Dear Madonna aka The Queen of Pop,
I’m writing to say thank you for announcing that you will be traveling to Israel to participate in Eurovision 2019! I have no doubt that prior to and now after making this decision you have been attacked online every minute of every hour of every day by the vocal supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. I also hope that you have seen that immense amount of positive support you are receiving online from the people of Israel and the Pro-Israel community around the world.
We are thrilled that you will be joining Eurovision 2019 and we can’t wait to hear your new music. Now, let me share some facts with you about Israel and the BDS movement that you may or may not know.
- The BDS movement recently tried to convince Airbnb to de-list properties that are located in the Judea and Samaria region of Israel. At first, Airbnb did in fact de-list these properties but I’m happy to share with you that they reversed the decision and all properties in Israel are now available on their platform. This is what we call a BDS FAIL!
- Earlier this year, the 2019 Bloomberg Innovation Index was released. In 2018, Israel ranked # 10 on the index and in 2019, Israel jumped up to #5!!! Israel is leading the world in innovation – from healthcare technology to water filtration systems to cyber security technology. Why does the BDS movement seek to boycott a country that is quite literally leading the world in innovation and creating water out of thin air for countries in Africa and around the world?
- Over the last two years, tourism in Israel is up over 40%! More and more citizens of the world are recognizing Israel as top travel destination for singles, couples and families. The BDS movement aims to convince countries to boycott visiting Israel – well, it doesn’t seem to be working out so well for the BDS movement. Again, this is what we call a BDS FAIL!
- Madonna, Israel is home to the largest LGBTQ community in the Middle East. In Israel, this community is represented in the Knesset, they are celebrated by the majority of Israel and they have no restrictions on their human rights. In the Gaza Strip, it’s illegal to be gay and if you are caught, you can be sent to jail. There are many stories of gay couples fleeing the Gaza Strip and seeking refuge inside Israel after fearing for their lives. In the majority of Arab countries and most notably in Iran, being a member of the LGBTQ community carries a death sentence. Yes, this is a fact. Just recently, Iran publicly executed a man because he was gay. He was hung from an industrial sized crane in the town square – he was made an example of for the world to see. Why does the BDS movement support oppressive regimes while ignoring that Hamas, the ruling party in the Gaza Strip, denies basis human rights to all of their citizens?
- Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. Every citizen of Israel – Jewish or Christian or Arab has the same voting and universal human rights as one another. Why does the BDS movement aim to hurt democracy?
- Lastly, it is reported that over 70% of the Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip live below the poverty line. Clean water, basic access to food, education and reliable electricity that are enjoyed by the majority of the world are not a basic human right in the Gaza Strip. The BDS Movement will tell you that these Palestinians are suffering because of Israel and blame Israel for everything. Madonna, this is false and couldn’t be father from the reality. They are suffering because their “government”, Hamas, has been designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) by the United States Department of State. Hamas chose to use the millions (Hundreds of millions) of foreign aid dollars received over the years to build more rockets, bolster their military and to build underground “terror tunnels. Yes, the people in the Gaza Strip are being denied basic human rights but this is because they elected a terrorist organization to be the ruling government. Not because of Israel.
In closing, I hope this brief editorial gives you more information about the reality of the situation in Israel and all of the amazing things that Israel does on a daily basis for the world. Thank you again – everyone is excited to welcome you to Israel next month! Can’t wait to hear the new song and album!
There’s a saying… Haters are going to hate, because that’s what they do. Lovers are going to love, because that’s what they do. I’ll let you decide if the BDS Movement are haters or lovers. All the best, Madonna! See you at Eurovision 2019!
Bryan E. Leib