Steve Sailer on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement

Steve Sailer has produced an interesting piece over at Takimag, with his thoughts on the growth (or lack thereof) of the BDS movement on US college campuses. The overly-optimistic title of the article can be overlooked in favor of what remains — a very astute summation of the state of this decade-old movement in America. Given that BDS is ostensibly built along the same lines and moral foundations as the agitation against White rule in South Africa, Sailer questions why BDS “hasn’t yet become respectable in the United States.” His answer is that as long as Whites clung to the top rung of America’s demographic ladder, Jews enjoyed power and control, as victim and outsider, over the Israel-Palestine discourse. They could also present themselves to the gullible and venal members of the White “pro-Isruhl” crowd as the apple of Jehovah’s eye, with every moral and divinely sanctioned entitlement to their ‘birth right.’ With the grip of the White demographic slipping (or lost entirely in the case of many Californian college campuses), the rainbow coalition of minorities, religions, identities and perversions now challenges organized Jewry for the gold medal in the farcical victimhood Olympics which comprises modern political culture.

Sailer points out that in the quest to crush ‘privilege,’ the new coalition has not failed to note the “privileges of the single richest and most influential group in America: Jews.” In response, Jewish journalists like Jonathan Chait and Jamie Kirchick have become increasingly alarmed over “whether the Obama Coalition’s identity politics jihad against white privilege, male privilege, straight privilege, and now even cisgender privilege” will eventually turn against them. One of the ways in which this had become manifest is in relation to the BDS movement on California’s college campuses. Sailer demonstrates that BDS has been least successful on those campuses which retain the highest percentage of White students (e.g. UC Santa Barbara which has a 36% White student body — the whitest college to table a BDS resolution). But among those colleges burgeoning with the new ethnic demographic, Jewish influence and arguments hold little sway: “So far, BDS resolutions have been passed by eight student governments, Loyola of Chicago and seven California schools: private Stanford and a half dozen public University of California campuses, including Berkeley and UCLA, both of which are of symbolic importance.”

The global movement for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel was initiated in 2005, and is coordinated by the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), established in 2007. BDS was deliberately conceived as a strategy that allows ‘people of conscience’ to play an effective role in attempting to hold Israel to common standards of justice. The founders of the movement noted that the world community had failed to hold Israel accountable for its actions in Palestine and enforce compliance with basic principles of law, allowing “Israel’s crimes to continue with impunity.” On July 9 2005, a year after the International Court of Justice’s declaration of an advisory opinion on the illegality of Israel’s Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), a call was made upon people all over the world to launch broad boycotts, implement divestment initiatives, and to demand sanctions against Israel.

Of course, the goals of this boycott are quite specific to the interests in Palestinians, and can’t be seen as directly in synch with our own. However, much as I have no direct interest in the fate of the Palestinian people, I sympathize with their victimization at the hands of Jewish power. More importantly, if their efforts have the potential to successfully weaken any aspect of this power, particularly financial power, then I feel this is to be welcomed and fully supported. The methods of the movement are clear-cut:

Boycotts target products and companies (Israeli and international) that profit from the violation of Palestinian rights, as well as Israeli sporting, cultural and academic institutions. Anyone can boycott Israeli goods, simply by making sure that they don’t buy produce made in Israel or by Israeli companies. Campaigners and groups call on consumers not to buy Israeli goods and on businesses not to buy or sell them.

Divestment means targeting corporations complicit in the violation of Palestinian rights and ensuring that the likes of university investment portfolios and pension funds are not used to finance such companies. These efforts raise awareness about the reality of Israel’s policies and encourage companies to use their economic influence to pressure Israel to end its systematic denial of Palestinian rights.

Sanctions are an essential part of demonstrating disapproval for a country’s actions. Israel’s membership of various diplomatic and economic forums provides both an unmerited veneer of respectability and material support for its crimes. By calling for sanctions against Israel, campaigners educate society about violations of international law and seek to end the complicity of other nations in these violations.

The boycott aspect of the movement has enjoyed surprising levels of success outside the US. As well as attracting the support and participation of high-profile academics like Stephen Hawking, BDS has managed to:

  • Force Agrexco, Israel’s former largest exporter of agricultural produce, into liquidationtowards the end of 2011, following a campaign of blockades, demonstrations, lobbying of supermarkets and governments, popular boycotts and legal action in more than 13 countries across Europe.
  • Move the Co-Operative Group, a UK company owned by its 70,000 employees, to end trade with companies that source products from Israel’s illegal settlements, following a determined campaign by Co-Op members.
  • Force Ahava, the Israeli cosmetics company, to close its flagship London storeand retailers in the UKNorway,Japan and Canada to announce boycotts of the company.
  • Set a worldwide precedent for the academic boycott of Israel, when the University of Johannesburg severed ties with Israel’s Ben-Gurion Universityin 2011.
  • Gain the support of numerous academic unions in the UKand Canada, which have voted to support various academic boycott campaign initiatives. There are also active academic boycott campaigns in India, the US, South Africa, Ireland, Chile, Brazil, Pakistan, and in many European countries.
  • Engage the support of thousands of musicians and filmmakers who now refuse to perform in Israel.

