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Beat your chest, Dissimulate, Sermonize

A movement should not be judged solely by the motivations of its members. The pro-Palestinian movement known as BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) has a Janus face.

It includes a large number (the majority) of people animated by selfless, noble intentions, who are courageous and sincere believers that peaceful resistance methods are the only way to push Israel back/oppose its policies/make it “change its spots.” Some of them (members of ISM who also support BDS) have lost their lives for it and many of them place their lives at risk for this.

For organizations/churches/companies/unions to divest themselves of Israel-related interests is in fact a moral imperative, irrespective of whether their action does make a dent in Israeli interests or not. It is something they are morally obligated to do for themselves.

Despite the fact that some of the most ardent proponents of BDS (including a motley British mishpuchah kvetching on “greenie”‘s blog) pursue an agenda appropriately named by Gilad Atzmon “anti-zionist zionist (AZZ),” despite the clowning of one Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, superbly lampooned by David Holden, and famous for her efforts to make Israel change the labels on their oranges, despite all that …it does a soul good to see anti-Israel demonstrations in the West and protests and boycotts of Israeli emissaries, cultural or other, to see them booed.

It is definitely a selfish pleasure when you realize its lack of effect: that kind of humiliation has the opposite effect from the one intended, namely, instead of shaking the Israelis into awareness and shame, it strengthens their paranoia of eternal victims. Nevertheless, far from being an act of “vandalism” carried out by “hooligans,” it is a statement saying, “We know who you are and what you do and this is the welcome you deserve.” Such protests perhaps serve at least to educate others in the West who are ignorant of what their own governments are supporting, using their own money and perhaps to wake up some “diaspora” jews from their unquestioning support of Israel.

The other face of BDS is seen when the acronym is spelled out as “Beat your chest, Dissimulate and Sermonize, and is represented by a leadership that has shown itself to be a faithful follower of the script of Israeli interests by:

— the diligence with which they have become the helpers of Abe Foxman in “combatting anti-semitism,” declared a priority goal of pro-Palestinian activism, allegedly because of the movement’s dedicated fight against “all forms of racism and bigotry”;

— the promptness with which they condemn “violence” and “terrorism” perpetrated “by either side” (the ever present concern for “balance”) and sermonize on the nobility of “peaceful resistance”–expect quotes from Ghandi and MLK;

— their support of the “one state solution,” a goal to them, blind or willfully blind to see that one state is already a “fact on the ground”–the state for Jews, made up of three parts: the rich neighborhood (Jews) protected by one set of laws, the poor areas (Palestinians) oppressed by another set of laws, and the large prison called Gaza, the Gitmo of the ME –all one state.

It is hard to assume that the goals of these BDSers are pro-anything other than pro-themselves and their nests, which they have managed to feather with bits of straw thrown their way by pro-Israel individuals and organizations.

Yet I think that the motivations and the agendas are less relevant in judging a movement after several decades of existence, because what really counts are the results.

The results are non-existent. It is even possible that the only result is a negative one for Palestinians, feeding them false hope, encouraging them to resist “peacefully,” making them feel they “are not alone,” believing there are lots of people out there who will eventually persuade their own governments to influence the Israeli government, etc, etc. I find it amazing that in more than 60 years there have been no acts of terrorism carried out by Palestinians against the governments/interests of the big players in the West who feed and arm Israel.

BDSers often cite Rhodesia and South Africa as positive examples of apartheid regimes that fell supposedly because of the international boycotts. I used to think so too. Nothing could be further from the truth. They fell only because of the FEAR of the white minority regime of the enormous black majority who rose up in arms. Nothing but fear can make a bully back down.

Henning Mankell, who knows a thing or two about pro-Palestinian peaceful actions (he was on one of the boats trying to break the Gaza siege, was arrested, roughed up and robbed of all his possessions by the IDF) now has this to say about boycotts in his recent novel (The White Lioness, p.231):

“The Southern Rhodesia had cracked the sanctions [imposed on it by the West]. All politicians have dirty hands. Those vying for power set up and break rules according to the state of the game.

Despite the sanctions imposed by every country in the world apart from Portugal, Taiwan, Israel and South Africa, Southern Rhodesia had never run short of the goods it needed to import. Nor had their exports suffered any serious downturn. American and Soviet politicians both offered their services. The Americans, mostly senators for the South, considered it important to support the white minority government. Through an ingenious network of intermediaries, they had taken it upon themselves to lift the sanctions by backdoor methods. The Russians needed Rhodesian minerals for their industries. Soon there was nothing left but a mirage of isolation. Nevertheless, all over the world politicians continued to extol the success of their sanctions.”

