You’re the Reason BDS Is Winning: A Response

The accusations put forth by the author of the article attached below are not only patently false; they not only demonstrate an indefensible eagerness to justify Israel’s enemies as a method of “saving Israel from itself”; they are not only a series of baseless opinions on subjects which demand careful study and analysis, but they most notably represent a total and utter lack of understanding about the BDS movement itself.

Throughout the author’s misled remarks which compose the main thesis of his article, he makes references to the settlements as the cause for BDS, or, at least, the attributing factor for its growing popularity. He employs terms such as “our occupation” and “regime” to underpin the reasoning of the Palestinians and the international community who harbor disdain for the Zionist state.

However, he has penned a most damning indictment on Israel and supporters for the Yishuvim in Yehudah and Shomron whilst simultaneously justifying a movement about which he blatantly understands nothing.

There are two possible interpretations of his article: i) The author sympathizes with the BDS movement and its goals. ii) The author does not support the BDS movement but fully understands and supports those who join BDS hoping to bring about an Israeli withdrawal from disputed territories. The latter is most likely since he refers to the “beautiful country” of Israel and then goes on to state that “people join BDS because they don’t like seeing the racism the occupation breeds.”

However, even if he does disagree with BDS and he believes that people join it not because of its destructive calls but because the movement attracts progressive two-staters as well who are unaware of its absolute one-state goals, the entire premise is devoid of logic which a toddler would have no difficulty in debunking.

For if one were to ask the most virulent opponents of Israel to elaborate on the legal and moral reasoning behind their boycotts then most, no doubt, would be ready to spew off a tedious litany of UN resolutions with which Israel fails to comply, feeling sufficiently conversant with the legal jargon and technicalities to justify their position. Indeed, they have done their homework on this most complicated issue. Yet surely one would also expect them to familiarize themselves with the three simple goals, which are tantamount to calls for Israel´s destruction as a Jewish state, of a movement such as BDS too before they endorse its principles?

If they have done so and still support it then they join the ranks of Ahmadinejad. If they have not, then we should at least have the moral integrity and intellectual capacity to place blame upon them for pleading ignorance rather than reproach the residents of the Yishuvim. Unfortunately, the author of this vitriolic nonsense below is the possessor of neither quality.

One need not look any further than the BDS leadership itself which is unambiguous on the point that the “settlements” on “this little piece of dirt” bear absolutely no relevance to the motives of the movement. Omar Barghouti, for example, a co-founding member of the BDS movement is an open advocate for a one-state solution, the devastating effects of which most are acquainted.

Tellingly, in one interview Barghouti is unequivocal about whether an Israeli withdrawal from Yehuda and Shomron would mark an end to BDS. “No it wouldn’t because Palestinian people are not just suffering from occupation…they are suffering from denial of their right to come back home (emphasis added).” To the idea of a two-state solution, Barghouti has issued his “good riddance” asserting that “it was never a moral solution to start with.”

Another BDS leader, Ahmed Moor, expresses with equal clarity, if not more terrifying intention, that the movement should constitute the coup de grace against Israel as he describes the movement as the “Final Showdown…Nothing resembling the “two-state solution” will ever come into being. Ending the occupation doesn’t mean anything if it doesn’t mean upending the Jewish State itself.” Have the advocates of BDS even bothered to question or protest this? Does Marc Goldberg even care?

Goldberg clearly fails to understand this even though the most vehement critics of Israel manage to detect the insidious motives of those who subscribe to the BDS movement which have little to do with “settlements” or “regimes”. Rather, they encompass a far larger goal of coercing Israel into accepting a fait accompli which will extinguish its Jewish identity. Indeed, one such fierce opponent of Israel, Norman Finkelstein, understands that “they don’t want Israel. They think that they are being very clever…because they know the result…There is no Israel. Full stop!”

Finally, the author ridicules military considerations such as high ground. “For some reason”, he writes, the West Bank is “considered vital for Israel’s security needs…2,000 years ago that might have been important.” Here Goldberg´s claims are most laughable as he presides over the role of General or military expert even though he cannot possibly be privy to the full details that surround this delicate issue. Perhaps he has served in an army, perhaps he has some knowledge of military strategy. But one can state confidently that Goldberg has no credentials sufficient to buttress his conjecture and he is therefore in no position to gamble Israel’s security needs on what he considers to be a safe bet because of “helicopters and an awesome air force.”

I myself have stated in the past that the West Bank does represent a strategically vital outpost, but I do not do so by simply employing essentially meaningless, Hollywood-style discourse and drastically deviating from fundamental military conventions. It is a well-known fact that even in modern warfare heights, such as the Golan Heights, cannot be overlooked for their strategic necessity just as planes and tanks – however sophisticated or “awesome” – can never render the simple two-legged foot soldier obsolete. Indeed, the doctrine of war is complex and I certainly do not assume expert knowledge but I do defer to those qualified to determine the importance of the higher ground. In short, Goldberg dismisses serious strategic considerations because his intellectual faculties are betrayed by his desperate will to repel the disproportionate and immoral assaults on Israel, by his desperate will to achieve peace at any cost and through any methods, however repugnant.

Ultimately, the article under discussion is pathetic and it only exposes Goldberg´s own limits of analysis. Though he might like to think otherwise, it is not worthy of any commendations as a lone, brave voice of truth which speaks truth to power. Instead, it represents, to borrow his own words, “nothing more than the object of ridicule” for its sheer breadth of intellectual wanting and moral shortsightedness. But more than that, it warrants severe condemnation for it inexplicably lends legitimacy to a movement with unashamedly pernicious motives and sanctions the followers who, at the very least, do not want to acknowledge openly the consequences of their seemingly humanitarian but criminal actions which could have calamitous consequences on this beautiful country.

Congratulations Goldberg. You may consider yourself one of BDS’s Jewish friends.

You’re the reason BDS is winning!

About the Author
Alexander Apfel holds a BA and MA in Modern History. He is an IDF reservist in the armored corps.