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December 11, 2014 10:29 am

BDS Opponents Mobilize Against ‘Unrepresentative’ UAW 2865 Vote, Citing Bias and Intimidation

avatar by Ben Cohen

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UAW 2865's pro-BDS vote has been condemned for bias and intimidation. Photo: Twitter

Labor union activists opposed to the anti-Semitic BDS movement at the University of California are gearing up for a bitter political battle, following yesterday’s decision by UAW 2865 – the local chapter which represents more than 13,000 teaching assistants, tutors, and other student-workers – to join the BDS campaign “until such time as Israel has complied with international law and respected the rights of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinian citizens of Israel, and all Palestinians refugees and exiles.”

Although BDS proponents are hailing the vote as a milestone, since it marks the first time that an American labor union chapter has declared its support for a movement that seeks the elimination of Israel as a sovereign state, their adversaries have countered that the vote was unrepresentative and stained by intimidation. Among the groups supporting the motion was the violently anti-Semitic “Students for Justice in Palestine.”

Only 2,189 votes were cast in a ballot in which more than 52,000 union members were eligible to vote. Of those, 65 percent voted in favor of the BDS resolution. UAW 2865 said that in addition, “1136 members pledged to personally adhere to the academic boycott.”

“This was far from a fair process,” said Jonathan Kummerfeld, a member of Informed Grads, a group of rank-and-file United Auto Workers (UAW) 2865 members who formed to oppose BDS in their Union. “Over the past several months, the Union leadership invested thousands of dollars, together with the Union’s institutional and human resources to promote a ‘yes’ vote.”

Kummerfeld emphasized that BDS opponents were denied equal opportunities in making their case within the union, in flagrant violation of union rules. “The Union wrote and disseminated thousands of words in favor of BDS and refused to send members a single paragraph from the opposition,” he said.

UCLA student Philippe Assouline said that BDS advocates intimidated their opponents during the vote. “The polls were often staffed by pro-BDS campaigners. One union member tried to have me forcibly evicted because I opposed BDS even though I was abiding by all the rules. Meanwhile pro-BDS campaigners were everywhere,” Assouline recounted.

The union’s own rules for the vote clearly stated that “no campaigning is permitted within 20 feet of any polling place” and that “harassment or intimidation in any form are unacceptable and have no place in our democratic process.”

While BDS campaigners may believe that they have won a victory, the net effect of the vote will likely lead to the isolation of UAW 2865 from the rest of the labor movement. The national UAW is resolutely opposed to the boycott and the powerful Teamsters union told the UAW 2865 leadership last month that a ‘yes’ vote would mean that “we would find it difficult to ask our members to support your union in a labor dispute with the University of California so long as you are engaged in activities that are fundamentally hostile to their interests.”

“We cannot conceive of an action more hostile to the interests of our members and more antithetical to the most basic principles of the union movement,” the Teamsters said.

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has also warned that the BDS vote will mean that members of UAW 2865 and their employers “are on notice that any actions taken against Israeli individuals or institutions could result in legal action,” citing “state and federal laws and policies preventing national-origin discrimination.”

Informed Grads has already filed an appeal contesting the fairness of the ballot. The group also expressed concern that the vote would have negative implications for free speech on campus.

“BDS not only aims to stigmatize and marginalize Israel. It aims to stigmatize and marginalize dissenters,” said Informed Grads activist Joshua Saidoff.

Jewish advocacy groups and academics opposed to the boycott have pledged to block the resolution’s implementation. Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a lecturer at UC Santa Cruz and the director of the AMCHA Initiative, expressed gratitude to UC Provost Aimee Dorr for disseminating “to all UC Chancellors the UC policies that prohibit graduate student instructors from using the university classroom to promote anti-Israel propaganda or an antisemitic boycott of Israel.”

“We call on all UC administrators to ensure that these policies are strictly enforced, that UC classrooms are used for education and not political indoctrination, and that all students — including Jewish and pro-Israel students — have equal access to a safe and non-discriminatory learning environment,” Rossman-Benjamin declared.

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  • Diane Hewitt

    When did academia, academics, and students become so completely stupid?

    • Anonoymous

      Fantastic analysis, here. The same goes for “t. Mavin” below. Paragraphs and paragraphs of explanation and persuasive arguments, and all you have to say in response is that people who are earning their doctorates at some of the finest universities in the country (if not the world) are “stupid.” Sigh.

    • Paul Cerar

      Most members of the Jew-hatred movement are “Generic Fascists”, persons who are by nature fascist and given the opportunity would engage in fascism against anyone, on behalf of any cause.

      Paul Cerar
      Toronto, Canada

      • Anonoymous

        Well, it’s a good thing I’m not a part of the “Jew-hatred movement,” as my comments here make pretty clear. I think I know a thing or two about Fascism. It’s definitely not a cudgel you can use against your political adversaries. And if you want to compare Nazi Germany’s state-sanctioned racism to Israel’s “Jewish nation” legislation, and the country’s colonialist, lebensraum-esque policies in the West Bank, I think you’d be on to something there …

  • California

    UAW 2865 and the UC-system is soon to be sued by Jewish California residents for promoting discrimination! I welcome the vote!

