At Westminster, the Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill went into its Second Reading last week, and is now at the Committee Stage. If enacted, it will make it illegal for British local authorities, universities and other public bodies to boycott Israel any more. The Bill does not name the State of Israel, but its provisions apply to the BDS Movement for as long as it shall continue to operate in the manner that it has since its inception.
My opinion has been sought, not only because of my advocacy for Israel, but also because of my advocacy for limited government. Surely, in supporting a law that empowers his Majesty’s Government to dictate to the rest of us who to like and who to not like, I am going against my stated belief that it is not up to the State to legislate on morality?
From where I stand, the issue of whether there should or should not be a BDS Movement is not the point of the Bill. Rather, it reasserts the authority of HM Government over foreign policy, something which it had apparently abdicated to various public bodies.
I contend that the BDS Movement is a sock-puppet and tool for the international campaign against Israel, initiated and directed by the same powers that initiate and direct organisations such as Hamas and Hizbollah in their vicious campaign of terror against Israelis and Jewish people around the world. Anyone who attends a “Solidarity Rally” anywhere in the United Kingdom cannot help noticing the demographics of the participants; predominantly Pakistani & Bangladeshi Muslim. An analysis of the most vocal politicians from said demographics will reveal that many are nearly as passionate about two other issues; Kashmir and the presence of the Ahmadiyya sect in our diverse and tolerant society.
The other major pillar of the BDS Movement consists mostly of people who are indigenous to the United Kingdom. By an astonishing feat of mental gymnastics, they have married the BDS cause to what is already a long agenda; decolonisation, climate change, apartheid etc. By an astonishing exercise in denial of the evidence in plain sight, they see advocates for a reactionary religious and tribal culture as partners for progress in the UK!
As I have stated, the Bill does not name Israel, so it can apply to any other situation where British activists mobilise against a foreign power. There are plenty of choices, so many things wrong with the world today. China’s occupation of Tibet and genocide of the Uighur people. Britain’s own occupation of the Chagos Islands and deportation of its indigenous inhabitants. Indonesia’s occupation of East Timor. There are many British organisations campaigning vigorously for these and other causes. None of them has complained yet about the Bill!
If the Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill does become law, the BDS Movement will have to rely not on its unchallenged claim to moral superiority, but in honestly presenting its case to a British public that cannot understand why local councillors, university lecturers etc can whip up a frenzy over the Middle East conflict in parts of the country where there are more relevant and urgent issues to address. It will mean that our mainstream media can either cover events as they unfold in Israel and the Palestinian territories objectively, or not at all. More importantly, it will mean that the foreign policy of the United Kingdom will reflect action at home, and that public bodies will reflect Britain’s approach to the conflict in the Middle East rather than the instructions of Tehran, Islamabad and Damascus.