Sunday, January 12, 2014

What is BDS?

What is BDS?


With the Modern Language Association poised to vote on a BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) resolution, there is a lot of discussion about the whole BDS deal. If you are a progressive person who cares about human rights and wants peace, you might think that it’ s not a bad idea. Make Israel behave herself, stop taking Palestinian land and all that.

Well, maybe you should understand its objectives before you jump to sign any petitions. Understand what Israel would have to do to end the boycotts. Because then you would understand that the well-educated academics 
that are pushing it want the same thing as the terrorists of Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad.

So when will the boycott be lifted? When Israel has done three things:

1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall;
2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

These are all supposed to be ‘obligations under international law’, which sounds serious, but is total nonsense. I’m not going to get into the misinterpretations of the 4th Geneva Convention, the politicized UN ‘court’ that has no authority, or the legitimate rights of the Jewish people in the territories. Read this if you feel the need. Let’s just look at what they want Israel to do.

The first demand is the complete evacuation of the territories. The Jordanian invasion, ethnic cleansing and 19-year occupation of land originally earmarked for ‘close settlement by Jews’ in the Mandate has magically made them Arab lands and Jews have to get out! So, if you count eastern Jerusalem (they do), you are talking about more than half a million Jews that will be kicked out of their homes, one of the largest mass ethnic expulsions in decades. Talk about human rights!

Next is the dismantling of the security barrier, more a wire fence than a ‘wall’. The barrier was highly effective in reducing terrorist attacks, which stopped almost totally where it was completed. The terrorists themselves admit it! Naturally, Palestinian Arabs squealed like stuck pigs, because their best tactic was being taken away. Our academic friends, who would never blow up an empty beer bottle themselves, nevertheless think that Palestinians should have the ability to blow up whatever they want. Howdare we inconvenience them!

Then we have the somewhat mysterious demand for ‘the fundamental rights’ of Arab citizens of Israel. In all my reading of nausea-inducing BDS materials, this was never explained, and considering that Israeli Arabs vote and elect Arabs to the Knesset, that there are Arab judges, Arab army officers and diplomats, etc., it was a little difficult for me to understand this one.

But the explanation is simple: they see the Jewish character of the state itself as a violation of their rights. Look at the ‘Democratic Constitution‘ for the State of Israel proposed by Adalah, “the legal center for Arab minority rights in Israel”  (funded by the US-based New Israel Fund), which calls for its transformation into a “democratic, bilingual, multicultural state” with a different flag, national anthem, etc.

Why the Jewishness of Israel is intolerable to the BDSers when so many Arab states — indeed, the proposed state of Palestine included — define themselves as ‘Arab states’ in which the official religion is Islam, is not clear to me (actually, it is only too clear).

Finally, we come to the last and really most absurd demand of all. The boycott will continue until Israel permits anyone with Palestinian refugee status — up to about 5 million of them — a special kind of hereditary refugee status that exists only for Palestinians, to ‘return to his/her home’ in Israel. An instant Arab majority, but even before that, a bloody civil war, which would bring on another dark age of dispersion for the survivors.

Just in case you still don’t get it: the Jews must get out of “Arab land,” but there is no “Jewish land” anywhere. There can be 23 Arab states in the Middle East, but not one Jewish state. Because the Jews, unlike other peoples, even newly created ones like the ‘Palestinians’, do not have any rights.

That is the program of BDS, when you take away the language of international law and human rights. Not since Hitler has this point of view been popular in the West