    • Anonoymous

      Please explain how our vote is “promoting discrimination.” Our vote is a symbolic statement in protest of Israel’s colonial policies in the West Bank. How is that discrimination? Do you define discrimination as “disagrees with me”? If so, I don’t think that’s the definition that everyone else is using …

  • Steve Berwick

    “until such time as Israel has complied with international law and respected the rights of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinian citizens of Israel, and all Palestinians refugees and exiles.”

    How is this Anti-Semitic ?

    • Julian Clovelley

      I don’t support the boycott as such – albeit there are a couple of israeli products manufactured in the West Bank settlements that I might avoid.

      But I do think that this article displays a huge bias that manifests itself in inaccuracy, and I question the editorial standard applied here. In this I rather agree with Steve Berwick’s limited comment

      I do not think it is legitimate or accurate to describe the BDS movement in the terms applied by this article. I see it as illegitimate to describe the movement as “antisemitic”. I also consider applying that term to be quite dangerous to Jewish Communities worldwide. I sometimes feel that Zionism defines an opinion or action as “antisemitic” long before it actually is – and indeed many actions, even thus labelled, never become antisemitic in nature. I think it is about time that people in Israel told the Zionists to stop claiming the State of Israel as “Zionist Property” – it isn’t and it will never be. Israel is a democracy. The coming election would be an excellent time for the people to tell the Zionist extremists to get off their back before they do any more damage to Israel’s good(sic) name in the world.

      I find the support some independent antisemitic organisations might tender the BDS campaign far less surprising than I find, say, any Jewish allegiance to the Republican Party, with it’s own extremist elements and associations.

      It is perfectly legitimate for a person to be sympathetic to the State of Israel and at the same time be opposed to the Occupation and Settlement of the West Bank. It is not “antisemitic” to share a view commonly held in Israel itself. Nor is it “antisemitic” to question the move towards a Jewish State as having a potentially Apartheid character. Indeed within Israel such concerns contributed to the call for a General Election.

      As for the BDS. I won’t go near the stock market at the moment, so it doesn’t concern me. I manage my own retirement savings – such as they are. As for products I find the wines a bit sweet for me – but would be interested in recommendation of a good dry red. I don’t buy Israeli clothes unless I know they have ben manufactured there and not imported from nations that exploit cheap labour, including China – and I don’t think anything goes so well with cheese, apart from very fresh bread, as an Israeli matzoh

      The Israeli Election is an opportunity to tell the world that Israel is a nation of diversity of culture and opinion, that the people have an undercurrent of mutual respect and that a BDS hurts people that share the opinions of the campaigners

  • SB

    Lame Lefties and blatant tyranny.

  • Rafael Manory

    It seems that ‘anonymous’ has decided to turn this comments page into another BDS propaganda channel…on the other hand, as reported in this article, anti-BDS activists were not allowed to voice their views at the UAW2865 meetings…so I suggest the Algemeiner does the same with pro-BDS comments on this anti-BDS venue.

  • judithg

    Jew haters are like beasts who move on instinct. anything involving complex higher thinking, like homework, is to be avoided.

    • Anonoymous

      I agree with you. It’s a good thing there aren’t any “Jew haters” on this thread. Also, all of the members of UAW 2865 are graduate students pursuing Master of Arts or Doctor of Philosophy degrees. You were saying something about “complex higher thinking, like homework”?! Is “homework” really the best example of “complex higher thinking”?!

  • Dean

    BDS is modern-day anti-Semitism which has aligned itself to the terror movement. BDS leftists are comfortable supporting those who explode planes into American buildings on 9/11 and behead our citizens but they go crazy when a few homes are built on a sliver of land belonging to Jews for 3700 years (most know nothing of Jewish history in the region). BDS monsters would like to eradicate Israel but they would also like to eradicate America – to them we are all colonizers and there is no place on earth for us. They want to give it all away to Islamists, totalitarians, fascists, Communists, murderers and fools. Good luck with that project you post-modernist vicious idiots!

    • Anonoymous

      “BDS leftists are comfortable supporting those who explode planes into American buildings on 9/11 and behead our citizens”

      Dean, you are LITERALLY out of your mind. I have no idea what you are talking about! Do you even know a pro-BDS supporter? You’re talking about BDS activists like they’re monsters or something. We’re people with political opinions. And protesting Israel’s colonial objectives in the West Bank is NOT anti-Semitism! Israel doesn’t get a free hand to do whatever it wants to whoever it wants! Israel needs to comply with international law just like every other country. Right now, they are in violation of UN resolutions with respect to their colonial settlements in the West Bank. In the interest of pushing towards a two state solution, our union voted to protest Israel’s heavy handed policies against the Palestinians in the interest of arriving at a peaceful solution acceptable to both parties. We know that our vote alone will not fix the problem between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but we resolved to try to do something. But none of us harbor any hatred towards the Jewish people. So … calm down!

