Monday, March 11, 2013

A Fond Farewell to Divest This!

Mike L.

Among the venues that I tend to read on a regular basis, as I ponder the ongoing Nazi-like racist siege of the tiny Jewish minority in the Middle East by the vast Arab-Muslim majority, is Jon Haber's Divest This! blog.

It is with considerable regret that I wish to inform my readers that Jon has decided to allow Divest This! to go fallow.  For those of you unfamiliar with Jon's work I would encourage you go over there and read some of his analyses of the BDS movement.  Jon's thinking tends to be a bit more optimistic than my own.  He also has a way of sticking very closely to the comings and goings of the BDS movement... as it slithered hither and thither... and then every once in awhile bust out into very interesting philosophical-political musings on the larger genocidal effort against us and on the larger topic of what we might call the "cognitive war."

He writes:
Having written close to half a million words on the subject of BDS over the last four years, it was nice to discover a graphic (actually the Google mashup Barbara pointed us towards) that so nicely sums up one of the key messages of Divest This: the utter failure of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions “movement” to achieve anything even closely resembling its goals.
Jon followed the dingbatish efforts by anti-Semitic anti-Zionists and Israel Haters to get various institutions, including universities, religious groups, and co-ops, to either divest from Israel or to harass retail outfits into stop selling things like the Sodastream make-your-own-soda thingy or Ahava personal body goop from the Dead Sea.

He often analyzed how the Israel Haters would claim defeat as victory even as people would charge into the stores to gobble up Israeli products precisely because anti-Semitic anti-Zionists were encouraging people not to. He notes:
And speaking of popularity, the common wisdom is that BDS and similar de-legitimziation campaigns really don’t care about what they achieve practically, as long as they are introducing a steady drip of propaganda into the bloodstream of the body politic (especially among the young). Yet as this recent story shows, Israel’s popularity continues to hang in that 60-70% approval rating amongst Americans, a figure that doesn’t seem to have moved despite decades of propaganda aimed at smearing the Jewish state.
One thing is certain, Divest This! will very much be missed.

Jon writes:
Since we are not responsible for the beginning and continuation of this war, we have no ability to make it stop. But we can do our part to ensure such aggression continues to fail in hope that the aggressors finally come to their senses and begin to work for the betterment of their people, rather than enforce their continued suffering.
And amen to that.


  1. "And speaking of popularity, the common wisdom is that BDS and similar de-legitimziation campaigns really don’t care about what they achieve practically, as long as they are introducing a steady drip of propaganda into the bloodstream of the body politic (especially among the young). "

    This is absolutely true. Just this month, UC Riverside and UC San Diego are being dragged through a divestmtnt campaign, in spite its denouncement by the UC Regents:

    "In 2005, the Regents stated that a policy of divestment from a foreign government shall be adopted by the University only when the United States government declares that a foreign regime is committing acts of genocide. It was also noted at the time that divestment is a serious decision that should be rarely pursued.”

    The UC's are being dragged through an expensive time-consuming divisive fight for absolutely no reason. And the BDS holes simply dont care

  2. Nice to see a tribute to Jon's work, which in my opinion was probably rather under-acknowledged in the pro-Israel blogosphere, despite being some of the highest-quality writing and analysis anywhere out there.

    The site will remain up, however, and it will continue to be the fantastic resource it is.

    As I noted there, I will greatly miss that place as well, as it was the first pro-Israel blog I began participating on. Right along with IT and EoZ, it became one of my... Big Three(?)... daily reads, even though I knew Jon only posted twice a week or so at the end. I always checked every day, regardless, just in case. Also, for the comments, which were generally head and shoulders above any ole' average blog's community aspect.

    Even the BDSers there were useful, as far as demonstrating their tactics went, and of course for Jon's (and others) calm and rational, yet often devastating, dismantling of same.

    1. Not much of a tribute, really, Jay.

      More a simple acknowledgement of a well-respected man.

    2. Well then consider my comment a pseudo-tribute, then! ;)

  3. I think it may be time for me to take a break as well.

    1. Well, I'm sorry to hear that, Geoffff.

      I think that pro-Israel / pro-Jewish advocacy can be highly taxing on a person because you have to face just how much violent hatred infests the Arab-Muslim world toward the Jewish people, and thus toward oneself.

      Furthermore, you have to face the fact that the flames of this hatred are fanned by the very people around you within progressive-left western circles.

      I mean, how depressing is this?

      Much of the Arab and Muslim worlds scream for Jewish blood in the most outrageous manner possible, yet the the "enlightened" west blames the Jews for the hatred toward them.

      It's just demoralizing, isn't it?

      Speaking for myself, tho, I have no intention whatsoever of shutting up. And I bet that you don't, either.

      Now is the time for Jewish people to stand up for themselves.

    2. I just need a rest from it every now and again for the sake of my mental health. Sometimes I dry up. This is part of the reason I admire people like you and Daphne Anson.

      It can be exhausting and I know the signs. My blog is only a year old but I've been "blogging" around the traps for almost ten years.

      I'll be back. I think we do make a difference.

    3. It's having the time also, to do it right.

      I see so many things that I want to post about, but then it ends up taking so long to prepare, for a slow one like me.

      You mentioned the people that fan the flames that cook red meat. They are a lost cause. There are others less active that only smell the aroma and accept it because the activists know best. The object is to get those less active to come to repudiate the activists. If this makes any sense.

      How to break in to the echo chamber that most progressives are inside, in a way that is receptive, not overly confrontational. Because the activists can step in and create silence with their tactics.

      I try to be a little less harsh on progressives who are trying to understand many issues in the echo chamber, and this is a small one to non-Jews, truth be told. These people, though many claim to be "educated" by comparison to others, are largely ignorant to history and reality, and closed to discovering alternative views according to who the messenger is. What a silly approach to solving complex problems, but a testament to what society has become, here and elsewhere.

      It is not just Jews that must stand up. Those who believe in Western values must also stand up. These values have served humanity well. Though imperfect, there is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, we should be proud of the accomplishments, particularly in the face of those who wish to change it for something less free.


    4. Take care, and we'll see you when you get back geoffff!

      I was getting burned out a few months ago and was gonna 'retire' for good, myself, but then I got a, well, not really a 'second wind,' but a certain other kind of inspiration to keep going. And like Mike, I do not plan to ever shut up now, either. For better or worse! ;)

      Whenever I need a recharge, I head to my food / architecture / urban planning / active transportation advocacy blogs and whatnot. I've seen debates on, say, which transit modes are best for a situation, get pretty heated, but of course nowhere near what we experience on our topic. And at least discussions of BRT vs. light rail on any given line don't inevitably end up awash in antisemitism...