Judaism

Palestinian BDS movement: Getting a handle on a complicated story ahead of deadline

Palestinian BDS movement: Getting a handle on a complicated story ahead of deadline

So you're taking a group of art students to Paris and you want to sign them up in advance for a group tour of the Louvre.

No problem.

Unless the students are Israeli. Then, unexpectedly, the world's most visited museum is too busy to accommodate 17 more visitors. Ironically, it seems not to matter one bit that the Louvre relies on Israeli technology for its in-house security.

This incident is one of a slew of similar situations reported daily in Israeli and American Jewish media and ascribed to the impact of the Palestinian-led "Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions" movement. BDS, as it's commonly known, is designed to pressure Israel to ... well ... just what is its intent is the subject of this post.

What are BDS's tactical and strategic goals? What motivates its leaders? How do journalists keep from getting lost in the rhetoric clouding this issue?

As in most places, but perhaps even more so in the largely dysfunctional and terribly sad Middle East, the answers are highly subjective. Is BDS a nonviolent effort to help Palestinians gain an independent nation? Or is it a tactic designed to help isolate, undermine and eventually destroy Israel?

As I said, the answer depends upon the speaker. Here's a link to Wikipedia's exhaustive attempt to address the issue in an even-handed manner, -- to the degree that's actually possible.

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The inky-fingered Dawn

The inky-fingered Dawn

It is a joy and an honor to join GetReligion, as this site has done much to shape my understanding of the dynamics involved in news coverage of religious issues.

I am a very traditional religious believer with a decidedly unorthodox background. I am also a journalist. Put that together and some people think I'm controversial, especially those with long memories who remember when, as a new Christian convert, I was outspoken on issues relating to sexual morality and abortion. Nearly 10 years ago, that outspokenness -- along with an error of misplaced zeal -- lost me a newspaper job, as I'll relate here momentarily.

But here is the bottom line: having put in years in New York City newsrooms, not to mention decades as a rock music historian, I know the value of a free press, and I want to see mainstream journalists produce accurate, fair, balanced reporting on faith issues. That's why I am here at GetReligion.

New York City is in fact my birthplace (technically: Mom was rushed from New Rochelle to a Brooklyn hospital) and raised Reform Jewish -- sort of. Although I was a bat mitzvah, I was also exposed to various New Age practices after my parents' divorce, as my mother explored the Seventies religion smorgasbord.

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Forgetting the kippah or crucifix (and the second why)

All-nighters and Domino’s Pizza at the student newspaper. X-acto knives and 2-point tape. The smell of chemicals processing the film. The five Ws and the H.

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Peter Beinart and the powerful, but voiceless, Jews of Atlanta

The New York Times published an interesting story about the Atlanta Jewish Book Festival (“Jewish Book Event in Atlanta Cancels Author’s Talk on Zionism, and Uproar Follows“). It’s a great piece with the weirdest missing element. Here’s the top:

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