40 thoughts on “Pro-Israel “Sugar Mama” Offers $500 Student Bounty to Attend Anti-BDS Conference – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. @Abby

    As American as apple pie? For internal American affairs perhaps.. But how common is it for American citizens to do this on behalf of a foreign power -= a foreign power, moreover, that is violating international law?

  2. And I should add : not only violating international law but also some basic principles enshrined in the American Constitution and its Bill of Rights (the Amendments).

  3. “It’s ironic that the venue for the event was the UN General Assembly, the same hall where Israel was declared a state in 1948.”
    As far as I know Israel has never been declared a state by the UNGA. The Partition Plan i.e. resolution 181 was voted on Nov 29th 1947 and was a mere recommendation for the partition of Palestine into two states.
    Israel was declared a state on May 14th by Ben Gourion, and recognized by the US on that same day (within the borders of the Partition Plan), three days later by the USSR, and other countries followed, France only recognized the State of Israel in January 1949, and the UK even later.
    This is important because when people claim the the UN created the State of Israel, the fact is the UN had no judicial power to do so.

    1. Deir Yassin: you have over-simplified the Partition Plan. The GA recommended a Plan of Partition with Economic Union which divided Palestine into three entities, a Jewish State, an Arab State and an enlarged and internationalized City of Jerusalem. The Plan was not intended to produce two independent sovereign states in the usual understanding of the term State. The Economic Union covered all aspects of economic life, including infrastructure and agricultural and industrial development. It was controlled by an Economic Board which had three members from the Jewish State, three from the Arab state, and three appointed by the UN. The casting vote on decisions was therefore in the hands of foreigners, and these decisions were to be BINDING on the States.

      The Plan was to be implemented by a Palestine Commission which would take over control of Palestine from Britain, and the states would gradually achieve independence following a process in which they developed self-governing institutions under the guidance of the Palestine Commission. The States were already independent from Britain because the Mandate had ended, and so there was no place in the process for a Declaration of Independence.

      The unilateral Declaration of the State of Israel immediately at the end of the Mandate was in no way an implementation of the Plan, and was made in defiance of Security Council resolution 46 which called on the parties to make no immediate political actions which might prejudice the rights or claims of any community.

      There was no legal justification whatsoever for the unilateral declaration of the State of Israel. Israel exists as a sovereign state only because of its recognition by the US and later by other States.

      1. It’s possible that I’ve ‘over-simplified’ the Partition Plan but the Plan wasn’t the subject of my comment 🙂 rather the fact that the State of Israel wasn’t declared a State by the UNGA in the first place.
        As you mention: the State of Israel’s sovereign status stems from the recognition by each State, and within the borders of the Partition Plan, and not the 1949 Armistice Line/Green Line/1967-borders, am I right ?

        1. not at all.

          since the State of Israel’s sovereign status stems from the recognition by each State, and not on the UN the Partition Plan the borders of the plan have no bearing on the matter. all states recognized israel within the 1948 cease fire line making them into the de facto borders of israel/

          1. “all states recognized israel within the 1948 cease fire line etc”
            I don’t need your propaganda nor do you have any schooling in law as far as I can judge.

            The Armistice Agreement (that you call cease fire line) is from 1949 ! the US recognized the State of Israel on May 14th 1948 and the USSR three days later, most of the Galillee and other territories supposed to belong to the Arab State were conquered later on in 1948.
            The State of Israel was declared with the borders of the Partition Plan (cf. sources here http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/index.php ) and recognized by the USA within theses borders.
            I just wanted further confirmation/informations/clarifications from dgfincham who seems to be well-informed on the topic, it’s clearly not your case …..

          2. @eli: Could you do us all a favor & remind Bibi of this since he rejects the 1949 ceasefire line. That makes him in violation of UN resolutions since he has never expressed any willingness to accept any internationally greed upon borders.

