Time to take off the gloves with BDS

I am distraught and dismayed at videos on Campus Watch and elsewhere, documenting Israel supporters and Jews scurrying from physical attacks by pro-Palestinian activists on university campuses and public forums. It’s time legacy Jewish organizations, their donors, and Israel government crybabies stop whining about campus hate and BDS and start acting. Better to be praetorian muscle than victims.

  • One of my university students tells us she transferred from UCLA fearing physical violence, academic reprisals, and intimidation from professors for her pro-Israel views.
  • On January 2016, Palestinian terrorists assaulted lecture attendees by a Jewish Israeli speaker at Kings College London. They threw chairs, smashed windows, and pulled fire alarms. A female reports being so scared and shaken by the violence she was crying and inconsolably. Some 50 people in the audience scattered scampering away, rather than counterattacking the dozen terrorists.
  • How sickening the video viral in the Jewish community of Haredim cowering from a snowball attack by goons without lifting a fist in self-defense.

The Diaspora attackers are fulminating lately accusing Jews of raping Palestinian women. Attacks are more frequent and violent, because no one is taking action to shut them down.

I have some suggestions for them.

BDS celebrated its ten years anniversary in July 2015. BDS is more about psychological terror than impacting Israel’s economy. Annihilate BDS not with volumes of logic, but changing perceptions by exacerbating their flaws with psychological manipulation, focus, passion, and ardor for plunder.

Counter BDS activities are heating up on four fronts.  First, Israel advocates are compiling a $50m war chest to “take on” campus-based BDS. Knesset members under guidance from leadership on the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committees are targeting BDS using counter-intelligence tactics to stop what ministers label a form of terrorism.

Third, independents like Stand With Us are using social media in proactive ways. Last, Gilad Erdan is PM Netanyahu’s sobriquet Minister of BDS. His charge is to strategize against BDS under the rubrique “public safety, strategic affairs and public diplomacy.”

My decades in community organizing work including the U.S. Civil Rights Movement taught me nothing short of a mission to destroy BDS is acceptable. Concerted, threatening, rigorous and resolute actions brought down Jim Crow and freed Soviet Jews.

The most effective tactics are political theatre, the willingness to appear to respond to violence with violence, and initiating retaliations against anti-Israel professors and corporate decision makers. The medium is the message, Marshall McLuhan taught us.

Build on a reputation of Jews as powerful, manipulative, tough (thanks to the IDF), and cunning, rather than take offense and shirk away. It is the right reputation to have in a bloody fight. It’s the appearance of power that is critical. The BDS fight needs be personal at every turn, in every location, at every level, everyday.

Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and The 48 Laws of POWER  (Robert Greene and Joost Elffers) are valuable reads that offer many more martinet strategies for annihilating BDS. Here are some other tips.

Pro-Israel groupthink must be mean and tough. Change the language, tone and tenor. Battling BDS is a political/psychological war against terror. Roundtable discussions, dinner circuit speeches, and Jews’ penchant for kumbaya shackle Israel advocates to defensive instead of proactive actions.

Think like Tony Soprano and God’s Chinese son, Hong Xiuquan. He said our enemies “ought to come kneeling” and show “the principles of true submission…conspicuous filial piety to us.” No less, PM Netanyahu said before Congress, “The days when the Jewish people are passive in the face of threats to annihilating us, those days are over. Today we have a voice.” Throw out passivism as a strategy.

Finance legal actions as a tactic. Tie up the local chapters and collaborators in court for threats to the peace, violations of university anti-race baiting rules, free speech infringements. Challenge their non-profit tax status in court. Make BDS and supporters feel pain.  Jews pressured the Canadian government to de-fund The Canadian Arab Federation. In the Kings College London case demand every violent pro-Palestinian attacker who is a student be dismissed and arrested. Picket the administration offices until they act and sue them for not protecting a campus event.