  • Al Talena

    Make no mistake about it. The islamo fascist agents are here in the US on our campuses and are in alliance with the loony left. islamo fascists are not new comers to fomenting violence against opponants & Jews. ANd the left are veterans of Tyrany of the Left.

  • CM

    I see why you use the “name” “Anonymous”. You know very little about international law. How can one colonize somewhere that their ancestors lived long before any “Palestinians” existed? People do not vote if they are intimidated. Certainly the person in the article felt intimidated by your cohorts, so don’t claim there was no intimidation. Why do you ignore the blockage of Gaza by Egypt, which does not let aid in like Israel does if you are not anti-Israel? “Reckless military posturing” and “heavy-handed military responses” by Israel as to Gaza? Don’t you recall the thousands of rockets launched by Gaza at civilians in Israel just this past summer? How about the tunnels they dug to kill innocent children in Israeli schools? It seems clear you have an anti-Israel and/or anti-Jewish agenda that does not depend on the facts, as the facts clearly go against your positions. By the way, Jews and Christians are not a “slim minority” of human beings, at least in the U.S. Even if they were, that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve someone to fight for their rights. It’s Hamas that has created a totalitarian dictatorship; not Israel or its supporters. Who do you think you are kidding here?

    • Anonoymous

      “You know very little about international law. How can one colonize somewhere that their ancestors lived long before any “Palestinians” existed?”
      Sigh. Because contemporary international law has nothing to do with the ancient past. I mean, … isn’t that obvious?!

      “Don’t you recall the thousands of rockets launched by Gaza at civilians in Israel just this past summer?”
      Sure I do. But what often gets left out of these “rockets” claims is that they are, themselves, a largely insignificant response (comparatively speaking) to Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. Gaza isn’t a “free” country to do as it wishes and develop whichever policy it wants. Israel literally counts the calories that enter Gaza on a daily basis in order to maintain a bare minimum of subsistence there. You tell me that you wouldn’t want someone to fire rockets in the direction of the authorities who were doing that your people, your family, your children …

      “How about the tunnels they dug to kill innocent children in Israeli schools?”
      Thousands of Gazan children were killed in Israel’s airstrikes this past summer. How many Israeli children died? An insignificant number by comparison. Jewish lives matter. But so do the lives of Palestinians. Irrational supporters of Israel often do not care about what happens to the Palestinians under any circumstances. For instance, not one line in your comment above indicates a sensitivity towards the HUMANITY of the Palestinian people, whose land is being taken and colonized ILLEGALLY by a quasi-Fascist government in Israel. You should be angry about that. But you’re not, because, as I said in another comment, you and pro-Israeli activists only care about a slim minority of human beings on this planet, rather than all peoples and their rights to basic necessities and freedom from oppression. The Jews founded the nation state of Israel only to allow their leaders to re-create similar conditions for the Palestinians from which they escaped in Europe.

  • Dear Anonymous, you put a politically correct argument out there and defend
    your position with such passion. So I ask you, with all your huge efforts, through BDS to
    try to force the hand of Israel to give up more land… Do you
    really in good conscience believe that Jews and Israelis have any chance
    of living in peace and security with a 2 state solution when every part
    of land that they have given to the Palestinians has been used only
    and exclusively for purposes of destruction and terror against Israel? If Palestinians
    wanted peace with Israel, by now it could have been achieved. The Palestinians
    could have flourished and lived well, entering into trade and business
    partnerships with Israel.
    But they don’t build, neither bridges of peace nor even infrastructure for their
    own people, they only destroy. Why are you so adamant that Israel give up
    more of her land? Surely by now it is evident that this will only lead to Israel’s
    complete destruction? Two state solution only works when you have 2 peace partners,
    not one who wants peace and one who constantly incites destruction.

    • Anonoymous

      “If Palestinians wanted peace with Israel, by now it could have been achieved. The Palestinians could have flourished and lived well, entering into trade and business partnerships with Israel. But they don’t build, neither bridges of peace nor even infrastructure for their own people, they only destroy.”

      That has to be the most ignorant claim I have read all day, and I’ve been reading a lot of anti-BDS dribble today! The Palestinians live under a military occupation that limits their movements EVEN WITHIN THE WEST BANK. It takes hours, sometimes, to move just one mile within the West Bank due to the system of check points Israel has instituted throughout the occupied territories. You tell me how the Palestinians are supposed to set up a thriving economy and build modern infrastructure under such conditions. And by the way, modern infrastructure and trade aren’t the only things that legitimate a society! Just because a society doesn’t feature these largely Western features doesn’t mean they’re an illegitimate society or culture. Be careful not to judge others according to the standards of your own society. That’s called ethnocentrism.

  • Larry A. Singleton

    Is there a f-ing LAW against having a decent print function???

  • Zg

    To anonymous
    At least you should have the decency to spew your incoherent garbage with your name on top.Disgusting faschist.your attempt at elimination of Israel ad a home for the Jewish people will fail miserably.

    • Anonoymous

      “Disgusting faschist”
      Right. Just spell-check before you clicks submit, that’s all.

    • Anonoymous

      “At least you should have the decency to spew your incoherent garbage with your name on top.” Do you mean like you bravely did, “Zg”?!

