Fred Maroun
A believer in peace and human dignity

The BDS movement: Idealism or anti-Semitism?

Some well-meaning people say that they support the BDS movement because they want the Palestinians to have a state of their own just like the Jews do, and BDS offers a non-violent approach towards that goal. That sounds so nice. Does it not? Your eyes almost water imagining a non-violent movement led by the likes of Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi for the benefit of the poor Palestinians who are oppressed by the big bad Israelis!

Which person with any social conscience at all would not support that?

But is this really what BDS stands for? Let us examine the facts.

Let us start by hearing what the BDS advocates themselves say that they want. The website states their demands:

  • “Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands” – This means the unconditional removal of all IDF presence from the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights, and the removal of all Jews from the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
  • “Dismantling the Wall” – This means the removal of the security barrier that was built to keep suicide bombers from entering Israel from the West Bank.
  • “Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality” – The meaning of this is obvious, but since Arabs already have equal rights in Israel (unlike Jews in the Arab world), this “demand” is nothing but an attempt to mislead the reader into believing that such an equality does not already exist.
  • “Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194” – UN resolution 194 states that “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so”, and although the interpretation of this text is disputed, it has been widely interpreted by the pro-Palestinian side (which the BDS movement is part of) as meaning the unlimited migration of all Palestinian refugees and their descendants (currently estimated at over 5 million) into Israel which has a little over 6 million Jews and a little less than 2 million Arabs.

It is not very hard to predict what would happen if Israel complied with all of the BDS demands:

  • Hamas would take over the West Bank and East Jerusalem through elections or by force, whichever method is more convenient to them, and once in place, they would impose an autocratic one-party rule just as they have done in Gaza.
  • The Syrian regime, Hezbullah, Daesh, or a combination of the three would take over the Golan Heights since these are the factions currently battling in Syria.
  • Any Jews left in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (even the ones who had simply returned to the areas from which their families were expelled during the War of Independence) would be killed or deported to Israel, just as in the War of Independence.
  • Hamas would have better success at receiving advanced weapons from Iran, and perhaps even dirty bombs that use nuclear material, just as they have been trying to do since their violent takeover of Gaza.
  • Hamas attacks on Israel from the West Bank and amplified attacks from Gaza would render Israel’s airports inoperable, would devastate Israel’s economy, and would likely result in many Israeli deaths. To defend itself, Israel would have to use extreme force that would result in many Palestinian deaths, and it would undoubtedly face severe international condemnation and likely a weakening of its supply of weapons.
  • While Israel is busy fighting Hamas, it would face higher risks of attacks from other hostile sources (such as Hezbullah, Daesh, and Iran) since Israel would be in a weaker position that could be exploited and since it would have lost the strategic advantage of the Golan Heights.
  • Jews would become a minority in their own country, and within years they would face deportation (if some countries are willing to take them) and pogroms at the hands of Arabs, just as they have faced everywhere else in the Middle East (which resulted in over 800,000 Jewish refugees from Arab lands, higher than the number of Palestinian refugees from Israel).

BDS leaders know these very likely consequences as well as I do. Some even admit it publicly, such as Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of the BDS movement who said, “No Palestinian will ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine”.

Even if we ignore the anti-Semitism widely promoted by BDS advocates on university campuses, social media, and elsewhere, the stated demands of the BDS movement alone show the truth about the BDS movement. It relies on the support of naïve people who have not thought through the consequences of BDS demands and on the support of outright anti-Semites who know very well the consequences of the demands. The BDS movement presents an image of respectability, but its objectives are indistinguishable from Hamas’ objectives.

Not only is the BDS movement anti-Semitic, but since its objective is the destruction of Israel, the killing of Jews, and the return of the remaining Jews to the stateless and precarious status that they had before May 1948, the BDS movement represents an anti-Semitism at par with Hamas, and the worst form of anti-Semitism since Nazi Germany.

About the Author
Fred Maroun is a Canadian of Arab origin who lived in Lebanon until 1984, including during 10 years of civil war. Fred supports Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state and to defend itself. Fred supports a liberal and democratic Middle East where all religions and nationalities co-exist in peace with each other, and where human rights are respected. Fred is an atheist, a social liberal, and an advocate of equal rights for LGBT people everywhere.
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