The question of class is a fascinating one, especially in Britain. Theories are ten-a-penny in determining whether the issue of class still abounds in these isles, or not. Perhaps we shall never have an answer for that. Whether the class issue still exists for Britain or not, one’s position in society could be seen as a factor in determining the receptiveness to a person to the likes of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Observations can be invaluable in cases like these. Yet one must also be aware of exceptions, which, of course, are worthy of address, particularly with the issue of British class!
These observations are garnered from events outside Ecostream, the Israeli-based shop, which is the latest target of the Brighton BDS:
Businessmen/Capitalists and more wealthy citizens are mostly not interested in the BDS, even if they take a leaflet thrust in their faces by BDS members, as it seems they do not see Israel to be a “threat” enough to warrant joining weekly (or daily) screeching sessions outside Israeli-based shops, and waving anti-Israel placards and leaflets.
An example is where the BDS tried to lead a campaign in one of the surrounding conservative, middle-class towns, by trying to persuade people to boycott Israeli water meters, which was a resounding failure.
Reasons for Businessmen/Capitalist’s general disinterest in BDS may include:
1.) They may see Israel as a successful hub of innovation, and thereby a viable business partner. Travel and exposure to Israel may play a part in showing the truth of the situation out there.
2.) The more wealthy, or even the Right-wing members of the public may not be interested in fringe politics such as “extreme” action such as boycotts, as they may consider getting on with their lives, and focusing on matters pertaining to the European Union, etc., or Britain’s allies, may be more of an interest to them.
3.) Capitalism and the theme of Right-wing-ism are often associated. BDS may be seem as a Leftist fringe/extreme movement, which may turn off more Right-leaning traditionalists.
Exceptions may include: Middle class Leftists, who have been brought up/converted to the BDS cause.
Working class and the unemployed/poorly paid: these are the ones who seem more likely to feel (or are told they should have) some sort of solidarity with other apparent oppressed “underdogs”.
If one is disaffected with their own government, and is told of supposed oppression abroad, a person may be particularly drawn to active politics on behalf of those people, with the idea of “liberating” them.
Exceptions may include: Some working working-class unemployed/poorly paid members of far-Right groups who will seemingly link Right-wingism/Traditionalism with Zionism, and will unfurl an Israeli flag during their demonstrations, along with other apparent nationalist flags.
There may be many more reasons and suppositions, but it does seem in general (see exceptions referenced above) that those who are discontented, or feel oppressed by the government appear to be more receptive to the BDS.
Those not in those situations above do not appear to respond in the same fashion to the BDS as their disgruntled counterparts.
So then, does class /position in society have a part to play in the response to the BDS?
If this is true, then one must also look at how the public responds to us.
We have a fairly diverse range of supporters from all over society.
Does truth have a class?
It’s my belief that it doesn’t!