit in abuses.
Both backers and detractors agree that the movement to boycott Israel is growing….
Haaretz reported how BDS Activists Celebrate New Orleans City Council Resolution Victory:
The resolution, which passed the council unanimously with all five members present voting in support, mentions neither Israel nor the Palestinian territories.
Nevertheless, following its passage, the New Orleans Palestinian Solidarity Committee wrote on Facebook: WE WON!!! The resolution was drafted by the committee, according to The Intercept, and brought to a vote on Thursday.
The anti-Israel Electronic Intifada proclaimed the resolution a “victory” for the BDS movement:
New Orleans becomes the first major city in the US South to pass such a measure.
The resolution was drafted by members of the New Orleans Palestinian Solidarity Committee, which has organized protests and called on municipal leaders to declare New Orleans “an apartheid-free city” by banning financial ties to Israel, in accordance with the demands of the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign.
“This overwhelming support is the product of only one thing,” Max Geller of the New Orleans Palestinian Solidarity Committee told The Electronic Intifada, “and that is consistent direct action and pressure.”
“No one on the city council went out of their way to help us here – we had to push them every step of the way,” Geller said.
Max Geller, one of the people behind the resolution push, is a notorious Israel hater who was active in Northeastern Univ. Students for Justice in Palestine, which was suspended for a campaign of intimidation.
The activists were explicit in claiming that the Council passed the resolution as a stand against Israel:
One New Orleans BDS activist, Tabitha Mustafa, declared that “even though (the resolution) doesn’t have all the teeth, it proves the city council recognizes what is happening in Israel.”
Across anti-Israel social media, the New Orleans resolution was hailed as a great victory:
The BDS victory, however, was short lived, because the City Council had been duped. The political backlash was swift:
WWL-TV reported, N.O. Council members say they didn’t intend anti-Israel message:
Members of the New Orleans City Council say they want a do-over after learning they inadvertently stumbled into an international controversy last week.
The council voted 5-0 last Thursday to plan a review of the city’s contracts and investments to ensure that none of them support companies or entities that have violated human, civil or labor rights around the world.
But after belatedly realizing the resolution was part of an international movement to boycott Israel, City Council President Jason Williams and other council members say they will move to reconsider it at their next council meeting.
On its surface, the resolution looked innocuous and made no reference to any specific human rights violations. But the City Council’s public relations firm, the Spears Group, put out a summary of the council meeting Thursday that clearly stated the resolution was “in accordance with the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, also known as BDS.”
That was news to the City Council president, Jason Williams, even though he was the one who added the resolution to the council’s agenda.
“I’m sad to say I didn’t realize or know anything about the BDS movement until a friend, Harold Asher, educated me on it Friday morning and I began to do my research,” said Williams, who said Mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell had only notified him about the resolution on Jan. 10, the day before the council meeting….
Other council members joined Williams in saying they had no idea that the resolution was based on condemnation of Israel.
“I had no clue we were stepping into an international political controversy,” Susan Guidry said in an interview with WWL-TV.
Even Cantrell, who drafted the resolution as a part of her Welcoming Cities initiative, said she was baffled by its connection to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Yesterday the New Orleans City Counsel had that “do-over,” and rescinded the resolution. WWLTV reports, City Council rescinds controversial human rights resolution:
Amid dueling cries of “anti-Semitism” and “Islamophobia,” the New Orleans City Council voted 7-0 Thursday to rescind a human rights resolution it passed on a 5-0 vote just two weeks ago.
The Jan. 11 resolution, which calls for a review of contracts and investments to make sure city money doesn’t go to support human rights violations but mentions no specific groups or violators, was quickly hailed as a victory for an international movement to boycott Israel over its treatment of Palestinians.
Some of those same supporters were among more than 200 protesters who gathered inside and outside the council meeting Thursday.
After the council voted to rescind the resolution, a group of Jewish activists who had backed the original resolution began singing and held up signs reading “not in our name.”…
Tabitha Mustafa, a leader of the New Orleans Palestinian Solidarity Committee that crafted the resolution in the first place, claimed the City Council had “exceptionalized” the Jewish community.
“The resolution as written protects everyone,” she said. “There are no exceptions in the resolution.”
Mustafa falsely claimed a group of “all-white Jews” had convinced the council to undo the resolution by saying “everyone who’s from a marginalized community, every person of color doesn’t matter.”
None of the opponents of the resolution ever said that. Mustafa also blamed the rescinding of the resolution on the “Zionist lobby” and “Islamophobia.”
The Times-Picayune noted that the protesters were anti-Zionist, and were called out for their deception:
When Rabbi Ed Cohn noted that people in the audience were wearing anti-Zion T-shirts, people applauded.
Cohn was critical of the way the resolution was introduced, saying it didn’t reveal the resolution’s true intent.
The resolution “cleverly masqueraded as a high-minded civic statement designed to prevent human rights abuses,” Cohn said. “It sounded so good. It took no time, however, to see the deception.”
New Orleans has turned into a fiasco for BDS, because it revealed the dishonest and deceptive nature of the movement. They are not against “the occupation,” they are against Israel, and they will lie and cheat to reach their objective.DONATE
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