Is there a chance, bordering on the absurd, that the recent outbreaks of Free-Gaza/Free-Palestine/Boycott-Israel demonstrations and rallies around the world are, in fact, unknowingly aiding Zionism and achieving the exact opposite of what these rallies and their leading organizations are trying to achieve? I believe so, and allow me to present my own opinion and analysis.
A lot has already been said and written about how, in effect, these demonstrations are mostly using Israel’s defensive action in Gaza as an excuse for public and violent displays of anti-Semitism. I have read opinions and analyses that claim Israel’s actions in Gaza are not creating anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist feelings in the world, but rather, they reveal them. I must say that I agree with these statements. Let us pause for a moment to consider what are the goals and ideals of these demonstrations and the organizations behind them, mainly the BDS movement. They seek to delegitimize Israel’s current actions, and overall actions, in the defense of its citizens. BDS seeks to hurt Israel morally and economically and, above all, denies Israel’s right to exist. In the more micro issues, BDS opposes the Jewish Settlements, the definition of Israel as a Jewish State, and tries to label Zionism as racism and Apartheid.
Here is where things get interesting: The crossing of the thin line from anti-Zionism to anti-Semitism during these worldwide demonstrations. Swastika wearing neo-Nazis in Hungary, continuous BDS activity across cities and campuses in the USA, attacks on synagogues in Belfast, and the Intifada-like riots in Paris are doing more for Zionism then perhaps even the Jewish Agency. As we saw in the past week, these hideous acts of violence are convincing more and more Jews, especially in France and the rest of Europe, that these foreign countries are not safe and will never be a home for Jews. In the wake of these attacks, we see a new wave of Aliya to Israel. In the general global sense, there is a new rise of the old realization that Israel must exist and that it is the only home for Jews in the world.
In the more political sense, I am making a deduction here based on my knowledge of Olim communities in the past decade. The majority of Olim in recent years tend to be politically Right leaning. The ones from Former Soviet States are traditionally Right Wing and Conservative, thus creating the same voters in any country they emigrate to, whether Israel, Canada or the USA. The “Anglos” are almost synonymous with the Right-winged Religious-Zionism movements and the French Jews, for the most part, have strong roots in mainstream Orthodoxy, religiously. When this new wave finishes arriving and settling in Israel they will constitute natural voters for Likud, Habait HaYehudi and Israel Beiteinu, not to mention the smaller parties. These parties are considered either hawkish, pro-Settlements in Judea and Samaria, conservatively Right winged or, at best, just ambivalent on issues that bother anti-Israeli/pro-Palestinian movements. By creating an unsafe environment in foreign countries, they are pushing those Jews to seek refuge in Israel, thereby creating voters which put governments in power that are in direct opposition to what these movements stand for.
Thus, the many demonstrations, and more so the BDS movement itself, are achieving a multi-faceted result that directly smothers their objective. They are driving more and more Jews into Israel. They are raising awareness in the Jewish world to the importance of active Zionism. Not only are these movements strengthening world-wide Jewry, uniting communities and strengthening connections to Israel. But within Israel they are strengthening the Jewish demographic and bolstering the voters of Right Wing parties, thus strengthening Israeli public opinion towards Hawkishness and the Settlements Project. Not to mention, they are also strengthening Israeli Society and economy with more diversity, young professionals, and a middle class, and above all, reinforce the knowledge that now more than ever the concept of Israel as a Jewish State is a non-negotiable “must have” for Jews in Israel and around the world.