  • Many Americans are Blind, Deaf and Dumb
    We are in an Islamic Cultural War. That has no Borders
    Islamic Culture must destroy Western Culture OR
    Western Culture must destroy Islamic Culture.
    Stealth Jihad will destroy America!
    It is a Genocidal War.
    Islamic Culture = Evil: Western Culture = Civilization
    Choose Freedom or Slavery
    This is a battle between Light and Darkness or Good and Evil or Knowledge and Slavery
    Decided which side you are on?

    • Anonoymous

      Robin, Western Culture is responsible for enslaving millions of Africans and committing genocide against the Native North, Central, and South Americans and the Jews and other ethnic minorities in twentieth century Europe. Are you sure that “Western Civilization” is worth defending so unquestioningly?!

  • Islam is Evil. What part of Evil do you not understand? Islam enslaves your minds, your bodies and your souls. It must be destroyed. Islamic Culture is a Slave, Hate, Violent and War Culture.

    Islamic Culture is reverse of Western Culture. The normal people are the Extremists and the Violent people are the normal or the majority.

    • Anonoymous

      “Islamic Culture is reverse of Western Culture. The normal people are the Extremists and the Violent people are the normal or the majority.”

      You’re trolling, right?! I refuse to believe that you are being serious. No one could be so childishly ignorant on so fundamental an issue for basic global political competence.

    • Anonoymous

      Religion and patriotism enslave peoples’ minds, not just one religion. Western culture has been far more violent than Islam has been. The Holocaust, for example, was the product of Western culture. So was the Transatlantic Slave Trade, and the genocide of Native Americans, and global imperialism. Shall. I. Go. On?!

  • Efram

    I am a lifelong union man. I would never belong to a union which puts hatred of Israel and Jews over working on behalf of its members. Unions exist to assist its members, not to goose step to the current flavor of savagery.

  • Liz

    Wow; where do I start? You’ve used up so much air without entwining the “oppressive” and “abusive” actions nationwide of the borderline-violent SJP and their constant campaigns of hate-speak suppression of any pro-Israel positions or speakers, across this great country. Or the ongoing incitement of murderous hatred leading to waves of attacks on innocent civilians by the Palestinians. Or the illegal brainwashing of Paletsinian children agains Jews…or the genocidal Charters of Hamas, the PA and the PLO… Suppression of speech is far more in evidence in the leftist activities across the country’s campuses…too bad more HISTORY wasn’t taught, in preference for pro-terrorist Palestinian support…

  • Jack

    No contradiction at all. Everyone not feigning ignorance knows that a Palestinian majority in Israel (which will occur if the fictitious Palestinian “ROR” is made law as required by the BDS movement) turns Israel into a Palestinian state. The first act of of the majority Islamic Arab Knesset will be to change the name of the state to Palestine.

    That is what is implied by the resolution.

    • Anonoymous

      Here’s your logic: There are more of X people than Y people right now. But X people are reproducing faster than Y people at the moment. Thus, since we know that once X people becomes a majority in the country they’ll impose themselves on Y people and seek to limit their representation in government and civil rights, Y people should just beat X people to the punch and pass racist laws preventing the latter from gaining any socio-political traction in the country. Did I capture that accurately?

  • Anonoymous

    Lastly, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) is a right-wing, Christian, nutbag organization designed to counter that very effective legal tactics of the ACLU. Jay Sekulow and his nutbag “lawyers” at the ACLJ only care about defending a few specific groups of human beings, such as Christians and Jews. If a Christian feels uncomfortable with a non-Christian symbol in public, the ACJL leaps into action. If a Muslim, however, feels intimidated or discriminated against in public, where’s the ACLJ?! Nowhere! Because they’re a complete joke of an organization, they only care about representing a slim minority of human beings, and therefore should not be taken seriously by your organization.

    Those who think that losing a democratic vote on BDS means they’ll be forced to study and work in a “hostile” environment simply do not understand how to live in a society with other people who don’t think the same way they do. Like the ACLJ, Israel supporters have no problem with the public shaming of critics of Israel (which includes suggesting an anti-Semitic motivation behind one’s support for BDS, lawsuits, and firings), and yet when a group advocates a position (which does not involve the silencing of the opposition) they lose their minds?! Please. Unless you live in a totalitarian dictatorship, you are going to have to get used to living in a society where others think differently from you. If you don’t like that, then don’t go outside.

    • Mandrake

      Do you also defend the decapitation of Christians, minorities and other Islamic sects by IS?
      You must also defend Islam, the Hamas Charter, Duke,etc.? Do you also defend the great contribution of the Islamic world to the benefit of mankind as compare to the Jewish contributions? The many Islamic Nobel prizes? Do you approve suicide bombers (and the 72 virgins)?. Who are you to compare the savages of Islam to the Jews? The Arabs and Muslims in Israel have more rights than in any other Arab or Muslim country. The Arabs never accepted Israel and will not stop unless they destroy Israel and conquest the whole world. Then there will not be anybody listening to your BS. Bravo for the ACLJ and Jay Sekulow!