    2. United Nations General Assembly Resolution 273, when Israel was admitted to the UN.

      “The General Assembly,

      Acting in discharge of its functions under Article 4 of the Charter and rule 125 of its rules of procedure,

      1. Decides that Israel is a peace loving State which accepts the obligations contained in the Charter and is able and willing to carry out those obligations;

      2. Decides to admit Israel to membership in the United Nations.”

      So the UNGA has recognized Israel as a state.

      HOWEVER, earlier in the resolution it is predicated on Israel implementing the Right of Return:

      “Recalling its resolutions of 29 November 1947[3] and 11 December 1948[4] and taking note of the declarations and explanations made by the representative of the Government of Israel[5] before the Ad Hoc Political Committee in respect of the implementation of the said resolutions,”.

      This is important because this was Israel’s SECOND attempt to join the UN. It’s first attempt was rejected by the GA because Israel refused to agree to say they would implement Resolution 194 (right of Return). Only after it agreed to the clause regarding previous resolutions was it allowed to join.

  4. @Abby

    “Well. What do you want to charge New York Governor Cuomo with?”

    With violating the First Amendment. The Israel lobby induces Americans to ignore their own constitutional principles (on this point not differing from those of the Dutch, the Swedes and the Irish who have all declared it to be a matter of free speech).

    1. Really!

      Please, Arie. Explain to me how Gov. Cuomo’s Executive Order violates the 1st Amendment.
      Don’t be lazy and link Counterpunch.

      Explain in your own words, of which there has never been a shortage when it comes to Israel.

  5. That picture of Dershowitz , et al reminded me of that movie; “Them”, that thing with “Rowdy Roddy” Piper. You know as soon as you put the sunglasses on, The Dersh and his friends are gonna turn into those skull-aliens. Lol

  6. Presumably more Americans care about the First Amendment than about the Palestinian cause (about which many are ignorant). By conflating these issues there is a good chance that the bullying tactics of Cuomo and like minded folk will backfire for the Israeli Right.

    A contributor to the Forward predicted the same outcome for Sheldon Adelson’s storm troopers on American campuses.


  7. @Abby

    You wrote:

    “Please, Arie. Explain to me how Gov. Cuomo’s Executive Order violates the 1st Amendment.
    Don’t be lazy and link Counterpunch.
    Explain in your own words,”

    I can’t remember the last time I was enjoined to put something “in my own words” – it was probably before you were born.

    Here are more authoritative texts than either Counterpunch or “my own words”:

    Amendment I
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    From the New York Civil Liberties Union

    “This memorandum addresses bills that would prohibit politically motivated activity intended to limit “commercial relations” with the State of Israel, or with territories controlled by Israel.1 Those that engage in such activity – defined as a boycott – would be barred from bidding on contracts with New York State, and would be subject to other financial and economic sanctions.2 These measures direct the state finance commissioner to create, and publish, a list of persons and organizations that support the boycott, as defined in the bills.

    In short, the proposed legislation authorizes the State of New York to maintain a blacklist of groups,businesses, and others that engage in politically motivated speech and association that is otherwise lawful, but would now be subject to severe financial penalties because the state’s lawmakers object to the political views that motivate such conduct.

    The proposed legislation is outside the bounds of federal and state law; its proscriptions reach far beyond what is constitutionally permissible. The Supreme Court has clearly established that First Amendment protections apply to politically-motivated economic boycotts aimed at influencing public policy and advancing social change.3 The Court has also ruled that the Constitution prohibits government from conditioning eligibility for public contracts upon the political affiliation of those bidding for a contract.4

    To legislators questioning whether this scheme is constitutional, the answer is no. Recent amendments to A.8220-A would drop the phrase “politically motivated” from the definition of restricted boycott activity, and would exempt “natural persons” from those who would be included in a blacklist for supporting boycott activity. However, boycotts seeking to effect legal and social change are inherently political, and thus subject to protection by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court has recognized that constitutional protections apply to such political activity when engaged in by groups, organizations, associations as well as by their principals or members.5

    The sponsors argue that, notwithstanding Supreme Court jurisprudence, politically motivated activity adverse to Israel’s economic interests is discriminatory, and that such activity is contrary to state and federal laws regarding international relations. This argument is misguided. New York State law does prohibit economic boycotts that are discriminatory; however, this conduct is limited to boycott activity targeting New York persons based upon race, creed, color, national origin, and other protected statuses.6 A boycott directed at policies pursued by a foreign national government is simply not covered by New York’s anti-discrimination laws. New York law also prohibits participation in state-sponsored international boycotts that are proscribed under federal law.7 This legislation, however, would proscribe constitutionally protected activity of individuals, organizations and associations.”