Thirty years later “white South Africa, enriched by the lesson learned form its Rhodesian twin, also had many friends throughout the world, although their support was less conspicuous than what the blacks were getting.”

The fall of both regimes had nothing much to do with boycotts and everything to do with the only lever to move the white minority governments to cede power: FEAR of the black majority determined to topple them. The fear was caused by the realization that the ignorant blacks lacked schooling in peaceful resistance and did not even know the lyrics of Lennon’s ” All You Need is Love.”

“Not only have the whites been guilty of being on the offensive, but by some skilful manoeuvres, they have managed to control the responses of the blacks to the provocation. Not only have they kicked the black, but they have also told him how to react to the kick… He is now beginning to show signs that it is his right and duty to respond to the kick in the way he sees fit. — Steve Biko, freedom fighter against Apartheid, killed while under police arrest.

The tough lesson from this for Palestinians is this: You ARE alone. Due to ethnic cleansing over decades you are, unlike the blacks in South Africa, a minority in “Israel” but only if you forget the exiled Palestinians. Peaceful resistance only gives Israel more time to complete the job. Respond to the kick in the way you see fit.

The lesson from this to pro-Palestinian activists is this: the Palestinians do not need lectures about Ghandi. They only need material support. If a case is being made over and over about the need to give the Syrian “rebels” “humanitarian assistance” surely you, brave leaders of the pro-Palestinian movement, can make a case of the need to give Palestinians the same kind of “humanitarian materials” to defend themselves.

Leave the fight against “anti-semitism” to Abe Foxman: he needs no help. Stop being kappos in the pro-Palestinian movement and useless noise makers.

27 Responses to Beat your chest, Dissimulate, Sermonize

  1. Roy Bard October 16, 2012 at 11:45 pm #

    Thank you for that – a riveting read 🙂

    I’d have been tempted to go for Bully, Dissimilate and Sermonise.

    • Ariadna Theokopoulos October 17, 2012 at 1:36 am #

      Yes, I like your “Bully” better but now that I have the illustration in the middle of page I think “Beat your chest” goes perfectly with it, don’t you think?

      • Roy Bard October 17, 2012 at 1:50 am #

        Yes, the graphic depicts it well 🙂

      • Roy Bard October 17, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

        Talking about bullying – I just found this gem on the Meanswine blog

        So with the ‘deliberation’ crew they’re just letting their swastika flag fly. They’re Jew-haters and proud of it. And Roy Bard, who turns out in the event to be a mingy little Jew-hater, is happy to lead the parade.

        If ‘anonymous’ says stuffs on the internets it must be true, right?

        • Ariadna Theokopoulos October 17, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

          I went to the site to check up on your quote. In the interest of objectivity I have to note that:
          On the one hand, the comments on Little greenie’s blog did make me fully understand the meaning of this phrase:
          “Little green men is the stereotypical portrayal of extraterrestrials as little humanoid – like creatures with green skin and sometimes with antennae on their heads.” (wikipedia)
          On the other hand, however, by giving a truncated quote, you are not giving a fair picture of LG and his little green men. There are among those comments some poignantly candid expressions of self-awareness.
          This is, I am sure, a description of BDS:
          “its ideology becomes considerably more extreme, as they no longer have to try to appear rational to the larger group.”

          And this is a frank admission by LG of his limitations:
          “I barely read, still less, analyse”
          And what I read into this:
          “So with the ‘deliberation’ crew they’re just letting their swastika flag fly.”
          is some sort of personal anxiety over his fly flagging.

  2. Roger Tucker October 17, 2012 at 12:16 am #

    The smooth, dapper and politically correct Ali Abunimah has made an AZZ of himself again. He appears to have forgotten the rallying cry of the authentic voices of the Palestinian Solidarity movement, of whatever identity group (or, preferably, none at all) – “We Are All Palestinians!”

    I’m sure his letter was as well received by the ‘progressive’ Jewish minders of the PSC groups in the West as was his recent deplorable Open Letter excommunicating Atzmon. Incompetent, counter-productive and even traitorous leadership has bedeviled the Palestinians for 60 years, and this pious, PC and hypocritical letter is consistent with that lamentable history.

  3. Blake October 17, 2012 at 12:24 am #

    The obvious, and just, outcome will be a 1SS.

    • Roy Bard October 17, 2012 at 12:36 am #

      Can you think of a state that is just?

  4. Jonathon Blakeley October 17, 2012 at 7:43 am #

    Notice how the Janus Abunimah has no ears so he does not need to listen just talk.

