Bullying, Demonization and Slander are the defining tactics of the BDS movement. In the Bay area, with its dubious distinction of being a "hub of de-legitimization" of Israel we see this clearly. Stores have been picketed, windows have been smashed, trash cans set on fire. Not only Israeli products, but kosher products have been routinely targeted and vandalized. Currently, a beloved community institution, family run Cliff's variety store in the Castro district of San Francisco is the object du jour of the BDS'ers wrath. The bullying of Cliff's reached a crescendo Christmas eve, with boycotters invading the store and allegedly biting a store employee. After all, to the BSD'ers, "justice" is a distilled and sanitized form of revenge, not a higher calling.
Whats an activist to do, when faced with the ugliness of the BDS movement and the brown-shirt tactics of their "peace activists"?
When faced with darkness, we increase the light. When faced with hate, we respond with love. Feb 10 was scheduled as a Love-in for Cliff's Variety Store. People began gathering in line in front of this 75 year old neighborhood institution an hour before the store opened. The plan was simple- to engage in economic activism ourselves- to show Cliff that the community supported their decision to continue selling the products that people wanted to buy. By 11:00, dozens of shoppers had showed up. The elated reaction from store employees and management, and the smiles from the activists were proof enough that we had made the right decision.
This was, I thought, a very pleasant way of dealing with the BDS movement. We all signed a huge card and presented it to the store employees, thanking them for their friendship and support. We came in as a group and just went about shopping. The reason that the Cliff's employees were exceedingly friendly toward us is because, unlike the BDS people who were rude and disruptive, if not violent, we were nice with them and purchased goods.
Although I have to say that Laurie and I did not pick up a sodastream unit because we had many other things on our list that took priority, but we'll get one of those sooner or later. This needs to be one of our tactics going forward. Wherever BDS rears its ugly head we should show up and buy stuff.
They call it the Buycott and I think it's a splendid idea.
By the way, if you look at the photo embedded within the text above you will see me. I am the guy in the UCONN sweatshirt with the bright white lettering toward the left of the page. (That's just a heads-up to my friends in the Taliban.)
Many thanks to the organizers of this event including Dusty and, I suspect, Dr.Mike.