    • t. Mavin

      The only nutbag is the writer of these rants and his or her cohorts.

      • Ed

        there are Israeli students in the union, which just pledged not to talk to Israeli academics. How is that not hostile towards them?

        • Anonoymous

          We didn’t pledge to not talk to Israeli students!!! We pledged to not participate in academic events or activities sponsored by the Israeli government or by Israeli universities. I have Israeli friends and I speak to them freely and often. People, PLEASE READ the actual language of our resolution, rather than dribbling out your uninformed opinions here or elsewhere: “I will personally adhere to this boycott, refusing to take part in any research, conferences, events, exchange programs, or other activities that are sponsored by Israeli universities complicit in the occupation of Palestine and the settler-colonial policies of the state of Israel” (See So this isn’t a pledge to not talk to Israeli academics. It’s a pledge to not participate in Israeli academic events and activities. Do you see the EXTREMELY IMPORTANT difference?!

          Also, here is an open letter from Jewish members of our union in favor of BDS:

    • ap

      The BDS movement can only survive in an atmosphere of ignorance, disinformation and bigotry. Their purpose is not to aid the Palestinians, who are directly harmed by the efforts. Their purpose is to silence dissent – to “Other” Israeli Jews, and gain support for the eradication of Israel.

      That is why it is so crucially important to them to prevent the free exchange of ideas – especially on university campuses.

      One would hope UC grad students would be the first to demand critical analysis, and insist upon open dialogue and debate. Instead they have been reduced to Jackboots.

      Here’s some of what those representing the BDS movement don’t want the UC student body to know – especially the voting members of UAW.

      These videos were created by Dr. Francisco Gil-White. A graduate of UCLA. They should be required viewing of all UC grad students.

    • Veronica

      And why are you anonymous, covering your name with burka? Afraid to say lies under your real name?

      • Anonoymous

        What’s wrong with burkas?!

    • From your rantings it appears you came from a totalitarian regime and want to establish it here. America was founded on Judeo-Christian values and our Constitution was written on the same values. If you want to live under Islamic rule go live in an Islamic nation!

      • Anonoymous

        What does the American constitution have to do with anything we’re discussing here? And it is that very document that provides me with the freedom to express my political opinions. The constitution isn’t a “Christian” document! It’s a blueprint for the maintenance of a multi-confessional, multi-ethnic society. So you’re free to think our country was and is a Christian society (for a historical refutation of this argument, see the contents of the Treaty of Tripoli), and I’m free to disagree. THAT is what America is supposed to be about.

  • Anonoymous

    Also, the notion that endorsing the BDS movement somehow creates a “hostile” environment for Jewish/Israeli students in the UC system is complete nonsense. These same people advocate the silencing of critics of Israel on university campuses all over the United States. Take, for instance, Professor William Robinson of UCSB, who was “the target of a campaign of intimidation, silencing, and political repression that included techniques described in the ‘Hasbara handbook’ by the Israel lobby in contravention of academic freedom and university rules” ( Moreover, when Professor Steve Salaita voiced his horror and opposition to Israel’s murderous military campaign in the Gaza Strip via his Twitter account a few months ago, he lost his new job offer at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne ( So, pro-Israel activists and the pro-Israeli lobby seem to be perfectly content with silencing and intimidating critics of Israel in very real and tangible ways, but when a group of determined graduate student union members issue a collective statement in favor of a movement that is design NOT to destroy the nation state of Israel but, rather, to publicly confront Israel’s violent colonialism in the West Bank and heavy-handed military responses in the Gaza Strip VIA A DEMOCRATIC VOTE, they collapse in horror and decry the return of an atmosphere of anti-Semitism and intimidation. Please!

    • Efram

      You are deliberately lying, and your anonymous status certainly helps support this. The BDS movement has caused Jews to fear for their safety on many US campuses. They are afraid to wear kippas, have a Mezuzah on their doors, or display any affinity for Jews and Israel. Students are threatened, intimidated, harassed on a daily basis. The BDS movement is EXACTLY the same as the right wing. They glorify Hitler, are openly Anti-Semitic, incite violence against Jews, and create a highly unAmerican mood on campus. Their tactics are the same as the Nazis and, as has been recorded over and over again, many of these ‘people’ advocate the total extermination of all Jews.

      You are a vicious, cowardly, hateful troglodyte, whose soul is right wing from top to bottom. There is NOTHING PROGRESSIVE about bigotry, about acquiescing to, if not outright advocacy of, the murder of innocent people. It is garbage such as you that would call qualifying aid to terrorists with the caveat that the money not be used to murder people as an invasion of the terrorists’ human rights.

      The venal, evil, malevolent nature of you and all the other savages who dominate the discussion of Israel, such as you, are a human blight, a disease, a cancer on humanity. You are as progressive as was Stalin, and as liberal as was Hitler.

