Time to Remove the Mask

BDS, a popular approach that tries to punish the State of Israel…but why?

I have really been trying to understand and answer this question, but I just cannot seem to rationally come to any logical conclusion.

Is BDS just another term for antisemitism? As we celebrate the holiday of Purim, I think it is time to take off the mask and expose it for what it really is.

I visited Tel Aviv and Herzliya and while at the beach I saw many Arabs, Asians, African Americans and a few gay couples. All were enjoying the weather and the beautiful beach.

When I went to get a few souvenirs, the shop in the mall was owned by a very nice Arab family.

We spent the Shabbat in Ginot Shomron and stopped at an Arab owned gas station, a man who loves Israel and is a proud Israeli citizen.

At around 6am Shabbat morning we were awoken by Arab prayer services, blasting out of the speakers from the nearby town.

The Israeli communities do not reciprocate with playing of the “Hatikvah” or their own prayer services, as not to disturb their neighbors.

I was told I could not go to Ramallah, and that I I could not open a business in the Palestinian controlled territories. I cannot purchase real estate in those areas. I cannot pray according to the Jewish tradition in those places. But all the residents there people are able to pray or not pray anyway they chose in the State of Israel. Sure there were checkpoints, but unfortunately that is their reality. I know that anybody over 30 who has travelled knows that our security at our airports and governmental buildings are much more extensive today than prior to 9/11. Unfortunately, the world can be a very dangerous place.

So I’m still trying to figure out why there are no protests or boycotts around the world against Arab owned countries or territories that discriminate against Jews, Christians, gays and women?

Why pick on Israel, a country that has contributed so much scientific and technological innovation? A country that is open to people of all ethnicities, faiths, and sexual orientation.

Can anyone imagine a day where a Jew can pray in a synagogue in Saudi Arabia?

There are many Arab countries that refuse to allow Israelis to enter, just because they are Israelis, so why the condemnation against the only democracy in the Middle East?

My only conclusion is that the same old antisemitism is once again rearing its ugly head called by a different name.Israel and to some extent the United States are held to such different standards, and even when they try to protect their own citizens they are chastised with venom and hatred.

Hopefully, one day fairness will prevail and there will be an openness and common rules and values across ALL countries.

Only then, when the costumes and masks come off, can we begin to fairly solve some very difficult problems, and objectively answer the question of why BDS exists.

About the Author
Barry Zisholtz grew up in Cedarhurst New York and attended Jewish Day School through High School. He then went to college at the University of Michigan and majored in Zoology and Hebrew literature. He then attended medical school at New York Medical College and did his residency in urology at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. Barry is married with four children and after his residency they moved to Atlanta Georgia where they have been for the last 29 years. He has been very active over the years and in the community both in the synagogue in the day schools and in the high school.