Yoni Leviatan
How to be Jewish: Be good. The end.
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BDS is a load of BS

When it comes to Israeli technology, even the boycott crowd uses Talmudic reasoning to justify its 'consorting with the enemy'
The Wix team toasts its IPO on the Nasdaq trading floor earlier this year (Photo credit: Courtesy Wix)
The Wix team toasts its IPO on the Nasdaq trading floor earlier this year (Photo credit: Courtesy Wix)

Have you heard of BDS? Israel die-hards, and those who are dying to kill Israelis, are no doubt well-versed in the movement’s raison d’être. The acronym stands for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions and is targeted strictly against Israel, because it would be ludicrous in these people’s minds to target countries such as Syria, Iran and North Korea.

Unfortunately for the movement, it has to spend a lot of time explaining why BDS deserves the D and should not be referred to as total BS. The latest incident to challenge the legitimacy of BDS comes from the discovery that some of the movement’s most strident followers are using Wix to build their websites. Wix is an Israeli company, which has left the Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Denver squirming in their panties as they try to defend the justice of their financial contributions to the Israeli economy. We can safely conclude that Boycotter of the Year will not be among their crowning achievements.

There are two main reasons why BDS is absolute BS. The first has to do with the inability to execute a meaningful boycott. While many in the world believe Israel is the number one exporter of settlements (which, admittedly, it very well might be), few are aware that Israel’s number one export is actually technology.

Since the early 70s, when Intel set up shop in the Promised Land to develop their ubiquitous microprocessor, many of the world’s greatest technological advances have come from Israel. Items as varied as the cell phone, the camera pill, USB drives, voicemail, digital printing, and instant messenger all owe their existence to Israeli ingenuity. Which means that in this day and age it is impossible to be interconnected in our modern, technologically supported societies and not contribute some semblance of support to the Israeli economy.

Google, Microsoft, Cisco, Dell, Intel, Amazon, AT&T, ebay, General Electric, IBM, LG, Oracle, Samsung, Xerox, Yahoo and many others – most recently Apple and Facebook – do much of their R&D in Israel. Even non-tech companies such as Nestle work to improve their scrumptious chocolate treats in the land of milk and honey.

I challenge anyone to go one full day without using a product by any of those companies. The beauty of it for Israelis is that by using these companies’ technology and products you not only supply the corporate taxes the companies pay to the Israeli government, but you also ensure that Israelis from every walk of life will continue to be employed by the most important companies of our time. And we’ve only been talking about the hi-tech sector. If we factor in the agricultural, medical and defense industries in which Israel is among the top innovators in each field, it’s virtually impossible to prevent the world from enjoying the fruits of Israeli brain power (in addition to Israel’s delicious and juicy fruits), which makes it impossible to prevent Israelis from enjoying the world’s support economically.

If the impossibility of the task is not enough to convince you of the futility of boycotting Israel, we should also examine the reasons for boycotting Israel in the first place, which center round the false claim of apartheid that BDS supporters continually lie about.

Let’s begin by examining the following picture:

Arab members of Israel's current Knesset.
Arab members of Israel’s current Knesset.

The first 13 out of 14 Arab faces you see belong to the third largest party in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament (the last one actually didn’t make it in the final count). Their election was certified by an Arab judge on the Israeli Supreme Court, which is the same Arab judge who certified the election of Bibi Netanyahu as prime minister, and in his own words has said that Israel is anything but an “apartheid state”.

As the respected supreme court justice is well aware, a large Arab political party plus an Arab member of the Supreme Court do not bode well for an effective apartheid state. And those Arabs in the Knesset? They were elected by none other than Israeli-Arab citizens. In Israel’s brand of apartheid, not unlike BDS’s brand of boycotting, we see a very ineffective foundation that allows Arabs to not only be full citizens of the Israeli state (minus the mandatory requirement for military service), but they get to vote in Israel’s elections, and vote for Arab candidates nonetheless.

If that hasn’t unequivocally destroyed the argument of Israeli apartheid, Israel also allows the Arab communities to erect their own school systems and religious courts, which further ensures the right of this minority that is 20% of the overall population to practice their own religion and cultural traditions in the comfort of their own societal infrastructure. Yet they’re still free to enjoy the benefits of Jewish-based Israeli schools, hospitals and security whenever they wish. Yes, they also enjoy the security that comes with living under an Israeli government, as Israel’s famed Iron Dome anti-missile system does not discern between Arab and Jew when it protects them from incoming rockets. (I bet the Arabs in Syria wouldn’t mind living in Israel for a little while.)

As if that weren’t enough, Arabic is also an official language of the state of Israel. Every street sign in the country is written in Hebrew, Arabic and English. Find me another country in the world who respects its Arab citizens so much that it takes care to make sure they will never get lost on the road.

It is a hard truth for the anti-Israel crowd to swallow, but the fact remains that nowhere in the Middle East do Arabs have greater political freedom and economic opportunity than the Jewish state of Israel. It is why, no matter how much the Arab population may disagree with Israeli government policies, 68% of them would sooner sing Hatikva (the Israeli national anthem) than live in a Palestinian state.

Whether it’s because of their massively failed efforts, or their morally failed philosophy, the fact remains that the BDS movement is a gigantic, utter failure.

Or, put another way, BDS is nothing more than a stinky pile of misinformed BS.

About the Author
Yoni Leviatan is a British-born, American-raised, Israeli-blooded musician, content producer, brand strategist, presenter and political analyst who loves to think out loud. Especially about Israel. Originally from Coral Springs, Florida, Yoni has been living in Tel Aviv since 2009, returning to the land of his parents and grandparents and ancestors before them. He has a BA in Criminology from the University of Florida and an MA in Political Science & Political Communication from Tel Aviv University. Click to watch his videos. Click to hear his music.
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