      • Anonoymous

        Efram, firstly, believe me, there is NOTHING “right wing” about me! Haha. If you only knew … And I just wanted to say that our BDS movement is designed to confront and discredit people who think like you do. So thank you for logging your hatred and disregard for the Palestinian people here while simultaneously accusing me and other BDS supporters of racism towards the Jewish people. Let’s be perfectly clear, here: Israel is NOT a racially-defined nation state. Israel is NOT Jewish. Therefore, criticizing Israel’s policies is NOT anti-Semitic. Furthermore, both Hebrew and Arabic are Semitic languages. Therefore, how could someone who wants to see peace and cooperation between both peoples be anti-Semitic?!

    • Joe Honick

      Those who resort to the use of “anonymous” should remain as the non-persons they so cowardly display themselves. Alternative: say who you are or go back in hiding.

    • Dean

      Your hostility shines through, bud. I would not want to be on a campus with a bunch of hot-headed, Jew-hating, terrorist-supporting scum like you. Go pick on Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Hamas-Fatah, ISIS_ISIL, the Revolutionary Guard, etc., and not intimidate and bully good people. If you must, and it makes you happy, become a hostage of one of the terror groups you admire and fight for.

    • Dean

      How would you like to be boycotted, censored and fired from your cushy university and union jobs for being leftist morons and terror supporters? How would you like to be banned for speaking on behalf of the Hamas-Fatah terror organization and other terror groups whose side you have taken? How would you like to have your home taken away and given to others because your success is anathema to their failures? How would you like to have a global propaganda campaign aimed at demonizing, vilifying and distorting history to make you the eternal enemy of the world and the target of their collective violence? Let’s see how you like being boycotted and punished with sanctions – I think that you will probably scream like a stuffed pig.

      • Anonoymous

        “How would you like to be boycotted, censored and fired from your cushy university and union jobs for being leftist morons and terror supporters?”
        How would you like to live under a never-ending, merciless occupation like the Palestinian people do?

    • Lynne T

      Oh, a Steven Salaita fan here. Really says it all.

  • Anonoymous

    “Although BDS proponents are hailing the vote as a milestone, since it marks the first time that an American labor union chapter has declared its support for a movement that seeks the elimination of Israel as a sovereign state, their adversaries have countered that the vote was unrepresentative and stained by intimidation.”

    Firstly, nowhere in the public statement on our union’s endorsement of the BDS movement does it state that we as a union chapter advocate “the elimination of Israel as a sovereign state”. That’s a cheap lie, and you know it. It is designed to 1. drum up your pro-Israel base into thinking that movements like ours are somehow against the Jewish people or the state of Israel (a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional nation state, by the way) and 2. strike fear into the hearts of those who don’t really know much about these issues by way of suggesting that BDS supporters are implicitly anti-Semitic and against the two state solution proposal.

    Secondly, and most importantly, if you look at the numbers for our voting turn out, it is clear that our BDS endorsement was characterized more by indifference by our union’s voting members than it was by “intimidation.” There are a total of 12,000 Academic Student Employees – Tutors, Readers, and Teaching Assistants – at the nine teaching campuses of the University of California. However, only 2,160 showed up at our polling stations (some of these, mind you, were new members who signed up ONLY to cast a vote for or against BDS). Thus, if there was some grand conspiracy to “stain” our vote with “intimidation” (which, from you perspective, might even include, GASP!, open and unfiltered dialog on an issue that many people care very deeply about), wouldn’t there have been a greater number of members voting in favor of BDS? Not voting is indifference, not intimidation, especially when the polling stations were located in the most convenient locations all over our nine campuses. Voting was easy and available ALL DAY. There was no intimidation. There was dialog. No one suggested any consequences for voting this or that way. No one made anyone feel like their yes or no vote would result in this or that consequence. There was only a passionate debate, a vote, and a public statement.

    Look, our union is not anti-Jewish. Our union isn’t even anti-Israel. Our union’s pro-BDS statement is a statement about Israel’s policies against the Palestinians — in particular, its settlement policies in the West Bank, which are in violation of internationally-recognized laws. Our endorsement of BDS does NOT call for the destruction of Israel. Most of us are in favor of a two state solution. But the illegal settlements (a colonial program which Netanyahu is accelerating) need to stop. In fact, the existing settlements need to be either given to Palestinian residents or torn down altogether. The racist legislation currently being considered in Israel’s Knesset needs to stop (that is, the legislation which proposes to define Israel as a Jewish nation). The blockade of the Gaza Strip and the reckless military posturing there by Israel’s armed forces needs to stop. These are pressing issues that our members care very deeply about. Our BDS statement, then, is a direct response to these things and an initial step towards a solution.

    • Nathaniel Warshay

      Apparently, Anonymous doesn’t have the honesty to go pbulic with who he or she is in calling Israel colonialist. The whole BSD enterprise and the resolution before the local is anti-Semitic – you wouldn’t see them doing such a resolution about other countries that make it a crime to convert to another religion, practice other religions, encourage slavery of Africans and others, or use their own children for human shields. No, Anonymous and the BSD movement feel that it’s only the Jewish country that has to pay for what they see as doing something wrong. No one else does anything wrong enough to bring on their wrath. Hey, more than 200,000 Syrians killed isn’t enough for them to call for a boycott of the Syrian government, nor China’s 60-year occupation of Tibet, population transfer of Hong Chinese to wipe out the native Tibetan majority there, nor any other international misdeed. No, they select only the Jewish country and accuse it of occupying Palestine, which never in the history of the world was a country or self governing, except when Jews governed there now and thousands of years ago.