Kudos to the students arrested a year ago September filibustering an Ohio University student senate meeting protesting the president’s blood bucket challenge in support of BDS. Kudos to the law firm representing them pro bono. The students ought to have been given an honor seat at Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. How sensational for him to have welcomed them. Instead, the PM and pro-Israel groups ignore these heroes.

It is unacceptable when a University of California committee established recently to specifically evaluate and recommend antidotes for campus anti-Semitism and the delegitimizing of Israel simply issues a list of Principles Against Intolerance.

Thirty Jewish legacy communal organizations utterly failed in their efforts to get the U of C governing body and regent to take them seriously. Their walk away exacerbates the appearance of impotence and disregard for young Jews’ agenda. The aging memberships of these organizations are a telltale sign of disillusionment among young people.

The evidence presented was extensive including complaints Jewish students face like “Zionists should be sent to the gas chambers,” swastikas on walls, and a climate of harassment, intimidation, violence, and Jewish events disrupted and shut down.

The administration issued a tepid and mealy response to years of unchecked campus anti-Semitism about general intolerance on campus. Here is a perfect opportunity for the thirty groups to physically enter the administration offices demanding a specific action plan to combat anti-Semitism on U of C campuses and the firing of hateful professors. One group proposes Congress withhold federal funds from schools that do nothing. Direct action like students took in the ‘60s is more effective.

If a movement is not controversial it’s not worth the fight. Teach the art of political theatre to thousands of Israel advocacy students and professional demonstrators. Deploy them as ready-to-roll commando units flooding campuses, administration buildings, and TV news stations, students or not, on critical days like anti-Israel Apartheid Week.

Cactus is a Luxembourg based food store chain caving to months of picketing by pro-Palestinian protestors. Cactus and their Swedish counterparts boycott Israeli products. Here is where a coordinating committee can dispatch a tactical team to picket stores and the homes of corporate executives.  The message, to warn women away from shopping here, especially with children in tow, because Muslims are allegedly responsible for the 300% increase in rapes of Swedish women and the skyrocketing rate of rapes of children according to studies reported on BBC.

Manipulate perceptions and exacerbate their flaws.

Occupy washrooms; block the exits and refreshment bars in theatres performing plays with themes like The Death of Klinghoffer. Nobody cares about pickets in the streets at these events unless the faces of patrons crossing picket lines are plastered all over the media.

BDS supporters physically assaulting Jews at UC Irvine and Berkeley, U of C, and Maryland, and other universities must be punished and prosecuted. Jews must be willing to defend themselves. Demand investigations, expulsions, and firings; occupy administration offices at schools.

Demand zero tolerance where social media carry attacks like the one from someone at the University of Chicago: “Gas them, burn them and dismantle their power structure. Humanity cannot progress with the parasitic Jew.” Always make the counterattack to BDS public in language that stirs the soul.

Play loud music when BDS Muslim students are trying to pray.

Put on street theatre performances portraying the beheadings and rapes of gays and non-Muslims.

Replicate Muslim slave markets by pulling cages with girls and boys.

Train videographers to capture these actions, and share them on YouTube.

A rabbi to whom I sent a draft of this piece came back at me calling me a Muslim thug. We’re not like them. Well, we’d better learn from the best thugs how to win hearts and minds and make institutional changes or our children will not have safe campuses or a sense of their own integrity.

Change tactics often. Be as vile as the law allows if the object is to annihilate BDS.  In the words of King David, “Let all my foes be shamed and utterly confounded….”

About the Author
Dr. Harold Goldmeier is an award-winning entrepreneur receiving the Governor's Award (Illinois) for family investment programs in the workplace from the Commission on the Status of Women. He was a Research and Teaching Fellow at Harvard, worked for four Governors, and recently sold his business in Chicago. Harold is a Managing Partner of an investment firm, a business management consultant, a public speaker on business, social, and public policy issues, and taught international university students in Tel Aviv.
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