In Sickness and in Health

The world is in a panic and it is hardly a surprise. Much like it would in the plot of a cheap novel, Ebola is spreading across the planet. Africa is being isolated even though only a few countries in the North West are suffering from the epidemic, but the thought of bleeding orifices is enough to make even the most hospital hardened, squeamish. The IMF is expressing concerns that the economic isolation could be devastating for the region and has urged perspective. Americans, never particularly strong at the whole geography thing (Cape to Cairo being a mere 10,000km apart, so the confusion is perfectly understandable), have reacted as perhaps they should in order to prevent the disease from taking hold within its borders while the Governments of overpopulated areas like the slums of India can only pray that it does not find itself dealing with an uncontainable outbreak.

In South Africa, so far, free of Ebola, Jews are fighting an illness of another kind.

The BDS, South African is an active, cancerous movement that is slowly spreading into the consciousness of those who are not inoculated against its policy of racism and anti-Semitism. From government to consumers, it focuses its energy on Israel alone, and chooses its targets in bite size chunks. It is a sad, ill intended movement whose energy could be so better spent if it were either to take the time and fully understand the complexity of the situation in Israel, or focus on the real crises in the Middle East, which is rampant Islamic fundamentalism that is ripping the region apart and destroying hundreds of thousands lives in the process. It is a movement that has chosen not to focus on the abuse of Muslims, Christians, woman and gays, on the sex trafficking or the treatment of children not by Israel, but instead stares solely and intently on the one tiny country, a democracy, to the exclusion of all else.

The absurdity of their approach is so apparent in their current drive to remove Israel from the World Medical Association. It is common cause that a disproportionate amount of innovative and life saving breakthroughs have emerged from this tiny island of scientific pioneers in the Middle East. Israel has the most chance, given its advanced research of finding a cure for Ebola, from which more than 4000 have officially died, it has sent teams to the North West, but the BDS continues its rabid policy of isolation.

Can they really believe that it is worth the price tag that they are willing to pay? Only a movement that has managed to eliminate all perspective, all real concern for the citizens of the world would push on with a campaign that is so counter intuitive, so dangerous and so deadly. A movement that would place the destruction of its enemy above all else is indeed an ill movement that needs to be seen for what it is. It has no conscience and it has no heart.

Our love for Israel is not a simple one. It is deep and complex and is encoded into our DNA, passed from grandparent to parent to child to theirs. It flows through our veins and it feeds our heart. It is an integral part of being a Jew and it is simply indivisible from who we are.

Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism. There is no country that is above reproach and as Jews we are taught to debate and question and criticize (ask my mother). That too is in our DNA. But when it is a focused on, and pointed at, and when all else blurs into the periphery, that is indeed anti-Semitism of the modern kind. And when a movement chooses a path that represents all this, its no longer about human rights that they claim to be fighting for, it is something much more dangerous.

I have always hesitated in quoting the over mentioned. But when the beloved Golda Meir said that there could only be peace when they “love their children more than they hate us,” she could well have had this silly but damaging movement in mind.

About the Author
Howard Feldman is a lawyer, a physical commodity trader by industry and a writer by obsession. He is very active in the Jewish community and passionate about our world.
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