    • Ariadna Theokopoulos October 17, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

      He does not need ears; indeed, if he had them he might hear something he is not supposed to. But I spotted the button at the top of his head (hidden in that hair tuft) through which he uploads the necessary and sufficient kosher info he receives.
      I wonder if he has uploaded the smear on Ken O’Keefe yet, now declared a “white supremacist.”
      Little greenie has been busy excreting it:
      “Anyone seriously interested in Palestine Solidarity should shun the man like the plague. He is only of interest as an object of curiosity.”
      Little greenie has been trying to slime his way up Ken’s pant leg but, although prolific, his salivary glands are tiny. The help of almost-Palestinians will be required.

  5. Jay Knott October 17, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    Brilliant, incisive, sarcastic Ariadna; but I have one quibble:

    “BDSers often cite Rhodesia and South Africa as positive examples of apartheid regimes that fell supposedly because of the international boycotts. I used to think so too. Nothing could be further from the truth. They fell only because of the FEAR of the white minority regime of the enormous black majority who rose up in arms.”

    I’m the opposite. I used to think it was ‘the struggle’ that brought down apartheid. But the black people’s struggle in SA was mostly recuperated by Winnie Mandela and her thugs. Youth who joined the ANC were sent off to fight for Russian interests further north.

    I think international boycotts, pressure from the major Western countries, were more important than you do. It’s very difficult for non-South Africans to understand how important the sport boycotts were.

    If I’m right, this has significance for the struggle against Jewish apartheid. Turning the major Western countries against Israel and persuading their governments to follow their national interests is the key. This is the exact opposite of the left-wing ‘anti-imperialist’ politics which dominates Palestine solidarity, and is part of why it has been so unsuccessful.

    Mr Bard may of course have something to say about this…

    • Ariadna Theokopoulos October 17, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

      “Turning the major Western countries against Israel and persuading their governments to follow their national interests is the key.”

      Of course, the key is “persuading” them. I say dialog, peaceful dialog, what do you say?

    • Roy Bard October 17, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

      JayK: “I think international boycotts, pressure from the major Western countries, were more important than you do. ”

      My understanding is that the deliberate attempt to make the country ungovernable from within is what pushed the ruling class into looking for a way out. All those who negotiated on behalf of the ANC seem to have done very well for themselves….. The sport boycott pissed off the privileged for sure, but they weren’t really running things and in any case there were still tours by teams and artists who insisted that their pursuits weren’t political – especially once the casinos opened in the so-called ‘independent Bantustans’.

      “jayK: “Turning the major Western countries against Israel and persuading their governments to follow their national interests is the key.”

      With 80% of Tory MPs being friends of Israel it may take a while. Especially with the discourse being controlled so tightly from within and without. And I should imagine the Zionists would resist. So, any ideas on how this can happen?

      • Jay Knott October 18, 2012 at 12:09 am #

        In the USA, it’s simple. Libertarians like Ron Paul are the Palestinians’ best friends. How to actually put the patriots in power, I don’t know, but I have a dream of convoys of pickups converging on the Israeli-occupied territories from all over the country.

        In European countries, first off, Palestine solidarity must lose its leftist character. Anti-imperialism and anti-racism are worse than useless. A real Palestine solidarity movement would actively defend the freedom of speech of ‘holocaust deniers’, for example.

        Statements like “no room for racism” – – and so on – are diversions for Palestine solidarity, which is about overcoming Jewish power. What you think about other issues is irrelevant. Except, maybe, you must be neutral on World War II.

  6. Jay Knott October 17, 2012 at 6:27 pm #

    Another small point – Ariadna quotes Steve Biko, the founder of the ‘black consciousness’ movement in SA. One of his insights (and others like him in the USA) was than black people had ‘internalized’ the racism of their oppressor. He advocated losing that inferiority concept, and being proud to be black.

    What would be the equivalent today in Jewish-dominated Western countries – ‘goy consciousness’ perhaps?

    • Jonathon Blakeley October 17, 2012 at 7:26 pm #


    • Ariadna Theokopoulos October 17, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

      “Another small point..”
      Don’t think that the modesty of the word “another” (yet another, all small..) goes by me unappreciated. I put a plus in the rubric I keep on you.

  7. David Holden October 17, 2012 at 8:46 pm #

    Kevin Barrett:

    When the Israel lobby front group the ADL smeared me recently, for the second time, as an “anti-Semite,” they did not even try to argue that I harbor any prejudice toward ordinary Jews, or towards Jews as Jews. Instead, they say (correctly) that I argue that the destabilization of Syria serves the interests of Zionism, that I am a critic of pro-Israel forces, that I argue that 9/11 was a coup d’état by a pro-Israel faction of the US government, and so on. In other words, they are trying to suppress my dangerous ideas, which happen to be true, by “skunking” them with the emotionally-repugnant odor of racism.

