Take the fight to your enemy
Israel must always take the fight to the enemy to survive. Israel took the fight to the enemy in every war, and never hesitates to neutralize enemies whether hiding in Argentina or a five-star hotel in an Arab country. This is the road map General Moshe Dayan bequeathed: “It is not in our hands to prevent the murder of workers… and families… but it is in our hands to fix a high price for our blood, so high that the Arab community and the Arab military forces will not be willing to pay it.” When it comes to the BDS Movement, Jews treat it like a lurching work in progress. It’s time for a change.
I am distraught and dismayed at videos on Campus Watch documenting pro-Israel advocates scurrying from unruly and threatening disruptions by pro-Palestinian radicals. One of my university students tells us she transferred from UCLA fearing physical violence, academic reprisals, and intimidation from anti-Israel professors and students. The college administrations act with iniquitous noblesse oblige. It’s a stretch to point to an instance when an anti-Israel radical student has been expelled for violating the free speech and “safe harbor” of pro-Israel professors, students, and guest speakers. Hardly ever happens. Not even when their hatred morphs into clear anti-Semitic mongering.
For example, in January 2016 radicals assaulted attendees by a Jewish Israeli speaker at Kings College London. The radicals threw chairs, smashed windows, and pulled fire alarms. A female was scared and shaken by the violence she was crying and inconsolably. Some 50 people in the audience scampered away, rather than counterattacking the dozen terrorists. The viral You Tube video showing Haredim cowering from a snow/ice-ball attack by goons was demoralizing, because they did not life a finger in self-defense.
Too little but not too late
Legacy Jewish communal organizations and Israel government have skin the game, but are stuck in the lobbying mode. They do what they do best: press the flesh with politicians, hold kumbaya sensitivity confabs, and hold gala dinners. Think of college students like soldiers—they need weapons, training, financial support, leadership, and recognition. Students need some praetorian muscle, and get over the victim syndrome. The counter BDS activities are limited to four fronts.
First, there has been talk about a $50m war chest to “take on” campus-based BDS. Second, Knesset members from Foreign Affairs and Defense Committees blab about using counter-intelligence tactics to attack BDS.
Third, independents like Stand With Us are using social media in proactive ways, but it also solicits funds on social media like any other “charity” sullying the image. 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.” Yet he seemingly has no plan for a campus crusade against BDS other than to hold secret meetings and speak at donor dinners.
My decades in community organizing work including the U.S. Civil Rights Movement taught me nothing short of a mission to destroy BDS on campuses is acceptable. Concerted, threatening, rigorous and resolute actions brought down Jim Crow and freed Soviet Jews.
Lessons in power tactics
The most effective tactics are based on the willingness to appear to respond to violence with violence, and initiating retaliations against anti-Israel professors, radical students, and corporate decision makers. The medium is the message, Marshall McLuhan taught us. A fellow Chicagoan (my hometown), 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.
- Buildon a reputation of Jews as powerful, manipulative, tough (thanks to the IDF), and cunning, rather than take offense and cry foul. 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.
- Pro-Israel groupthinkmust become confrontational. Change the language, tone and tenor to mean and tough. Battling campus BDS is a political/psychological war on terror. 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
- Those days are over. Today we have a voice.”
- Finance legal actions and public relations campaignsagainst universities, school administrators, and radical advisors/professors as a tactic. Tie them up with lawsuits, and demands for policy changes. They are either threats to campus peace and pro-Israel activists, or they are collaborators with the haters and violent radicals. Challenge their non-profit tax status in court, and budgets in legislatures. Make BDS and supporters feel pain. Jews pressured the Canadian government to de-fund The Canadian Arab Federation. Demand every radical pro-Palestinian attacker who is a student be dismissed and arrested. File disturbing the peace complaints, and get court orders of protection. Picket the administration offices until they act and sue them for not protecting a campus event.
- Legacy organizations and Israel ought to pay tribute to pro-Israel activists in a more concerted way. Kudos to the students arrested a year ago September filibustering an Ohio University student senate meeting protesting the student council President’s blood bucket challenge. Kudos to the law firm representing them pro bono, but these firms should be on retainers around the world defending Israel activists. The students ought to be honored by meeting Israel’s Prime Minister and President with the same vim and vigor he glad-hands donors. They should have been flown to Israel for free for such events, and their trip publicized.
It is totally unacceptable when the 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. A flurry of complaints from thirty organizations was filed to that phatic response. 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 chose to take the matter seriously, because pro-Israel groups, alumni, donors, and students do not take legacy organizations seriously.
- It’s time for political theatre. Representatives from the thirty organizations dressed in their finest business suits and students can occupy the administration offices. They need to demand an end to anti-Semitism, including the expulsion of radical disruptive, and threatening students. Direct action by students in the antiwar and civil rights movements of the ’60s was very effective in the firings of administrators and shutting down their offices.
- Fund the training, organization, and transportation for a coordinating committee to teach the art of political theatre. 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. Send them to Luxembourg where the Cactus supermarkets and their Swedish counterparts boycott Israeli products to picket and disrupt shoppers, stockholder meetings, and at the homes of corporate executives. Use the language of war: warn women away from shopping here, especially with children in tow, because Muslims are allegedly responsible for the 300% increase in rapes of Swedish and high numbers of European women and children (according to studies reported on BBC) and these stores are not able to provide women the security they need. Manipulate perceptions and exacerbate flaws of Israel’s enemies.
Occupy washrooms. Block paths to the exits. Dawdle at refreshment bars in theatres and cashier lines in stores. Disrupt performances of plays with like The Death of Klinghoffer and harass theatre subscribers and donors. Plaster social media and wall signs with pictures of patrons at anti-Israel events.
- Adopt a zero tolerance policy. Threats and language like that at the University of Chicago will not be tolerated even one time: “Gas them, burn them and dismantle their power structure. Humanity cannot progress with the parasitic Jew.”
These are not times for borscht-belt jokesters
Always make the counterattack to BDS in language that stirs the soul. Israel protects gays. Palestinians throw you rooftops. Stop financial support to Palestinians until they stop honor killings of women, end forced marriages of girls, and stealing US donor money. Play loud music when BDS Muslim students are trying to pray. Conduct 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. Change tactics often. Be as vile as the law allows if the object is to annihilate BDS.
A rabbi to whom I sent a draft of this piece came back at me calling me no better than a Muslim thug. “We’re not like them,” he charged. 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.
We can only imagine General Dyan’s war on BDS, or the bloody hero King David, who cried “Let all my foes be shamed and utterly confounded….”
Dr. Goldmeier is recipient of the Governor’s Award (Illinois) for family investment programs in the workplace from the Com. on the Status of Women. He was a Research and Teaching Fellow at Harvard earning a doctorate. His articles appear in The Jerusalem Post, Seeking Alpha financial web site, Life in Israel, Arutz Sheva, Times of Israel, and US GreenTechnologies. Harold contributed a series of articles in the Gale Business Insights Handbook of Investment Research (2013).