For the past few years, storeowners worldwide who chose to sell Israeli made products and their customers have had to face a daily gauntlet of protestors seeking to boycott Israeli goods through the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which is actively seeking to operate against Israel on a global level.
Now, StandWithUs, a pro-Israeli organization is fighting back. StandWithUs is urging schools, campuses, synagogues, community organizations, and individuals to celebrate Israel by designating March 30 as the day to buy up Israeli goods at local stores - the BIG weekend.
The date was chosen because the anti-Israel boycott campaign has planned a global boycott of Israeli products for the same day (March 30). Protestors will stand outside stores, asking shoppers not to buy Israeli products.
"We need to show the boycotters that their efforts remain doomed. Let the boycotters know that when they call for boycotts of even one or two stores or products, they will face a much larger movement to buy Israeli goods," said StandWithUs co-founder and CEO Roz Rothstein.
"We are telling people to go to their local stores, request the exact Israeli products being targeted, and buy them out. Let store managers know they should keep Israeli products well stocked on the shelves."
StandWithUs, in partnership with the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, successfully countered similar boycott days in 2010 and 2011. They mobilized Israel supporters in every store that the boycotters had targeted worldwide.
"We must defeat the boycotters who advocate destructive, instead of constructive, measures, who undermine hopes for peaceful coexistence, and whose only goal is to cripple and damage Israel by hurting Israeli citizens," Rothstein emphasized. "We can only do this by joining together to be part of a BIG campaign like this."
The success of the BDS campaign is for the most part, in the eye of the beholder; with some claiming it has garnered major results and caused a great deal of damage to Israel's economy. Others argue that Israel's exports and economy nearly doubled during the decade when BDS is alleged to have forced it to its knees.