BDSers are crowing about pension fund TIAA-CREF's choice to drop Caterpillar. But Ben Murane skewers the suggestions that this will have much effect on the occupation, analyzing Caterpillar's stock to show this barely registers. His conclusion:
Any BDS advocate who has told you that economic pressure is how to end the occupation is lying to you about the true purpose of this campaign. BDSers know this was a tiny jettison of an insignificant amount of stock, which in itself changes little.
They know as well as I do — because we’ve discussed it — that BDS is an axiomatic, symbolic public relations campaign. It is an engagement technique aimed at harnessing passive discontent into PR stunts that raise awareness. The campaign is something to energize, mobilize and structure volunteer passion. But there’s not a single element of the BDS campaign that will actually hurt a company’s pocketbooks or Israel’s economy. Not in the next 10 or even 20 years. (Let’s talk about 25 years from now, if the occupation still continues…)
Matthew Kalman broke the story of physicist Stephen Hawking’s boycott of Israel. Then Cambridge University tried to falsely deny it.