The leadership of Boycott, Divest, Sanction (BDS) announced yesterday that registered BDS members would be required to wear Star of David badges whenever participating in BDS activities, including their organization meetings.
It was a move that stunned some pro-Palestinian activists and may cause some consternation worldwide if the press reports would regrettably sensationalize it.
During the deliberations of the Committee of Ten, dissenting voices objected to the idea, calling it a potentially offensive reminder of the darkest days in the history of mankind.
Supporters contended that, on the contrary, the symbol is now a badge of honor that proclaims, “This above all: Never again.” Furthermore the recent fad among the diaspora Jewish youth to have concentration camp numbers tattooed on their arms proves that sensitivities have changed from sorrow to pride.
They also pointed out the practical advantages of the badge, like the fact that, during large-assembly BDS meetings that are attended by not yet-registered BDS members, the badge would afford easy recognition of those who can be allowed to take the floor.
A Palestinian member of the BDS inquired whether the badges would all be yellow or whether non-Jews would be issued a different color Star of David, pointing out the successful similar measure adopted by Israel with different color license plates issued in the West Bank.
A prominent Palestinian BDS leader disagreed strongly with this suggestion, insisting that issuing exactly the same badge to all members was essential to symbolically expressing the indissoluble unity of purpose of all BDS members, steadfast and unflinching (“No quarter given!”) in the struggle against the biggest threat to the pro-Palestinian cause: anti-semitism.
An awkward moment occurred when a newly inducted BDS member stated that he had heard that the infamous anti-semite Gilad Atzmon had written pejoratively about the Jewish and Zionist affinity for symbols and wondered whether this new BDS measure might not unwittingly give him more fuel.
The fact that the speaker stated categorically that he had never read anything written by Atzmon and his lack of familiarity as a new member with BDS speech protocols made it easier to overlook his gaffe. Other members hastened to add that they had not read any of the writings carrying a BDS anti-semitic (AA) rating nor will they associate with those who did.
The proposal to issue yellow Star of David badges to BDS members was adopted in unanimity by the Committee, which vindicated the confidence of the BDS leadership in the commitment of its membership, since the Committee had ordered the badges in advance from a distributor in Haifa who had had them manufactured in China.
Participating by satellite in this important videoconference, a member of the British anti-anti-semitism (AAA) BDS branch also suggested that a secret BDS handshake be adopted as an additional secure measure of mutual identification among members outside the organization’s venues. The satellite signal was spotty, however, and due to the poor transmission, his demonstration of how to use the thumb of the opposing hand over the handshake to signify “6” appeared confusing to viewers. Others also expressed concern that an organization with such an open and transparent agenda as BDS might be erroneously associated with secrecy and masonic rites. This last suggestion was rejected unanimously.
All further meetings and activities were suspended pending receipt and distribution of the badges.