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February 23, 2015 3:02 pm

The Daily Beast Shows its Support for BDS

avatar by Alex Margolin

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With A-listers such as Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Madonna, and Alicia Keys refusing to be bullied into canceling their shows in Israel, the BDS movement has apparently shifted strategies.

Instead of launching campaigns against artists after they schedule performances in Israel, which has proven ineffective, BDSers now go after artists who are rumored to come, like Taylor Swift.

And media outlets like the Daily Beast are happy to lend a hand:

“It’s still up in the air whether or not the “Shake It Off” songstress will seal the deal to perform in Israel this year. But if she does, it’s safe to say that her decision will cause controversy,” writes Asawain Suebsaeng, the Beast’s deputy social media editor and a former staffer at the progressive Mother Jones magazine.

Of course it’s safe to say it when the journalist himself is manufacturing the controversy, using the rumors as an excuse to provide a platform for the BDS to slam Israel without giving any pro-Israel voices a chance to respond.

Only, that’s not controversy, because controversy is about a disagreement between two sides. What he’s created is nothing more than a promotion for the BDS.

It certainly doesn’t qualify as journalism. The only quote in the entire article is a rant from Ramah Kudaimi of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation urging Swift to skip Israel. The quote clearly came from BDS talking points, referring to Israel as an apartheid state and to the deaths of Palestinian children in the Gaza conflict. There’s no mention of Israeli suffering, no Palestinian rockets, and certainly no Israeli casualties.

The quote is remarkably similar to the rhetoric Roger Waters used in a letter to Alan Parsons just a few weeks earlier – both used the terms “picket line,” “Sun City,” and “sending a great message.” Of course, Parsons flatly rejected Waters’ plea to cancel his Tel Aviv appearance and reminded the former rock star what it means to be an artist. (Hint: it’s not about trying to silence people.)

It’s also part of a cynical BDS tactic for gaining publicity. The movement attacks big name celebrities associated with Israel, and the star power of people like Taylor Swift help get its message into the newspapers, even if Swift has made no indication that she plans to come.

While the strategy succeeds in gaining publicity for the movement, it’s less effective in getting artists to comply with its pressure campaigns. The only artist mentioned in the article that did cancel his appearance – Elvis Costello – did so as far back as 2010. Since then, dozens of artists of bigger stature have graced the stage in Tel Aviv and elsewhere.

This article was originally published by HonestReporting.

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