      Nathaniel Warshay
      UAW Local 1981

      • Anonoymous

        “No, Anonymous and the BSD movement feel that it’s only the Jewish country that has to pay for what they see as doing something wrong.”
        Israel is not, nor should it be, a “Jewish” country. Nearly one quarter of Israel’s citizens are Arabs. How can Israel be a “Jewish” country when 1/4 of its citizens aren’t Jewish?! Nearly 60% of United States’ citizens are Caucasian. Does that make the United States a “White” country?! Do you see how that’s racist?!

    • Efram

      I just love reading all you anonymous Neo-Nazis lie through your teeth. The founders of BDS, and many other pro-terrorist organizations, are on record as wanting the destruction of Israel AND, in some cases, the annihilation of every Jew on earth. The only thing BDS could possibly solve is the elimination of Israel. There is no sign, whatsoever, on the part of the movement to engage in dialog. However, there is rampant propaganda about everything Israel does and does not. In the recent war on Hamas, which you bigots scream about, Hamas committed massive war crimes, deliberately manipulated the media (which is already, by and large, dominated by cheerleaders of your terrorists), and started, and continued a war on a sovereign nation, targeting civilians, and even Muslim holy places.

      Israel (wrongfully) left Gaza unilaterally in 2005. The area had two vibrant industries, fruit and beautiful beaches. Israel walked away, and forced every Jew to join it, in the hopes that Gaza would turn out to be a success story, which might contribute, finally, to a lasting peace. Instead, Hamas took it over, destroyed both industries, and has waged constant terror against Israel, especially children and women. The cowardly leaders hide in bunkers, or hospitals, or go on vacation to other countries while demanding Gazans use themselves a human shields so that excrement such as you can cry fowl. All of the substantial international aid the terrorists receive go to two purposes, fattening the bank accounts of the cowardly leaders, and terror infrastructure.

      Murdering innocent women and children is barbarism, savagery, and the marks of genuine evil. There is no excuse for it, or for ‘people’ like you. You and your terrorist deities have contributed NOTHING, NADA, ZILCH to the world, have made no discoveries and accomplished nothing except for wholesale slaughter. You are genuine pig excrement, and should take your cowardly selves to the nearest combine and jump in. That would leave a few less murderers on earth, at least.

      • Anonoymous

        “Murdering innocent women and children is barbarism, savagery, and the marks of genuine evil.”


        “Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. Their homes will be sacked and their wives raped by the attacking hordes. For I will stir up the Medes against Babylon, and no amount of silver or gold will buy them off. The attacking armies will shoot down the young people with arrows. They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for the children.” (Isaiah 13:15-18 NLT)

        “Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. “The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him.” (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)

        “When the people heard the sound of the horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the city from every side and captured it. They completely destroyed everything in it – men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep, donkeys – everything.” (Joshua 6:20-21 NLT)


        You were saying …

    • Before you carry on about International Law being broken by settlements in Judea and Samaria, it behooves you to check it out yourself, rather than blindly repeating what ignoramuses propagate. Palestine was a province of the Ottoman empire, never a political entity. After the Ottomans lost WWI, their vast territories were disposed of by the victorious allies. Palestine, one of these territories was adjudicated to the Jewish people at the Treaty of San Remo (1920) and the League of Nations entrusted Britain with its administration under “The British Mandate for Palestine,” which included the area that is today Jordan and which comprised 77% of the total area of Palestine and most of the Palestinian people. So the Jews, right from the start, were left somehow with 23% of the land that should have been theirs to settle. Today’s Palestinian State is Jordan and the Arabs living in Judea and Samaria are, to the best of my knowledge, the only people in recorded history claiming the need and the right for TWO STATES. By International Law, the entire territory of ANY mandate becomes the sovereign territory of the people that achieve nationhood via a mandate. So the so-called “settlements” in Judea and Samaria are entirely legitimate building projects of a sovereign people on its sovereign land.
      Furthermore, all the “grievances” that you mention, “settlements,” “occupation,” “refugees,” did not exist in the 1920s and 1930s when Arabs in Palestine started to kill Jews in a systematic and organized manner. It should be clear to anyone with an ounce of logic that these complaints are red herrings and foul excuses for their real and often stated goal, which is the destruction of the State of Israel. Go to find out what they teach the children in their madrasse: that they will go to paradise for killing Jews.
      Real nice, peace-loving gents . . .

      • Anonoymous

        I am a historian by training and do not need a history lesson from you. And no amount of historical context could ever displace the blame that the state of Israel deserves for its repugnant colonial aims in the West Bank.

