Jaime Kardontchik
Jaime Kardontchik

Boycott of Israel is wrong – how to fight it

The San Francisco’s Teachers Union passed on May 19 a resolution calling for the boycott and BDS (“Boycott, Divest and Sanction”) of Israel. The San Francisco Unified School District is one of the largest school districts in California, educating over 57,000 students every year. The capacity for indoctrination of the student body by a minority of ideologically committed teachers is immense, and therefore, very dangerous and cannot be ignored. Furthermore, the curriculum of the K-12 schools in all California is lately being changed radically under the pressure of a well-organized minority, and the Jews in the new textbooks appear as part of the class of “white people” oppressing the indigenous “people of color”.

Student Unions and Lecturer Unions at the Universities issue lately similar calls for the boycott of Israel. This is so wrong. How to fight this trend in the academia circles?

I will give you my solution. If you think it will work for you, please, “copy and paste” and use it. It is based on a mix of counterexamples and easily verifiable facts that show in plain light the fallacy of the “boycott Israel” logic and ideology. My solution does not work in every environment, but at educational organizations, where one can easily access emailing lists of hundreds of students, lecturers and staff, and the recipients – in principle – have an attention span larger than the length of a post on Twitter, I think it can be effective.

If you are just a parent of one of those poor Jewish kids attending the California Middle and High schools (or a kid in college), just print a copy of the letter below, with the appropriate adjustments, and give it to your kid so he/she can give it to his/her teacher (and distribute copies to the students in the class) when the teacher begins a diatribe against Israel (saying something directly bad about Jews is penalized in California, but against “Israel” is fine). I know that I would have liked to have something of this kind when I was a kid and I attended the secondary school in Argentina: I had a teacher in the Anatomy class that was openly anti-Semite, and in Argentina no teacher was penalized for badmouthing the Jews.

I emailed the following email to hundreds of principals, teachers and staff of the San Francisco Unified School District:

Email subject: talk to the teacher why the boycott of Israel is wrong

Dear Staff of the San Francisco School District,

The San Francisco’s Teachers Union passed last May 19 a resolution calling for the boycott of Israel. Talk to the teachers and request that they rescind this resolution. Criticism of the Israeli government is fair game: I myself publicly do it. But aligning the teachers with the reactionary and openly antisemitic ideology and narrative of Hamas is quite another thing. “Educators” boycotting Israel add fuel to the latest violent attacks against Jews from New York to California.

I enclose below a letter, with additional comments, that I sent on May 20 to the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, who is also the Representative of the 12th District of California, your district.

Jaime Kardontchik, PhD (Physics)

Silicon Valley, California

Selective Boycott applied to ISRAEL = Plain ANTISEMITISM

Millions of people were displaced following the partition of British India in 1947 into two states, India and Pakistan. The majority of the people of India are Hindus, the majority of the people in Pakistan are Muslims.

This partition displaced 10-20 million people along religion lines, creating an overwhelming refugee crisis and large-scale violence, with an estimation of between several hundred thousand and two million people who lost their lives during the violence following the partition. Since then, India and Pakistan fought several wars in 1965, 1971 and 1999, and the protracted territorial conflict in the contested Kashmir, with the concomitant periodic killing of civilians, is still unresolved. In 1992, a mosque in the Indian city of Ayodhya, the birthplace of the Hindu God king Ram, was razed by a Hindu mob. The riots that followed killed about 2,000 people. In 2008, the Indian city of Mumbai was attacked by the Lashkar-e-Taiba, a terrorist organization based in Pakistan: 174 people were killed and more than 300 were wounded.

On which side of this conflict and its ethnic cleansing are you? Is the San Francisco’s Teachers Union in favor of India proposing to boycott and BDS Pakistan for indiscriminate killing of Indian civilians and ethnic cleansing? Or, is the San Francisco’s Teachers Union in favor of Pakistan and proposing to boycott and BDS India for indiscriminate killing of Pakistani civilians and ethnic cleansing?

Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced following the partition of British Palestine in 1948 into two states, Israel and Palestine. The Arab states did not recognize the partition and invaded the nascent state of Israel. Most of the territory originally assigned to the Palestinian state was conquered by Egypt (the Gaza strip) and Jordan (the West Bank) and neither the Arab states nor the world objected to this occupation. In 1967, another war between the Arab states and Israel was triggered by the sudden blockade imposed by Egypt to Israel’s maritime navigation through the straits of Tiran, in an intent to cut the economic ties between Israel and Asia.

During the 1948 war about 700,000 Palestinians were displaced from their homes and converted into refugees.

