Tuesday, August 10, 2010

American Friends Service Committee-- We Support BDS But We're Not Anti-Israel

As any reader of this and similar sites is certainly aware, BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) is simply the latest venture of The People Who Hate Israel. The fact that it's packaged in soft pastel colors and bedecked with the flowery language of human rights can't hide the stink that emanates from its core-- the insistence on the elimination of the Jewish state of Israel as a precondition to the exercise of Palestinian national rights. Nothing different than what the PLO was promoting in 1964 (when the West Bank was occupied by Jordan and Gaza by the Egyptians, occupations that did not arouse the ire of the international human rights community). Nothing different than what Hamas and its Iranian masters suggest, though certainly without the more bloodthirsty aspects of their rhetoric.

Some organizations try to straddle the line of this, and claim that they support BDS but aren't really anti-Israel. The American Friends Service Committee office in San Francisco is trying to peddle this line; its director, Allan Solomonow, still publicly denies that AFSC is anti-Israel (see the last letter in the July 29 edition of J Weekly, the Jewish community newspaper in San Francisco).

Yet the Pacific Mountain Region of AFSC (which includes the San Francisco office) has publicly attached its name to a flyer supporting BDS , and in private correspondence with Mr. Solomonow he has consistently refused to dissociate himself and his office from that flyer (though he did state that the national AFSC has not yet taken a position on BDS). If I have misinterpreted our exchange of e-mails, I invite Mr. Solomonow to post a response here.

Proponents of BDS are busily trying to promote the fiction that they aren't anti-Israel (though I have yet to read the "some of my best friends are Israeli" line). Over at DivestThis! one can read comments from some who support the boycott recently enacted by the Olympia Food Cooperative who strongly deny that they, or the boycott movement itself, are anti-Israel-- in fact they consistently claim that they support "peace". Yet none of them suggest in any way that their vision of "peace" would be one between a Jewish state of Israel and its Arab neighbors. And the principal spokespeople for the BDS movement are very, very clear that this is NOT what they are promoting:

BDS is just the same old hate in a new package. Confront those who are selling it and make them reveal what's inside.


  1. The AFSC has used its San Francisco Offices for BDS organizing meetings, and regularly stands side by side with the worst haters locally . (Didn't they just co-sponsor last nights little hate-fest with Paul Larudee in Berkeley? ) Who do they think they are they fooling?

  2. The same in Boston. Both the national AFSC and individual 'Friends' meetings host BDS organizing meetings, then claim they're not responsible because a "subcommittee" or "different organization" put on the presentation. The leader of one such meeting told me that he knew they weren't antisemitic because "Jewish Quaker" members had told him so! At least one AFSC office (unclear whether it was local or national) publicly stated it was anti-Zionist.

    I was verbally and physically (had papers snatched from my hands, I grabbed them back) attacked by "Friends" rights outside their meetinghouse after an anti-Israel event. Not a single "Friend" came to my aid or indicated in any way that antisemitic slurs was inappropriate. They may claim to be 'peaceful' and 'tolerant', but scratch the surface and many if not most have attitudes right on par to the neo-Nazi movement.