The movement has also successfully targeted Israeli-made consumer products. SodaStream, the soda making appliance producer, has been one of the main targets of the consumer boycott. The boycott has been so successful that some of its major shareholders, including Soros Fund Management, have rushed to sell their shares. Israeli food exporters have been faced with cancellations from Scandinavia, the UK, France and Belgium.


As Sailer has stated, until recently, BDS has struggled to find the same level of success in the US. However, the new minorities and their coalitions are now engaging politically at a level not previously seen, and the situation may be about to change. The first great immigrant baby boom is coming of age. This is apparent also among those active in the litany of ‘studies’ which comprise the ‘intellectual’ apparatus of the ‘unprivileged.’ For example, it was no coincidence that in April 2013 the Asian American Studies Association became the first scholarly association to adopt BDS. This was quickly followed by the Peace and Justice Studies Association, the Modern Language Association and the National Women’s Studies Association. All of this has given the ADL a real headache.


Despite some credible successes, if I could point to one single major failing of the current boycott movement is that it isn’t anywhere near extensive enough. In particular, its ideological basis fails to root Israeli actions within the context of wider Jewish history and contemporary Jewish power. Simply targeting companies with explicit connections to illegal settlements is not, and never will be, enough. Jewish financial power is much more diffuse. In my previous essays on Jews and moneylending, I pointed out that many Jewish-owned finance companies were clearly linked to supporting Israel and organized Jewry, if not explicitly the illegal settlements themselves. It makes no sense to me to target an Israeli fruit farm while leaving a financial company with profits in the millions unaffected. Why not point out that the bulk of funds serving to crush the Palestinians have been obtained through fraud, ethnocentric networking, and the dispossession of the vulnerable? Why not map and expose the links of ‘diaspora Jewry’ with their Middle Eastern cousins and expand the boycott to encompass businesses and industries (online moneylending and online gambling) which can be demonstrably linked to Jewish interests, one of the most important of which is the State of Israel.


Sailer himself notes that “Jewish organizations put up a terrific battle at UCLA last fall against the BDS resolution, collecting money from outside funders such as Israeli-American real estate tycoon Adam Milstein. [my emphasis]” The Jewish (rather than ‘Israeli’) fight on American campuses contains all the usual hallmarks of Jewish activism — fraud, financial duplicity, and behind-the-scenes manipulation. But the BDS movement has failed utterly to capitalize on, or even acknowledge, what Milstein’s involvement says about the Diaspora-Money-Israel power triad. Milstein in fact made headlines when it emerged that he had solicited funds on behalf of two anti-boycott student senate candidates at UCLA. When asked about the donations, which had reportedly been funneled through UCLA’s chapter of the Zionist campus organization Hillel, Milstein feigned ignorance: “When I make a donation to the UCLA Foundation or what have you, I don’t know what they’re doing with the money.” However, Milstein’s claims were swiftly belied by emails discovered by Chloe Hunt of the UC-Berkeley campus newspaper The Daily Californian. The emails showed that Milstein had personally directed donors to send checks for the pro-Israel candidates, Avi Oved and Avinoam Baral. Oved and Baral pledged to ensure that their party would take a firm stance in support of the university’s continued investment in companies supplying Israel with arms. In the same email, the candidates express their excitement at representing “the ideologies of Israel.”

True to form, Milstein is a pillar of the Jewish community. He has poured a considerable amount of his vast wealth into Jewish causes, primarily through his private charity, the Adam and Gila Milstein Family Foundation. The foundation’s declared mission is “strengthening the State of Israel” and “ensuring the Jewish identity and the special affinity to the State of Israel of the young and the future Jewish generations.” He also serves on the national council of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Also true to form, Milstein is a convicted fraudster and, like Marc Rich, most of the money he pumped into Jewish causes was facilitated through dubious financial practices and extensive tax evasion in the United States.

The Jewish effort to loosen our borders and permit the birth and growth of a host of new minorities, complete with their own historical grievances, was effective but perhaps not all that well thought out. Like other aspects of their group evolutionary strategy, it reeks of the gambler’s instinct — reckless, impulsive, go-for-broke. These traits can work extremely well in business and economics. The pay-offs can be huge for the risk-taker. But the flip side is when a gamble goes wrong. In business, it often ends in criminal proceedings or bankruptcy. In the context of the evolutionary struggle of peoples, it can prove catastrophic. The privileges and riches of Jewish populations worldwide have been covered very well by the veil of victimhood they have so piously worn since World War Two. But the gaze of the newcomers has surely pierced the veil.

The future for Whites, of course, doesn’t look too bright. But, perchance, Sailer’s article hints that it might not be so bright for Jews either.

35 replies

Comments are closed.