    • Mandrake

      Anonimus Moron: You write so many lies that it would be a waste of anybodys time to answer them one for one. Do you know the Islamic Republic of Iran? How many countries the Islamic part of the country name? Moron, Is other countries can clame Islamic in their name why cannot be the Jewish State of Israel, moron? Israel is a democratic state, how many Islamic democratic states do you know of? Do you read current events? Do you know that Israel removed forcibly all the settlemnts in Gaza and do you know what happened afterward? Apparently, you do not work for a living because you have so much time to write all this garbage.

    • Dean

      Did your mother iron your brown shirt before the BDS meeting? Are your Islamist supporters funnelling money into the Jew-hate movement and making you their number one paid dhimmi useful idiot for the cause? The leftists are the new mercenaries for radical Islamism and some of their unions are the muscle for their mutual thuggish operations in the USA.

    • Lynne T

      Your union is anti-Palestinian worker. Mahmoud Abbas just banned one of the major trade unions representing Palestinian workers, and not a peep out of the BDS movement, including the leading BDS lights of this UAW local at Berkley who claimed that the elimination of Israel would benefit all workers around the world.

      Tell us again that your movement isn’t riddled with antisemitism from the top.

      • Anonoymous

        It doesn’t matter what the “leading lights” of my union leadership says or doesn’t say. What matters is what our resolution says, since that’s what we voted on.

  • Steve

    Here is a quote from your first paragraph:

    following yesterday’s decision by UAW 2865 … to join the BDS campaign “until such time as Israel has complied with international law and respected the rights of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinian citizens of Israel, and all Palestinians refugees and exiles.”

    And here is a quote from your second paragraph:

    “since it marks the first time that an American labor union chapter has declared its support for a movement that seeks the elimination of Israel as a sovereign state”

    Seems like a pretty huge contradiction in your argument there. You point out an explicit clause in the UAW 2865 resolution that states that they should join the BDS campaign “until such time as Israel has complied with…” and then you go on to claim that it is a movement that seeks the elimination of Israel, which is in direct contradiction to what it states in the resolution.

    • Mandrake

      You are very kind in your response. That is all you have to say?

    • steven L

      Some in the UAW will bring back Stalinism or Maoism at full speed.

      The BDS primary and exclusive goal is the elimination of Jews from their land!
      They wont dare do that to China/Tibet or ISIS!

    • Stan Nadel

      Given that the part about “the rights…of all Palestinian refugees and exiles” is code for turning Israel into a Muslim majority state (one that according to the PLO & Hamas would then merge with its Arab Muslim neighbors) the effect would be to eliminate Israel as a sovereign state. The resolution seeks to hide that with this doubletalk, but that is the reality and it is the express goal of the organizers of the BDS movement. The BDSers in the union, as elsewhere, are simply dishonest about their goals so as to lure supporters of a two state peace into their camp.

    • Dale

      What was not repeated in the article was information regarding the previous meeting of this Union in which the lead representative of the Union expressed the elimination of Israel as being a part of this BDS support vote. Take the time to research the back editions of The Algemeiner where the transcript of that meeting can be found.
      Also, it seems you are completely ignorant of the harrassment and intimidation of Jewish students and those opposed to the BDS movement on college campuses across the Nation.

    • Hugo

      Totally agree with Steve. This article is a purely pro-Israel piece of propaganda misstating the facts. Also it uses the same tactics of equalising criticism of Israel with antisemitism. Cheap!

    • Lynne T

      BDS is led by Omar Barghotti and others who have made it abundantly clear that the objective is a binational state, which these magical thinkers claim will be secular and democratic, despite the abject lack of democracy in both Gaza and the West Bank under Hamas and Fatah respectively.

    • Mark


      There is no contradiction. The real purpose of the overall BDS movement is the destruction of Israel. In particular, they are openly opposed to the two state solution. Here are a couple of examples:

    • Ben Cohen

      Nope, because the wording “until such time as Israel has complied with international law and respected the rights of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinian citizens of Israel, and all Palestinians refugees and exiles” is a) a distortion of history, since Israel is not solely responsible for the Palestinian refugee issue and b) as anyone who knows anything about the Middle East is acutely aware, that formula is polite code for denying Israel’s right to exist.

      • Anonoymous

        “that formula is polite code for denying Israel’s right to exist.”

        I endorse that “formula” and believe that Israel has a right to exist. So, no. That’s not true. And most of my colleagues who voted in favor of endorsing BDS within our union are in favor of a two state solution. Zionists, however, are not. They are in favor of completely dominating, brutalizing, and, eventually, extinguishing the Palestinian people via strategic legislation (like the Jewish Nation law currently being considered) and the gradual colonization of the West Bank by Jewish settlers (in violation of international law, mind you). It’s interesting that while Zionists — presumably like yourself — are busy accusing pro-BDS activists of wanting to extinguish the state of Israel they simultaneously support Israel’s policies of political, economic, social, and cultural destruction and devastation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip?! Apparently, only the Jewish people have the right to exist …

    • S

      It’s also not a contradiction because UAW 2865’s BDS Caucus held events where speakers openly called for the end of Israel.

      In other words, the ballot said one thing, but people behind the vote meant another.

      • Anonoymous

        I am a person behind the vote and I don’t advocate a position which seeks the destruction of Israel. So, no. You’re wrong.