    1. BDS is not a political affiliation, it is a political movement.
      There was a communist movement, and there was a Communist Party USA, which was a political affiliation.

      The cases you cited are about private contractors who were being excluded because they wouldn’t pay kickbacks to the local political machine. They were ‘unaffiliated’, and suffered exclusion.

      BDS is an international movement that ultimately seeks to end the Jewish State of Israel. Boycotting sovereign States is a political question best left to the other two branches of government, not the judiciary.

  8. @Richard Silverstein Do you plan on writing about Hamas’ praise of the Tel Aviv killings, as headlined by CNN. Or will you prefer to stress the Mayor’s blaming the ‘occupation’ for the terror and Arab joy after the attack?

    1. In J-post I read something similar (celebrating Palestinians). They included a picture of Palestinians handing out trays of sweets to passing cars in the dark. (Must have been last night then? When exactly did that attack happen?)
      That picture however, turned out to date from last April if not earlier. What a rag.

  9. @ Abby

    you wrote:

    “BDS is not a political affiliation, it is a political movement”

    According to NCLU’s interpretation of the stance of the Supreme Court this is irrelevant:

    “However, boycotts seeking to effect legal and social change are inherently political, and thus subject to protection by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court has recognized that constitutional protections apply to such political activity when engaged in by groups, organizations, associations as well as by their principals or members.”

    You also wrote:

    “Boycotting sovereign States is a political question best left to the other two branches of government, not the judiciary.”

    I hardly have to point out that the Supreme Court is not itself in the boycotting business. The point at issue is the interpretation of the constitution – in this case an amendment to it. The ultimate arbiter in such questions is the Supreme Court as it is in similar institutions in other civilised states.

  10. This whole thing is a grotesque scam run by people who are unhappy that a foreign country they “love” is being protested over and petitioned about, even though they have to pay people to show up at an anti-BDS conference. If things were to shift and Washington turned against Israel, would those people who were paid the $500 and “sugar mama” Rosenwald wind up in front of a Congressional hearing or face FBI interrogation? You bet.

    (I put love in quotation marks because it’s more like offshore lobbying than actual religio-ethnic solidarity with Israel – if you have to pay people to show up it’s more of a sales meeting than a political one.)

    1. @Strelnikov

      Maybe it’s not out of ‘love’, but rather, ought of a sense of fair play.

      To put it another way, Mr. Strelnikov, please name me another country, besides Israel, that is the subject of a BDS style boycott.

      I’d really ‘love’ it if you’d man up and answer my question.

      I’ll even help get you started. Syria? No. Russia? No. China? No. Turkey? No. Iran? No. Morocco? No.
      Azerbaijan? No. India? No.

      1. @Abby:

        please name me another country, besides Israel, that is the subject of a BDS style boycott.

        I can’t believe how stupid you are. Of course Russia & Iran have been subject to much more severe sanctions than Israel, contrary to your claims.

        Not to mention North Korea. In the past, Nazi Germany. Need we go on?

        1. Have been, but not currently boycotted.
          I said BDS style boycott. North Korea and Russia were boycotted by nations, not movements.

          And if they’re were nations currently being boycotted, the boycotts aren’t trying to change the borders, population and State religion.

          Are they?

          So now can you answer my question.,”..please name me another country, besides Israel, that is the subject of a BDS style boycott.”

          1. There certainly were NGOS like the BDS movement supporting all of these boycott/ sanction campaigns, namely all the groups in the Israel Lobby supporting the Iranian boycott.

            Nor is BDS trying to change Israel’s borders or religion, as you claim.

