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‘Tis the Season, to Boycott!


‘Tis the Season, to Boycott!

Nada Elia

One of the accusations most frequently lobbed at BDS activists (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel) is that “boycotts are divisive.” Apparently, they drive a wedge in society, pitting community members against each other. Our response has consistently been that the division is already there, between those who support justice and equal rights for all, and the Zionists, who advocate ethno-religious supremacy and the disenfranchisement of the Palestinian people.


Take it one step further and boycott all too-big-to-fail (TBTF) and other interstate banks. The five TBTF banks will soon control 50% of US bank assets, a much bigger threat to the 99% than all of the world's terrorists combined.

Deal only with credit unions and community banks.


Boycott goes so well with my economics, I may stay divested all through 2017.

Boycott is a good idea, but I think individuals ought to consider going far beyond that in terms of levering and controlling the political fallout of our purchasing.

In a proper boycott, one disagrees with some company policy, communicates with other consumers, and then a group withholds purchase of said company's products. Hopefully, the company alters or reverses the policy, and the consumers happily celebrate victory.

This is a good thing. It works particularly well if the problem is that a company that is largely acceptable otherwise, even as a compromise option, has some policy that one finds sufficiently objectionable to undergo the trouble.

If the company is intrinsically or structurally objectionable, some further action is indicated. One of many possibilities in many cases is just not ever buying a given product from the same company nor from any company ever again, regardless, perhaps making lifestyle changes to enable that shift in consumer activity.

If the trouble is somebody else's low wages, this might be a lousy idea. However, if the trouble is that the type of industry in question trashes the environment or the type of trade arrangements that the industry engages in creates tragic inequality in wealth or otherwise damaging conditions, this may in many cases be the most effective way to proceed. I won't argue that it will always work, and surely it does not when carried out by the relatively small minority that might succeed with direct action or with public protest, but it has some advantages. More people may be willing to engage in it. It cannot be effectively countered by excessive use of force: there are no water cannons and no pepper spray. It is harder to trace by electronic surveillance than a lot of other things. And you have a lot less junk to throw out.


That's well thought out opinion bardamu. Nada writes in her article directing attention to the specific case of BDS and Zionist pressures to have that movement's cause, aims and methods called into question and to have the movement itself criminalised in various ways. Its far too serious an issue not to be properly discussed and the infringements on the rights of individuals to engage in what many consider to be an avenue of legitimate freedom to peacefully protest against established lobbies and their allies who support and encourage others to support unconscionable activities by the State of Israel in Palestine. Its not alone that defenders and apologists for Israeli repetitive and crimes are satisfied by being well ensconced across the western worlds power structures but its latest crusade is directed against individual consciences. That is the real battle!


Thanks for this excellent account of the case for BDS. Some blunt history, also from Mondoweiss, is at


I use one of the big offensive banks because it provides free, convenient ATM service. Small banks have a small number of ATMs, so their customers often wind up paying $3 or more for "out-of-network" transactions.


Does anyone have a complete list of the banks that are funding the pipeline?


Boycott is beautiful.

I hope we will all prepare/join our support networks for what may very well be a rough ride. From the experience of the last economic collapse (and looking past the calm, "this is so normal" attitude of NYPost). . .