Stand With Us Flyer Seen in Downtown Olympia

[update, 29 July '10: I saw the flyer in the stairwell of The Martin apartment building, in the early evening hours of Saturday 24 July. original photo of the flyer posted in comments below]

I was recently disturbed when I saw an anti-BDS (boycott divestment sanctions) flyer in an apartment building in downtown Olympia.

The statements and accusations on this flyer were very hurtful to me, and I am not even Palestinian or Arab. But I am someone who supports BDS. The flyer was produced by Stand With Us, an organization with a questionable reputation.

For example, members and associates of Stand With Us have been observed engaging in hateful behavior. See this video on Jewish Voice for Peace blog, Muzzlewatch, here.

This flyer was disturbing to me in a number of ways, for a number of reasons. Among those reasons: it called BDS "biased, dishonest and self-defeating." Then listed a bunch of statements, for example to paraphrase some of the highlights:

It alleges that BDS seeks to demonize Israel. That is questionable at best! And I believe that is simply not true. BDS does not seek to demonize Israel, but instead seeks to pressure Israel to change its policies toward Palestine (which in turn would actually work to the real world benefit of Israelis, who also suffer because of the anti-human policies of their government.)

It says that BDS ignores terrorism. When in fact, BDS is one of the greatest ways to combat terrorism—because BDS gives people an opportunity to resist nonviolently.

And as far as terrorism goes, maybe a good question to ask is: which came first, terrorism—or occupation and oppression? And doesn't it seem possible that terrorism against Israel might be the product of a resistance movement that is so economically repressed and oppressed that people are desperate and maybe feeling that there are no other viable methods of resistance...

Those are just a couple of examples. The whole flyer is rife with statements which seem to obfuscate reality—ideas that fly in the face of basic common sense, ideas that go against rational thought. (Unless you think Palestinians deserve to be treated as second-class citizens.)

I believe that the organization Stand With Us is essentially destructive to the cause of reconciliation and a truly just and mutually beneficial peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

I allege that SWU, at least as far as this flyer goes, engages in obfuscation and defamation. The very same activities which it purports to be against. It's straight out of a play book that may have been derived from Orwell's 1984. And I think it smells like Karl Rove.

I allege that SWU propagates fear, distrust, hate, and prejudicial attitudes toward Arabs and Palestinians. I allege that efforts by SWU amount to racism against Arabs and Palestinians.

You can see a photo of the flyer—although please be warned that you, like me, might find this to be disturbing material. It's here.

I am deeply concerned that this type of information is circulating locally, and affecting people's thinking about the boycott.


Peace is Possible!

Yours Truly,
Berd

In front of the Olympia Food Co-op Eastside Location Friday 23 July 2010
In front of the Olympia Food Co-op Eastside Location Friday 23 July 2010

Comments

Boo hoo

Berd – As someone who spends as much time as you do declaring Israelis to be racist murderers and implying that those who do not support the co-op’s boycott (including increasing numbers of members) are apologists for racist murderers, I find it a little odd that you become such a fragile flower simply because StandWithUs (or anyone else) dares distribute a flier that disagrees with your position.

 

It’s also interesting to see celebrations of outside intervention supporting your position coming out of one side of your mouth, with condemnations of outsiders who criticize the boycott decision coming out of the other.

 

Simply put, the co-op did the wrong thing as increasing numbers of members are pointing out.  This has nothing to do with people like Tutu or StandWithUs (or me for that matter) criticizing this decision from the outside.  It has to do with the fact that the co-op has done something bad and insensitive, something the board itself seems to be increasingly aware of lately.

Berd makes every

political position personal and an affront to his advanced sense of morality. Kinda like Fascists do.

No, I did not call Berd a Fascist. I simply remarked the politics of emotion are Fundamentalist regardless of ideology .

Politics of Intimidation, Fear and Manipulation

Jon, I disagree with you, and I think you are manipulating people's fears with your website. I think that's what Stand With Us is doing to.

The Board decision to boycott was correct, quite simply because what Israel is doing to Palestinians IS NOT okay.

Israel needs to change, but due to its current relationship with the US gov't, that is not going to happen unless NGOs and grassroots activists change.

Jon, it seems like there is a lot we disagree about. Like the fact that Palestinians are oppressed—subjugated by Israel. And the fact that the situation in Israel (like the USA) is unacceptable, because it is hurting people.

Jon, are you planning to attend the Co-op member forum? I would love to meet you in person, because I think we could have a better conversation that way.

May peace be with you, Jon.

Sincerely,

Berd


Peace is Possible!

flyer

You can see this larger, so it's readable, in the original post, above. The version below gives some context, and shows the red paint and tack-board inside the Martin. Stand With Us Anti-BDS Flyer

Since I am unable to send a

Since I am unable to send a private message I will post this here.

 

Berd,

Please don't abuse your access privileges and send any further e-mail's to my personal account. I'm assuming your delicate psyche is butt hurt about my teasing. The e-mail address was private for a reason.  It surprises me to have someone that bathes themselves in self proclaimed high moral standards do such a thing. The following is directly from OlyBlog . Follow the policy.

"All e-mails from the system will be sent to this address. The e-mail address is not made public and will only be used if you wish to receive a new password or wish to receive certain news or notifications by e-mail."


Thanks

Hey Wilson, this thread is an inappropriate place, please re-post to the thread that prompted my email, the one where you were harassing me about employment.

Thanks!

[FYI: The reason I emailed Wilson was to ask if they would be willing to share what job they have.]


Peace is Possible!

Berd

if you can't say it in public perhaps you shouldn't say it at all. If wilson pisses you off ignore him.

Crappy progaganda!

As propaganda goes, that flyer is pretty subpar!  It's wordy, dull, and it presupposes too much familiarity with the issue to persuade many people.  And even worse, there are no images!  What were they thinking?   I doubt it will influence even one person. 

FLYERS!

What came first--terrorism or occupation?  That's easy Berd, just check any history text:  the PLO was founded in 1964, when there were no Israelis in the West Bank or Gaza.  Yassir Arafat personally led a failed attack on Israel's National Water Carrier on January 1 1965 and a successful terror attack near Beit Guvrin in July 1965. There's a very lengthy list of terror attacks against Israel before 1967 at 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_attacks_against_Israeli_civilians_before_1967

Though you really failed to refute any of the specific points of the flyer, I can at least suggest another one you might like better. http://www.standwithus.com/flyers/pdfs/saynoboycottsflyer3.pdf

(sorry OlyDowntowner, no images on this one either...)

 

 

 

 

Well...

Like most things about this history, the "easy" answer Dr. Mike presents seems too simple to me... By 1964, Arabs and Jews had been in intermittent and then sustained violent conflict over land in the area for over forty years. I'm certainly not knowledgeable enough to have any confidence about who did what to whom first, and personally, I don't think it's a very useful question by now.

(But in 1948 the new state of Israel itself did officially classify Irgun and the Lehi, paramilitary organizations which had been operating against the British and Palestinians since the 1930s, as terrorist organizations. They had assassinated British officials, blown up hotels and buses and trains, killed over a hundred inhabitants of a Palestinian village of roughly 600, including women and children, etc...) Other Jewish organizations had often condemned their tactics.

Whether or not this was "terrorism" is, of course contested... But "just checking any history text" will certainly not lead you to the tidy conclusion that terrorism in Palestine began in 1964 with the founding of the PLO...

Best,
Thad

Best wishes,
Thad