Between the 1948 and 1967 wars about 700,000 Jews were displaced from the Arab countries, their properties confiscated and converted into refugees: 130,000 Jews from Iraq, 38,000 Jews from Libya, 215,000 Jews from Morocco, 140,000 Jews from Algeria, 25,000 Jews from Syria, 95,000 Jews from Tunisia, 60,000 Jews from Yemen.

Is the San Francisco’s Teachers Union proposing to boycott and BDS Iraq, Libya, Morocco, Algeria, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen for their ethnic cleansing of 700,000 Jews?

The San Francisco’s Teachers Union is very selective with choosing their only target for boycott and BDS: the Jewish State. This obsession with the Jews is called antisemitic hate. And it is adding fuel to the recent spike in violent attacks against Jews all across the US, from New York to California.

And now came the recent 10-days war between Hamas and Israel.

What is Hamas – The Hamas war doctrine and objectives

In an inversion of science fiction novels where the elite class enjoys life outside on the ground while keeping the lower class working underground in inhuman conditions, Hamas’ war doctrine consists of keeping the dispensable items outside in the open, while the military assets and the elite political and military cadres live and operate underground.

Dispensable items include civilians and civilian buildings and infrastructure: this is what the press and social media see and report, both during normal days and especially during armed conflicts, when emotions run high. These are dispensable items: they are continuously replenished and rebuilt in between armed conflicts, by natural population growth and the influx of money from Muslim states and well-meaning naïve Western European organizations. As in the science fiction novels, health and material conditions of this low-class dispensable population are kept to the minimum necessary to insure the continuation of this regime and the achievement of its objectives. Ideological indoctrination is strictly imposed at the schools from a young age.

Hamas’ ideology is simple and it is this simplicity that makes it so powerful to the masses: “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it”. This declared objective appears right at the beginning of Hamas’ Covenant, as translated and published by the Yale University School of Law [1]

To dispel any doubts between being only “anti-Israel” or just plain “antisemitic”, Hamas’ Covenant spells this explicitly: “The Prophet, Allah bless him and grant him salvation, has said: ‘The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”

Furthermore, if anyone still thinks that a compromise with Hamas can be achieved, here comes again Hamas’ Covenant. Under the title of “Peaceful Solutions, Initiatives and International Conferences”, Hamas states: “Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement … Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”

Plain and simple. As were the means used to demonize the Jews by Nazi Germany and as is the demonization of Israel by the fanatic religious regime of the Ayatollahs since they took power in Iran in 1979.

These three regimes, Nazi Germany, Iran’s Ayatollahs and Hamas share the same ideological structure: after clearly stating their objective (despicable as it may be) they then proceed methodically towards achieving this objective. Their reasoning does not differ in one iota from the logic used, for example, by Euclid in his Geometry: state clearly a few basic axioms and then systematically proceed to derive all their consequences. One just has to accept the premises, then anything else is logic and justifiable.

The Western media willfully ignores Hamas’ ideological axioms and then hand-picks selected “facts”, for example, Israel’s “disproportionate” use of force and the “unbalanced” number of casualties on both sides. Hamas launched its first rockets towards Jerusalem and other Israeli cities on May 10, 2021. Since then, it fired during ten days more than 3,500 rockets towards Israeli cities. In response, the Israeli air force launched hundreds of sorties. No one in the media and the press seems to notice the incongruence that after thousands of precise and powerful guided-bombs used by the Israeli air force only about 200 Gazans were killed. Were these pilots all drunk and merit an “F” for abject failure, or is something else going on? What are these pilots targeting then?

By comparison, German civilians – men, women and children – killed by the Allied strategic bombing on Germany soil during World War II ranged between 350,000 to 500,000. Hitler committed suicide in his underground bunker on April 30, 1945, to avoid being captured alive by the advancing American and Russian forces. Only then, Nazi Germany surrendered days later on May 7, 1945.

Hamas and the Gaza strip

In 2005 Israel dismantled all the Jewish settlements and forcefully evacuated every Jewish settler from Gaza, leaving the territory to the Palestinian Authority (PA). For many in Israel this was a painful experience, but for a brief period of time Israel and the international community were filled with hope that the Gaza strip would flourish and this will later enable a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the West Bank. In 2007 Hamas ousted the PA from Gaza by force. Since then, this hope was replaced by despair and periodic armed conflicts between Hamas and Israel. The longer Hamas holds its grip on Gaza the more difficult and further away a 2-state solution will be.

[1] “Hamas Covenant 1988 – The covenant of the Islamic Resistance Movement”, published by the Yale School of Law:

https://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/hamas.asp

About the Author
Jaime Kardontchik has a PhD in Physics from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. He lives in the Silicon Valley, California.
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