In the month of March the annual hate-fest against Israel by BDS (Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions Campaign) will reach its crescendo. Letters, articles and other activities will be published in newspapers, social media and other platforms. Even politicians, celebrities and other high profile people will participate in this annual orchestrated event to demonize Israel.
My attempt to give the other side of the story is not an attempt to paint Israel as flawless and without mistakes – far from it. Like any other country, politicians do make mistakes, but to accuse Israel in the way BDS and their cohorts are doing, is disingenuous and reckless. Most recently we saw South African politicians and officials acting disgracefully against their own citizens — the Life Esidimeni episode being the worst of them all. BDS South Africa was silent.
The silence of BDS International on atrocities in Syria where innocent women and children are murdered on a daily basis, the use of chemical weapons against people in Syria, the worst kind of human trafficking in Libya and the abduction of girls as sex slaves in Nigeria do not draw the attention of BDS. If BDS has such a high moral conscience, why do they ignore these despicable acts and why so fixated on Israel, whom has a far better human rights record than many other countries in the world.
If Israel is such a devilish state, why would she devote the effort and time to establish field hospitals to treat Syrians injured in a devastating and cruel war? Why would patients in Gaza cross the border to Israel for medical treatment? Why would Israel be among the first to respond in rescuing and assisting earthquake victims?
Leading highly regarded and recognised international Universities are against BDS activities on campuses. FIFA also recently decided not to boycott Israel. These sober voices realised the damage BDS is causing with their hateful agenda.
The award-winning British journalist and novelist, Jake Wallis Simons wrote the following: “There is something racist and hateful about the disproportionate, obsessive, unrelenting, swivel-eyed, tunnel-visioned, maniacal criticism of Israel that abounds in both Britain and Europe.” Unfortunately, this is also applicable to South Africa.
The best way to address the insidious BDS propaganda is to quote what citizens of Arab countries in the Arab media said about Israel:
Mohammed: Israel is among the democratic countries and is better than all the Arab and Islamic countries when it comes to respecting its people and combating theft of resources.” (Al-Wasat News)
Sami Dirani: “Israel is the enemy of the Arabs…but it practices democracy – something the Arabs do not know. That is why Israel is stronger and more advanced than the Arabs, who are busy slaughtering each other. Some Arabs are dying of starvation, while others are swimming in pools of dollars.” (Al-Hayat)
While BDS is stoking the fires with their hateful rhetoric and propagate divestments and sanctions against Israel, the Palestinians themselves said it will hurt them the most.
It seems that the annual BDS road show will be with us for a while, but the positive side is that more universities, businesses and organisations worldwide are withdrawing their support from BDS.