          2. Abby didn’t the Jewish organization declare economical boycott against Germany in 1933? Were Jewish organizations in 1930’s nations or movements? Jewish BDS against Nazi-Germany had surely its reasons and justifications. But so has the BDS against Israel for what it is doing to their “untermenschen”. You might not see the resemblances, but hundreds of millions see.

            BDS is nothing new. Jews have been and are on personal, organizational and national levels extremely active in demanding boycotts, disinvestment and sanctions against basically everyone (person, organization or nation) who dare to have even mildly critical and questioning views of history and Israel. It is hilarious that Israeli Jews can demand international sanctions against Iran and in the next sentence declare BDS against Israel illegal.

          3. Huh? The boycott of South Africa was a movement adopted by parties often prior to any sovereign state signing on. Nobody wrote laws or EO restraining companies or individuals from boycotting S. Africa.even though the USG was not happy with that boycott at all and was the very last government to sign on. Even though the boycott was not favored by the government, government did not attempt to penalize such boycott activities that I know of. Why not? Because doing so is so obviously counter to the Bill of Rights and is protected by the Constitution. According to Abby, the Jewish World Congress boycott of Germany of 1933 was not legal because foreign matters are reserved to the Congress.

            But here and now, we have government attempting to penalize and criminalize boycott activity.. Why now, in this matter, and not then in the matter of South Africa? These laws and EO strike many Americans as very troubling and peculiar precisely because they are outlandish in an American environment and outlandish for generations of Americans brought up to revere free expression! Such legislation might fit the temperament and politics of the Knesset however which doesn’t hesitate long to hone laws banning free expression which it doesn’t like. The legislation now proposed and adopted in the US would be more at home in the Knesset as would an anti-democratic Executive Order. So, in a sense, this sort of legislation in the US originates in Israel and reflects the limitations of Israeli “democracy”. not the limits of US democracy.

            Israel is rightly concerned about BDS because it has experienced the success of the S. Africa boycott and the loss of a “close relationship” with that white supremacist government. Israel sees this writing on the wall and its “helpers” in the US are devoting resources to trying to stop BDS from building up a head of steam which could impact Israel economically. As it happens, the very act of trying to stifle the free expression of dissatisfaction with Israel’s human rights record is doing a lot to stimulate the growth of that very movement. Now, even my neighbors want to know what “BDS” means etc.

  11. Won’t I be stating the obvious that a roun trip ticket to NY from the east coast cost about 500$?

    Presenting this as a bounty/salary or whatever is silly.

    Also, pretending students don’t get scholarships to go places a learn, teach, act etc’ is disingenuous.

    Just because you don’t agree with those specific ideas, it doesn’t make the practice unheard of.

  12. why doesn’t this “shugamama” do the same for the palestinians who are under COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT FOR THE DEEDS OF 2 – can you imagine Brussel ghettoing the muslam neighborghood for the deeds of the 2 terrorists from Paris.
    No of course not, but then this is Israel, and Israel can do as it pleases, and then some.
    Has anyone mentioned the item written by Mr. Friedman in the NY Times – headline ‘ “Mr Netanyahu First Prime Minister of the the State of Israel and Palestine.
    When a Minister stands and orates that Haaretz is creating Antisemitism by allowing all to know that an Israeli Justice lives in the territories.
    This is beyond humanity, when Israel BERATES news agencies for not SCREAMING that the killers were TERRORISTS. and just on account of that the news agencies were fomenting antisemitism.

    1. J-post was interpreting any international headline that had ‘attack’ or something in it, and not ‘terrorism’ as a sign of anti-Semitism.

  13. @Abby

    You wrote:

    “Maybe it’s not out of ‘love’, but rather, ought of a sense of fair play. ..
    , please name me another country, besides Israel, that is the subject of a BDS style boycott.

    What other country has hundreds of pressure groups all over the Western world to defend its cause, what other country has been virtually insured immunity at the UN by the main veto power there, what other country has at least one and presumably two of the American presidential candidates in its pocket, what other country has most of the MSM in the Western world behind it, and. with reference to the original post, what other country can get American sugar mammas to pay students for attending at its defence?

