“The intense world condemnation of Israel is not connected to settlements, the Likud government, Donald Trump, or any other straw man arguments. It is founded in Arab/Islamic hatred of Jews and Israel — meshed with extreme leftist ideologies and partnering organizations — and led by the global antisemitic and virulently anti-Israel BDS movement.”
My friend and colleague, Jack Saltzberg of the Los Angles-based The Israel Group, has written a sensible article for Algemeiner that I think merits cross-posting here. In this article he takes issue with a Jewish News Syndicate article by Jonathan S. Tobin, who writes that the BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanctions) movement against Israel is merely an annoyance to the Jewish state. Tobin’s focus in the article is that Israel is making a mistake in refusing to let BDS activists enter the country.
Having witnessed BDS events on various campuses and twice having heard BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti speak, I agree with Saltzberg on this point. If BDS is merely an annoyance, then the resurgence of anti-semitism world-wide (mostly driven by pro-Palestinian supporters) is just an annoyance. Then the hostility of the UN toward Israel is just an annoyance. Then the hostility of so many European nations-not to mention the EU- against Israel is just an annoyance.
BDS is part of a movement to deligitimize Israel and eventually cause its ultimate demise. The only difference is that it is wrapped in the guise of a human rights movement, which it is not. By Barghouti’s own words, a two-state treaty between Israel and the Palestinian leadership would not be accepted by BDS unless it satisfied their own demands including the right of return. He outlined his position while speaking at UC Irvine in February 2013. That specific statement can be found here (See tape 4 at about the 8 minute mark.)
Every nation has the sovereign right (as Tobin acknowledges) to exclude foreigners who are hostile to that particular nation. BDS is but one weapon that the enemies of Israel have in their arsenal. It should not be downplayed. The effort and organization that goes into this movement says to me it is serious-deadly serious. Its leaders may profess non-violence, but their ultimate aim is the same as that of Hamas, the elimination of Israel. Having seen this movement in action, I urge Israelis not to underestimate it-or let its foreign components, such as Jewish Voice for Peace into the country.