Op-Ed: BDS: Bigoted, Deceitful, Shameless
The BDS movement (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) is spreading like a pestilence across our country and in Europe, infecting the young and vulnerable in universities. The University of Pennsylvania conference is a recent example.
How did it evolve?
On April 1, 1933, a week after Hitler came to power, he ordered a boycott of Jewish shops, banks, offices and department stores. Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels defended it as a legitimate response to the anti-German “atrocity propaganda” being spread by “international Jewry.”
Signs were posted, “Germans, defend yourselves, buy only at German shops!”
In 1945, the Arab League initiated a boycott of Jewish Palestinian businesses. A year later, it was extended to prohibit contact with “anything Jewish.”
The BDS movement began in earnest at the UN’s Durban Conference Against Racism in the 2001 NGO (often government-supported “non-governmental organizations”) forum, when Human Rights Watch (HRW) presented the strategy to advance the “complete and total isolation of Israel,” and called for the “imposition of mandatory and comprehensive sanctions and embargos, the full cessation of all links (diplomatic, economic, social, aid, military cooperation, and training) between all states and Israel.”
The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) of Arab and Islamic countries held in Tehran, which excluded Israel and Jews, was led by NGOs, and linked to “war crimes” cases against Israeli officials (lawfare). From this, the pro-Palestinian groups promoted economic and cultural boycotts of Israel (2002), supported a boycott of Israeli academic institutions (2003), and worked to deny the right of the Jewish people to national self-determination (2005).
The purpose of BDS is to reverse the events of 1948 – the creation of the State of Israel, which led to the Palestinian refugee tragedy – and to demand the return of those Palestinians and their descendants to their former homes inside the Green Line, allowing for no homeland for the Jews.
This political anti-Semitism calls for the removal of an existing state (unique in international politics), based on alleged human rights abuses and military invasions that are never considered for the Indonesian presence in West Papua, the Chinese takeover of Tibet, the Russian brutality in Chechnya, or the American presence in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The distinguishing characteristic of Israel is its Jewish nationality and identity, and Israel’s supporters – irrespective of their varied political views, class background and level of ethnic or religious identification – are seen as the enemy.
The 20% Israeli Arab population is not the target, but the 80% Israeli Jews are.
They gather throughout America and Europe, their campaigns finding favor on campuses, some labor unions, churches, media, and cultural institutions, and base their accusations on lies.
Relying on the ignorance of their audience, they accuse Israel of apartheid. South Africa’s apartheid allowed no blacks in white hospitals, white universities, or participation in parliament.
Israel’s democracy allows for all races and religions to work side by side, Jews and Arabs as physicians and patients in hospitals, as professors and students in universities, and as parliamentarians in the Knesset.
When Israel was among the first to help at international disaster zones, they did so without respect for race or creed, in Turkey (1999), Kosovo (1999), the Congo (2008), and Haiti (2010) PLUS Japan!
The BDSers spread their unsubstantiated, unjustified charges that demonize Israel under the guise of freedom of speech, but they are purveyors of bigotry and hate.
Their purpose is to highlight the many inventions and merchandise produced in Israel in order to destroy its economy, the immoral punishment of a nation and its affiliates.
BDS prohibits attempts at dialogue, cooperation, and peaceful ties between Israel and Palestinian Arabs, and promotes an impossible one-state solution with Muslims as the majority and Israelis as the new “los desaparecidos” (those who disappeared).
Boycott: The BDSers coerce stores to refuse to buy/sell Israeli products, demand artists decline to perform in Israel, and stipulate academics not cooperate with Israel institutions. They analyze which methods work best and which need tweaking to improve effectiveness.
Divestment: NGOs accuse companies that trade with Israel of war crimes and international law violations, and push banks, investors and pension funds to remove developing countries’ access to financial support from Israel’s stable and advanced economy.
Sanctions: BDSers demand that the international community treat Israel as a pariah state, enforcing arms embargos on baseless war crimes, and legal proceedings for defensive actions for survival. And because the campaigns single out Israel explicitly, they violate EU Working Definition of Antisemitism, denying the Jewish people their history and the right to self-determination, using the classic anti-Semitic symbols, and drawing comparisons of Israel with Nazism. While these haters champion the rights of many minorities to self-determination, they deny Israel those very same liberties.
BDS against Israel is gaining traction in The United Methodist Church, the major mainline Christian denomination in the US. Its current plan is to encourage divestment from Motorola and Hewlett Packard.
The Italian movement for BDS, recently held in Bologna, is targeting Teva, the world’s largest pharmaceutical company (est.1901); L’Oreal, located in pre-1967 Israel; Delta Galil Industries, the largest textile manufacturer; and Sabra, Israel’s second-largest food company that supplies food for the IDF.
The BDS is not about borders or Israel’s size; it is about her very existence.
The meeting at the University of Pennsylvania concluded with a commitment to intensify the movement in Italy, in Europe, and around the world.