    Don’t talk to us about fair play. The game has been rigged in your favour right from the start. BDS is just a comparatively tiny effort to push back.

  14. “Due to the obstructionist tactics of the United States, the United Nations has not been able to effectively confront Israel’s illegal practices. Indeed, although it is true that the U.N. keeps Israel to a double standard, it’s exactly the reverse of the one Israel’s defenders allege: Israel is held not to a higher but lower standard than other member States. A study by Marc Weller of Cambridge University comparing Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory with comparable situations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, East Timor, occupied Kuwait and Iraq, and Rwanda found that Israel has enjoyed “virtual immunity” from enforcement measures such as an arms embargo and economic sanctions typically adopted by the U.N. against member States condemned for identical violations of international law. Due in part to an aggressive campaign accusing Europe of a “new anti-Semitism,” the European Union has also failed in its legal obligation to enforce international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Although the claim of a “new anti-Semitism” has no basis in fact (all the evidence points to a lessening of anti-Semitism in Europe), the EU has reacted by appeasing Israel. It has even suppressed publication of one of its own reports, because the authors — like the Crisis Group and many others — concluded that due to Israeli policies the “prospects for a two-state solution with east Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine are receding.” “


  15. @Abby

    “North Korea and Russia were boycotted by nations, not movements.”

    It is exactly because of the scandalous failure on the level of states to take Israel to task for its suppression of millions of people, that the initiative had to come from civil society.

    1. Exactly! Plus, it just goes on and on: Even the cold war ended during my lifetime, many conflicts did but this one ….

      1. @Elisabeth

        One of the English politicos (Lord so and so) had the gall to talk in this context of “play-yard” politics. You see, politics should be left to them – the professionals. Democracy? What democracy?

        And then can one count oneself lucky if things are not ascribed outright to anti-Semitism (that is what Abby is driving at)..The French Prime Minister took it on himself to do this. The French courts see it apparently as a form of “hate speech” directed at a minority. This is what Israel wanted to bring about in the whole of Europe. Happily Holland, Sweden and Ireland (decent nations all) have bucked this trend.

        To come back to this French Prime Minister- he has declared that he is also attached to the Israeli cause through his wife, who happens to be Jewish. What has that got to do with it? Does justice have a different colour then?

        He is himself of mixed Sp;amish-Swiss origin (came to France when he was ten years old.) Does that mean that he owes any allegiance to these countries?

  16. “Abby says

    June 10, 2016 at 7:28 AM


    Maybe it’s not out of ‘love’, but rather, ought of a sense of fair play.

    To put it another way, Mr. Strelnikov, please name me another country, besides Israel, that is the subject of a BDS style boycott.

    I’d really ‘love’ it if you’d man up and answer my question.”

    OK little man; in the 1970s American Jewish groups boycotted the USSR over the refusnik issue, and they kept that up under the Reagan administration. BUT THEN YOU WERE ALREADY TOLD THAT BY THE SITE OWNER.

    What you don’t get, Abby, is that Israel is digging its own grave by maintaining a de facto Apartheid system in what will become Palestine, by using West Bank Palestinian labor and underpaying them, through the myriad ways Israel immiserates the Palestinian population in both territories (water theft, land grabs, sealing Gaza off and coercing the Egyptians to do the same, etc.) America has three major awful allies in the Middle East: Saudi Arabia, Erdoğan’s Turkey, and the continually-shifting-Rightward Israel. Saudi Arabia is doomed to fall to a revolution because it is a religious hick police state, Turkey could shift in an election cycle (but it would still be pressing the Kurds to the wall), but Israel is another nation’s jailer and itself slipping into a police state because it is a small country with a powerful military. It shows how fragile the Israeli position is within the US that there are anti-BDS confabs, paid for by a pro-Israel social network and the Israeli state itself. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea laughs every time sanctions are placed on it; Israel enlists an army of whingers to “explain” the situation. What you can’t stand, Abby, is that BDS is a way to cut through the crap.

