In the event that you are looking for proof that anti-Israel activists on American college campuses refuse to tolerate any point of view other than their own, seek to disrupt the activities of others, do not believe in free speech and robust debate, and rely on shouting down people on the other side instead of actually defending their own views, I give you this.
I suppose that in some sense, I don’t blame the BDS crowd for having adopted the thuggish tactics Jonathan Marks describes in his excellent and devastating piece. Any lawyer can tell you the old saying about how when you have neither the law nor the facts on your side, you pound the table. Pounding the table is precisely what the BDS crowd is doing because its semi-intelligent members (I’m trying to be charitable here) seem to understand (however vaguely) that the facts aren’t on their side. And as Marks points out, BDS tactics are getting the movement nowhere. To be sure, the fact that the BDS crowd engages in self-destructive behavior does not mean that Israel supporters should remain silent or on the sidelines. They should ensure that they are and remain a presence on campus, and they should work to show that unlike the BDS crowd, they are mature, responsible, persuasive, and utterly in command of the facts surrounding the debate. Doing so will further allow them to claim the moral high ground over the BDS types, and will help see to it that the BDS crowd is consigned to the ash heap of campus activism–where the movement belongs, and where it should have been stillborn.
Nota bene: It ought to surprise no one that Philip Weiss approves of thuggish, unthinking, reality-and-fact-denying tactics, and that he is associated with the BDS crowd. Birds of a feather, and all that.