Academic boycott and divestment resolutions against Israel have become a regular feature of the weekly news cycle. From the ASA academic boycott last February through the gut wrenching UCLA divestment debate (failed) to this week’s Loyola divestment resolution (passed) to the U of Michigan’s divestment resolution (tabled).
For the motley coalition of Islamist and leftist radicals there is no end game other than the destruction of the Jewish state. Every single divestment defeat or victory is merely a stepping stone to the next campaign. Pro-Israel students and their allies are outnumbered and understandably exhausted; condemned, as they are, to a perpetual game of whack-a-mole.
Anti-Israel radicals are motivated and single minded, they eat drink and sleep their cause. On the other hand, the vast majority of well, everybody else just want to live their lives, pass their courses and enjoy the college experience.
Thus Israel’s opponents control the playing field, it is they who decide the location, strategy and timing of the next attack. All that the Jewish State’s defenders can do is play defense on their enemies terms. This strategy is unsustainable, unnecessary and foolish. The first rule of any game is that the best defense is a good offense. It is time to start winning.
Israel’s opponents present themselves as human rights warriors, presenting the various student councils and senates with a list of violations and crimes supposedly committed by the Jewish state. It is no doubt difficult for an idealistic student senator to ignore such accusations or to disregard the proposed remedy. Israel’s defenders retort that Israel is a human rights beacon in a region, nay a world of gross violators. But guess what? Nobody is presenting the student government with divestment and boycott resolutions against real rogue nations like China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Syria, Iran, Eritrea, North Korea, Sudan and so on.
In order to defeat the divestment movement, Israel’s defenders must become sincere advocates and activists for global human rights. Victims of these brutal regimes deserve to have their stories told, corporations that benefit deserve to be called out. Should any student government decline to entertain divestment motions against true human rights offenders, their hypocrisy will be laid bare. On the other hand voting on and perhaps even the passing of such resolutions will shine a light on the horrific human rights records of much of the nations of the world.
Ultimately the inundation of student governments with a flood of truly deserving targets for sanction will force student governing bodies to take pause, rethink their priorities and consider whether their mission, purpose and time might be better spent a little closer to home.
Michael is a dedicated family man, he likes the Beatles, spaghetti and a good nap.
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