  17. @Cheesecake

    You wrote:

    “ … Do you plan on writing about Hamas’ praise of the Tel Aviv killings, as headlined by CNN. Or will you prefer to stress the Mayor’s blaming the ‘occupation’ for the terror …

    Oh no – we are much more interested in the Mayor who came up with the merest common sense, but such stuff is regarded as revolutionary over there.

    “ … critics of the country’s right-wing government, … directed their ire not just at Islamist militants … but the prevailing political status quo.

    Chief among them was Ron Huldai, the mayor of Tel Aviv, who in an interview with Army Radio pointed to what he saw was the underlying spark for terrorist violence: the continued Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.
    “We, as a state, are the only ones in the world with another people living among us under our occupation, denying them any civil rights,” he said. Huldai, 71, discussed the collapse of any meaningful process toward a two-state solution …

    “The problem is that when there is no terrorism, no one talks about [the occupation],” Huldai said. “Nobody has the guts to take a step towards trying to make some kind of [final status] arrangement. We are 49 years into an occupation that I was a participant in, and I recognize the reality and know that leaders with courage just say things.”

    So what was the reaction to these words of the fools who run things over there. Typical was that of Lieberman’s sidekick, Eli Ben-Dahan, who said that the Mayor was suffering from delusions – there had been attacks on Jews before the occupation, even before there was any Jewish state. And he gave the standard example which has served Israeli apologetics for well nigh one hundred years: the 1929-massacre in Hebron.


    What is never mentioned by such defenders of the hard line is that Jews and Arabs had lived peacefully together in that city for centuries. This is what the Jewish Virtual Library says about this:

    “The Sephardi Jewish community (Jews who were originally from Spain, North Africa and Arab countries) in Hebron had lived quietly with its Arab neighbors for centuries. Theses Sephardi Jews spoke Arabic and had a cultural connection with the the Arabs of Hebron.”

    Indeed – this connection was strong enough for some Arabs to defend Jewish families at a risk of their own lives.

    The Jewish virtual library again:

    “Nineteen Arab families saved dozens if not hundreds of Hebron’s Jews. Zmira Mani wrote about an Arab named Abu Id Zaitoun who brought his brother and son to rescue her family. The Arab family protected the Manis with their swords, hid them in a cellar along with other Jews they had saved, and eventually found a policeman to escort them safely to the police station …”

    The massacre in Hebron didn’t come out of nowhere. One can read about the putative causes in Wikipedia and elsewhere.

    It certainly can’t serve as an example of causeless Arab hatred of Jews – the kind of thing those right wingers always make of it.

    1. I even read somewhere that the descendants of a family that saved Jews in Hebron had been kicked out of their house by the settlers. I wish I still had the link…

  18. israel as “asset”
    way back when when intelligence was hard to come by and mostly from arab countries, Israel was the gem to extract information while the USofA kept its hands clean
    Israel was granted “lattitudes” (funding, information, you name it) in order for the US to be in the “know” of what was happening in the middle east
    whatever israel did with the gifts it received it could do as it pleased no one would ever ask
    from use of the lattitudes without boundaries came “abuse” of these lattitudes and with its abuse came Israel the TYRANT which ALL know it exists and yet this BABY MONSTER has overgrown anyone capable of stopping it.
    As it goes, there will be no peace agreement, it is just no doable with the current players, therefore the next step will be how to accommodate that palestinian mass into israel.
    wishing it to go away won’t be so let’s see how the USofA NOW comes with an idea to give those palestinians a right of life.
    There will come a moment where US veto will not suffice nor work not because the US would not want to use it, but mostly because Israel would have burned all bridges leaving no viable legal solution
    What will the settlers position be when when the world over will impose an ugly notion as an ONLY way out.
    not now, not tomorrow or the year next but ABSOLUTELY in 15 or max 20. will Israel unleash another war against the palestinians in the territories to formally annex those dunes, then what, will israel literally “kill” that mass and eventually displace the remaining.
    Folks just as Israel IS DEMANDING that the world recognizes its de facto annexation of the golan why should it be any other for the territories.
    hillary won’t waste energies on this , “unless?

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