Posted by William A. Jacobson Legal Insurrection Monday, April 7, 2014
Sussex Friends of Israel demonstrates how happy warriors bring out the worst in anti-Israel fanatics
Opposing the anti-Israel Boycott Divest and Sanction movement is serious business, so it’s natural that we tend to be serious about it.
But I also think we need to be happy in the fight as well.
Contrary to boycott mythology, Israel is thriving economically, with investment and new trade deals being announced almost daily.
Israel is a sea of happiness in a region filled with horrors inflicted by Arabs upon Arabs. The anger of the BDS movement doesn’t need to be replicated by us — at least not to the exclusion of humor and happiness.
It’s one of the reasons I start my lectures opposing the academic boycott at colleges with statistics showing how Israel has a higher favorability rating in the U.S. than kittens. It always gets a laugh, but a laugh which keeps things in perspective.
There is a template for being happy warriors against BDS, the Sussex (England) Friends of Israel (SFI).
We previously featured SFI’s video of the Brighton Israeli Apartheid Week March that attracted only a few people, #BDSfail – 8 people show up for Sussex “Israeli Apartheid Week” march.
The SFI brings mockery and good humor to the humorless Israel haters, with miraculous results:
Sussex Friends of Israel (SFI) … has grown so successfully that it employs a part-time director, Neil Duncanson. The group now has 6,200 “likes” on Facebook and 1,200 followers on Twitter.
Most of its supporters are local Jews, often people who had dropped out of mainstream activities but were galvanized by the anti-Ecostream protests that have frequently degenerated into anti-Semitic rhetoric and abuse. At least four grandmothers make regular appearances on the picket lines. SFI’s calling card has been most successful when—candidly—it has mocked the BDS protesters with cheerful humor and a friendly local saxophonist playing for the entertainment of Brighton’s Saturday shoppers.
While the BDS movement tries to hit Israel in the wallet, SFI’s anti-BDS efforts hone in on the stomach. A recent SFI campaign has been the “Pies Against Lies” initiative. Others have been “Cakes Against Hate” and “Bagels Against Bigotry.”
“We ran an event saying ‘we bring pies, they bring lies’ and offered food to the passers-by,” Duncanson says. “For me, the best part of the day is after the shouting stops and the ordinary person in the street has the chance to examine our leaflets and material, and ask questions.” At that point, according to Duncanson, those on the fence of often reject BDS.
Unfortunately, most of their brilliant street videos are only found on the SFI Facebook page and have not been uploaded to YouTube, so the videos are harder to embed. Head over there and like the SFI Facebook page as a sign of support, and for a good laugh.
SFI has a knack for bringing out the worst in the anti-Israel movement — and by worst, I mean the true face of irrational anti-Israel demonization.
Be Happy Warriors against BDS.