Here in the United States, proponents of the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement against Israel (BDS) like to argue that their movement is not anti-semitic, rather that it only seeks to pressure Israel to give justice to the persecuted Palestinians. They argue BDS is a peaceful tactic to bring about justice. I take issue with that having seen BDS up close and personal for several years while teaching part-time at the University of California at Irvine. Aside from that, I have had the opportunity of seeing one of BDS’ co-founders, Omar Barghouti, speak twice, once at UC Irvine and once at UC Riverside.
Barghouti himself is a shifty character, one who presents himself as a human rights activist, which is laughable. At UC Irvine, I asked him where he was born, which for him, is a touchy subject he likes to avoid. That’s because, he was not born in Israel or even Gaza or the West Bank. He was born in Qatar and grew up in Egypt. He showed up in Israel around 1993 and outraged many Israelis by getting higher education at Tel Aviv University even while trashing Israel before international audiences. At UCI, he refused to tell me where he was born, calling it “irrelevant”. At UC Riverside, he responded to my criticism by asking why he shouldn’t attend university “in his own country”.
Also, in his UCI appearance, he made a telling comment when asked by an audience member if the BDS movement would end if the Israelis and Palestinians made a peace treaty. His answer was not if it didn’t include the provisions which were important to them, such as the “right of return”, which if ever implemented, would make a such a state more Islamic than Jewish. And we know what would happen to the Jews then. Their continued presence in “Israel-Palestine” would be untenable.
Aside from the slippery Mr Barghouti, there are other reasons why BDS is indeed anti-Jewish. First of all, let us discount the fact that organizations like Students for Justice in Palestine and the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel have managed to enlist certain misguided Jewish students and professors to join their cause. I have encountered them on many occasions. They are misfits. Groups like Jewish Voice for Peace stand shoulder to shoulder with people who-if they could- would drive every last Jew out of Israel, by whatever means necessary. Students for Justice in Palestine can only be described as latter day Brown Shirts-even though they have some Jewish members. Their tactic on campus after campus across the US is to disrupt pro-Israel events and intimidate and bully pro-Israel Jewish students. It is no coincidence that swastikas are showing up on US university campuses across the nation.
Proponents of BDS are guilty of rank hypocrisy when they harp on Israel’s alleged human rights abuses while ignoring the human rights abuses of Israel’s neighbors. When Christians are persecuted in Ar4ab nations, the critics of Israel are silent. Yes, they will criticize the lack of democracy in Arab countries that are aligned with the US, but all they wish for are Islamic states that will be hostile to the US while dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Actual democracy or respect for human rights is not a factor in their thinking. Egypt is a good example. The abuses and radical agenda of Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government were supported by the haters of Israel even if it meant another disastrous war between the two nations.
For the Arab world, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not so much over territory as it is over religion. The Muslim nations of the Middle East-and the world- cannot stomach the idea of a non-Muslim nation in the Middle East-especially a Jewish one. Some Arab nations, like Saudi Arabia, have come to the conclusion that they cannot defeat Israel militarily and that Iran is a bigger threat.
BDS is part of a grand strategy to win support from the Western world by posing as a peaceful resistance. The Palestinians may not do a lot of things well, but when it comes to PR, they have been masterful. They have the UN on their side. They have the EU on their side. In the US, they have the universities on their side, and they have most of the Democrat party on their side. Beginning in January, the US House of Representatives will have two new Democrat members, both Muslims, who are enemies of Israel. Keith Ellison, former congressman from Minnesota and co-leader of the Democrat National Committee, has been elected as Minnesota’s attorney general. Throw in BDS agitator Linda Sarsour, a US-born Palestinian-American, and then connect the dots to people like Louis Farrakhan, a notorious anti-semite, and the true agenda of the anti-Israel movement is clear. It is not about human rights or reform. It is about bringing down the Jewish state and removing Jews from the Middle East. Just like the idea of bringing about a world-wide Islamic caliphate; there are both peaceful and non-peaceful ways to accomplish it.
BDS, using fakers like Omar Barghouti, has the same goal as Hamas, Hezbollah, or the Arab armies who tried to destroy Israel in 1948, 1967 and 1973. It is the eventual end of Israel. South Africa is the template. The apartheid regime was not brought down militarily. It was brought down by international pressure and boycotts. That is why the false charge of apartheid is so often used against Israel. The comparisons between Israel and South Africa are not accurate, however. Coupled with an effective PR campaign and people gullible enough to believe the lies, the Palestinian lobby has won many supporters in the West, people who cannot see the horrific violence used by Palestinians.
BDS appeals to so many gullible people in the US because it pretends to be peaceful and swears it is not anti-Jewish. Its leaders know that if they were honest about their wish to drive the Jews out of the Holy Land, they would not get the (albeit limited) support from Americans they now enjoy.