Perhaps the most remarkable event that took place at the J Street national conference was the panel on BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions.)
Or, rather, that the panel actually included a BDS supporter - a first for a Jewish organization with a clear Zionist leaning. As recently as last year,
this kind of an occurrence would have been considered beyond the pale.
Mitchell Plitnick writes about the event on his blog "The Third Way". - http://mitchellplitnick.com/2011/03/02/see-we-can-talk-about-bds/
He highlights the fact that while opponents of BDS claim that this movement has blocked the possibility of discussion among various factions within
Jewish community, this event shows that discussion is possible.
Rebecca Vilkomerson, director of Jewish Voice for Peace (and one of the editors of JPN) was a participant, and had the tough job of presenting a
pro BDS position to an audience which was expected to be hostile. It turns out that a significant portion of the crowd was not hostile at all. This
has been the case in some of the other programs that took place during the conference. Perhaps J Street membership is way ahead of its leadership?
To read Rebecca's powerful statement, visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-vilkomerson/remarks-to-jstreet-on-bds_b_829497.html
I'm also enclosing a link to a blog entry by Jerry Haber on his blog "The Magnes Zionist."
The title of his entry is: "To BDS or not to BDS? If You're a Liberal Zionist, Try TBDS." In it he points out that one can support certain parts
of BDS while objecting to others. It's a large umbrella, offering flexibility and room for maneuvering in accordance to one's particular set of
Jewish Peace News editors:
Sarah Anne Minkin
Lincoln Z. Shlensky
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