    And they are trying to suppress Press TV, not because it focuses exclusively on these dangerous ideas, but because it allows them to be heard alongside other, competing viewpoints. The witch-hunters know they can’t win a debate against Eustace Mullins’ views of the Zionist international banking cabal, or my arguments about 9/11. Their only hope is to completely suppress such viewpoints, stigmatize them, paralyze people’s brains so they can’t even entertain such ideas.

    That is their dirty little secret: By stigmatizing the work of Press TV, Eustace Mullins, and 9/11 truth supporters like me, the witch-hunters are not protecting ordinary Jews from racism. Instead, they are protecting the interests of the Zionist bankster cabal, by using deep-seated emotional conditioning – Pavlovian aversion therapy – to suppress free thought and critical inquiry, to suppress the truth about what Israel really is.

    And they need to keep suppressing the truth about the banksters for the same reason they need to keep suppressing the truth about 9/11. Such truths threaten to undermine the US and Western support that props up both Israel and the bankster mob that owns and runs it…the same Israel-obsessed mob that has dominated the US since the Federal Reserve coup d’état of 1913, and completely controlled it since the coup d’état of September 11th, 2001.

  8. who_me October 18, 2012 at 2:51 am #

    i never realised abuminah had such a low forehead. evolutionary throwback? cant be room for much more than a homo erectus brain in that thing.

    (for the rightwingers observing and commenting, homo erectus is not that ideal date you’ve been hoping for. well, unless you are into fossil boning… ;D )

  9. Lasse Wilhelmson October 18, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    Gilad Atzmon wrote about Dror Feiler as the man behind the efforts to cleance Estelle Ship to Gaza from Greta Berlin and Ann Wright

    If you want to know more about theese Jewish marxists from Sweden who is trying to control Ship to Gaza, with some help from the Sabbatj Goy Abunimah et alt go to the article that earlier was posted on deLib

    That said, I think that the BDS-movement can be a strong weapon, but mostly politically.

  10. who_me October 20, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    mondozionazi hits a new low, again:

    bekah wolf can now be added to the list of those now known to be covert zionazi operatives.

    • Roy Bard October 20, 2012 at 6:54 pm #

      Bekah Wolf is a Jewish-American originally from Santa Fe, NM who was an active member of her local synagogue growing up and first visited Palestine as part of a Zionist youth trip in 1998.

      Although Bekah has Israeli citizenship, Because of Israel’s laws against Family Reunification Bekah’s husband is not allowed to live with his family inside Israel. Since the birth of Rafeef, Bekah splits her time between the United States and Palestine.

      Bekah wolf

      So, she has taken Israeli citizenship and yet in her attack on Greta she says:

      Every time a Palestine solidarity activist takes on the issue of Holocaust and its connections to Zionism, every time they conflate Judaism with Zionism, they are making an inherently Zionist argument. The horrific historical reality of the Holocaust does not, and never can, trivialize or justify the dispossession and suffering of the Palestinian people. But Greta and others, by insisting on making such topics a primary concern are tacitly conceding a key Zionist claim that the legitimacy of Zionism and its past and present deeds in Palestine stems from the Holocaust.

      So, how does a “Jewish-American” acquire Israeli citizenship without “tacitly conceding a key Zionist claim”?

      Who is conflating Judaism with Zionism here?

      • who_me October 20, 2012 at 8:16 pm #

        it’s the standard hypocrisy and dishonesty of that bigoted tribal mentality. an american jew getting israeli citizenship is a zionazi. pure and simple. the difference between a bekah wolf and a kahane is one of honesty, mostly.

        • Roy Bard October 20, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

          She seems to have set up an NGO* which seemingly supports the two state solution but doesn’t make it clear.

          Points of Unity

          1. All Palestinians have an absolute right to control their own lives economically, politically, and socially.

          Sounds good. Maybe one day Palestinians will fight for the same rights for us :-p

          * The NGO was set up 1n 2006, the same year Bekah moved into the village, and the American branch is in New Mexico.

  11. Roy Bard October 20, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    We are not a ‘solidarity’ movement anymore, for we have become foreign to the notion of solidarity as well as empathy.


    • who_me October 20, 2012 at 11:29 pm #

      good to see dissident voice holding up. not many sites left that have not bought into the shekel or dollar hierarchy. i agree with atzmon, that these persecutions are an attempt by jewish zionists to destroy the palestinian solidarity movement.

      this is why jewish people should be treated with the same, how to say, healthy skepticism, that one should treat white supremacist far righties who claim they support palestinian human rights.