Soon, on November 8 to be exact, GA2015 will convene. One of the sessions is interesting:
What are real action steps for talking about Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) in a constructive way in your community? The Israel Action Network [IAN] is back, reprising their standing-room-only session from the 2014 GA in this interactive workshop designed to help participants gain insight into messaging and outreach strategies.
I checked the list of speakers. I see MK Isaac Herzog of Israel's Labour Party. And Rabbi David Saperstein of the Reform Movement who was quoted saying:
if Israel is going to succeed in defeating the delegitimization campaign, “we have to distinguish between delegitimization and BDS under any circumstances.” Not distinguishing between the Israeli artists’ boycott of a new theater in the Ariel settlement and boycotts on goods made in the West Bank, and calling Israel an apartheid state, means “we’re running out of the community millions of Israel’s avid supporters,”
I checked the staff of IAN. I am unsettled even if I haven't checked all the backgrounds and ideological stands of all the speakers.
BDS stems from false claims regarding Israel's administration of and the residency of Jews in the area of the Jewish people's historic homeland - Judea and Samaria - in connection with issues of legal rights, behavior, cultural and archaeological preservation, terror, human rights and civil liberties.
One very good way to confront BDS, especially when discussing matters with a home town base, such as those to be gathered at the GA, is to meet with, talk to and get to know in depth the Jews who are the 'guilty' parties, as it were. We revenant Jews who have returned to our patrimony, who raise our children here, who grow agriculture products, who produce wines, who develop outstanding technological industries, who have established a successful university (with local Arab residents as students in addition to Israeli Arabs) and much more more have much to relay.
How can one deal adequately with such an issue, which outrageoulsy and falsely calls Israel an "apartheid state", without, at the very least, getting to meet the people who are blamed for the situation they are trying to confront? Is that a logical programming decision?
We residents of Yesha are not the devil. In fact, I know that many participants are sympathetic to our cause and many more, if given the information and the opportunity to actuall meet someone from 'across the Green Line', would not be uncomfortable with thinking he/she was defending something that shouldn't be receiving such assistance.
Will there be a reconsideration at the higher echelons of the GA staff and management?^