May 25, 2020

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Long Game – 2 (Fivest This!)
Continuing from last time, if you are an aggressor, then it is easy to come up with an enact strategies and tactics involving being an aggressor against your enemies.

This observation should be obvious, yet we so often fail to appreciate its converse: that lack of an aggressive goal limits one’s ability to behave aggressively against others, especially those you have not branded as enemies.

There are many explanations as to why Israel’s friends have failed to meet the challenge of BDS and other anti-Israel propaganda campaigns with adequate force, from weak will among Jewish institutional leaders to historical factors that lead Jews to value accommodation with non-Jewish majorities over sticking up for ourselves.

Such criticisms are certainly well founded, but they fail to take into account that even if we were disposed or led to fight rather than get along, we would still need a destructive end-point to guide strategies and tactics that would get us to that destructive goal.

But if you were to ask even the most vocal critics of the Jewish community’s response to BDS, I suspect you would find almost no one who wants to see the world’s Muslim’s disbursed, Arab states dismantled, or other outcomes likely to get large numbers of people killed, despite the fact that dismantlement, disbursement and death are the fates hoped for and worked towards by Israel’s enemies. 

In fact, both militant and non-militant defenders of Israel are united in the desire to see Israel left in peace, its citizens unthreatened and unmolested, and the Jewish condition normalized.  But if these are the goals we seek, how can we be expected to attack those that attack us with matching levels of ferociousness?   

Even if such levels of attack could be initiated, possibly through campaigns designed to tell the truth about the Arab world (including their treatment of women, gays and minorities) as incessantly and aggressively as they tell lies about us, BDS has taught us that such campaigns would need to go on not for months or years, but decades.  Can a community that longs to live at peace with others be realistically expected to put in the time, effort, resources and organization into behaving in such a way for a century?

But it actually gets worse.  For, as readers of Divest This know, BDS does not limit the damage it causes to Jews alone.  Whenever they import the Middle East conflict onto a college campus, or drag an academic association, church, municipality, or even a humble food coop into their campaigns, they do untold damage to everyone making up those communities, creating needless strife and conflict over an issue that is only on the agenda because the boycotters want to leverage other people’s reputation for their own political gain.
Are we ready to do the same?  And how about all the effort the Israel haters have been putting into ginning up hatred between races and religions in their war against the Jewish state?  Are we ready to stop trying to heal rifts in our society and instead exacerbate the pathologies driving the world to ruin, just to see enemies harmed?

In addition to our lack of militant goals, another reason we’re not ready to harm others to get our way is that it is wrong, and even if we (like our foes) are able to delude ourselves into thinking a descent into evil represents virtue and courage, is this really who we want to become?

Finally, even if we can distort our souls enough to fight fire with fire for decades in hope of seeing someone else destroyed, our foes already have a fifty-year head start on us, not to mention alliances with dozens of powerful nation states controlling vast wealth and a stranglehold on organizations like the United Nations and other major institutions.  If anyone can explain a strategy for generating another 49 Jewish states or finding other ways to dominate global organizations, I’m all ears.

Our inability to take on Israel’s enemies by becoming more like them should not be considered a weakness, but an opportunity since it forces us to look for alternative strategies that meet our goals while limiting our enemy’s ability to achieve theirs.  This is in fact what Israel and, to a large extent, its supporters have done (however imperfectly) since Israel was founded seventy years ago. 

What are the strategies that have left Israel sending spaceships to the moon while its would-be destroyers sink ever deeper into genocide, ignorance, poverty and weakness?   They involve manning the walls, celebrating life over death, and making every Israeli and every friend of Israel count, while not standing in the way of Israel’s enemies having to live with the consequences of their own choices. 

Thoughts on the strategies and tactics associated with those four ideas next time.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.

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