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Myths and Facts about the divest-from-Israel campaign
Myth: Since most schools, cities and towns that invest in Israel do not invest in the Palestinians, aren't divest-from-Israel activities simply a way to make sure no one is taking sides in the Middle East conflict?

Fact: Anti-Israel activists in the US must tread more carefully than their Middle East colleagues in calling for direct boycotts of Israel due to US anti-boycott law and America's general support for the Jewish state. Thus, calls to divest from Israel must be dressed up in human-rights vocabulary, and "sold" as a means to "level the playing field" among universities, cities, churches and other institutions that may have investments that benefit the Israel, but no similar investments in the Palestinian territories. This argument carefully ignores the fact that the Arab-Israeli conflict involves not just Israel and the Palestinians, but over twenty Arab states in which schools, cities and other institutions invest heavily. Read more…

Myth: Aren't those calling for divestment in Israel just fighting the same human-rights battles waged against South Africa where divestment was a key reason for Apartheid's downfall?

Fact: Those calling for divestment or boycotts of Israel are following what they call an "apartheid strategy," modeling their activity on the anti-apartheid activism of the 1980s in order to isolate Israel internationally and economically. What this theft of the anti-Apartheid human-rights vocabulary fails to mention, however, is that anti-Israeli activists are allied with nations with far worse human rights records than even the Apartheid regime of South Africa. Read more…

Myth: Given the power imbalance between the Palestinians and Israelis, and a similar power imbalance among those calling for divestment and the organized Jewish community, shouldn't we be listening to these "voices in the wilderness" on an important human-rights issue?

Fact: Israel's foes like to portray themselves as small, powerless, stilled voices battling an imaginary vast, interconnected power structure of Jewish interests. If that is the case, why are those calling for divestment allied with some of the richest, most powerful countries and corporations in the world? Read more…

Myth: Given the violence visited upon the Palestinians in places like the West Bank and Gaza, isn't divestment a non-violent means to protest Israeli human-rights abuses?

Fact: One of the talents of anti-Israel activists is their ability to paint elaborate, emotional pictures of the suffering of Palestinians, completely divorced from the violence and visited upon Israelis and how Palestinian militantism has led to the suffering in both communities. By coupling a glorification of Palestinian violence with declarations that any defense against such violence represents the only human-rights issue to be considered when thinking about the Middle East, Israel's foes are damaging not just their own case, but harming attempts to teach our children of the virtues of real non-violent protest. Read more...
Myth Breaking Articles
When Reuters Miscaptioned a Photo, They Changed an Accidental Death into a Murder
By David Bedein
JCPA: The Academic Boycott Against Israel
By Manfred Gerstenfeld
© 2005 Divestment Watch