WHAT IS BDS?
What do YOU Answer when Asked to Join the BDS Bandwagon?
Here's Some Facts to Consider
You may have been approached by someone asking you join the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Movement against Israel. BDS calls for countries, businesses, and universities to boycott products and services from Israel, divest from investments in Israeli companies and sanction Israel with punitive measures and Israelis when traveling abroad. It is a network composed of anti-Israel activists and NGOs solely designed to target, isolate, and dismantle the democratic state of Israel. The end goal is the destruction of Israel though many use the pretext of only limiting BDS to what they call the “occupied territories” implying this part of Israel is stolen land.
Before supporting the publicly condemned Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement – denounced by the Ontario Parliament, Canadian Parliament, and Prime Minister Trudeau for being antisemitic, you might want to ask a few questions.
What really is BDS?
Who are its proponents and who its beneficiaries?
Are their arguments sound?
What is their real goal?
What is the BDS movement actually doing?
BDS purports to be a grassroots movement that is offering strategies of resistance and civil disobedience to encourage businesses, governments and individuals to punish Israel for crimes against Palestinian Arabs.
The BDS movement rarely states its ultimate goal, so it is primarily known for only operational goals that focus on convincing decision-makers to boycott, divest and sanction Israel. None of these goals includes peace-making between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, nor human rights for Arabs, nor any minutia of freedom for the Palestinians who live under two tyrannical terrorist governing bodies - Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Omar Barghouti, the movement’s co-founder, makes this clear by stating,
“Definitely, most definitely we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine.”
So, if you are looking for a peaceful resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, do not look here. While leaders and supporters of BDS go to great lengths to demonize Israel, a freedom-loving democracy, they seldom mention Hamas, a group designated as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan and others. In fact, they go to great lengths to decouple reality and facts from the fiction they have created about an unjust Israel.
Hamas is oppressing Palestinians in Gaza and is dedicated to wiping Israel off the map as is explicitly stated in their readily available Charter. Hamas uses donor funds not to improve the lives of the citizens of Gaza, but rather to build terror tunnels and accumulate weapons of mass destruction which they then cavalierly store in civilian buildings, including schools and hospitals in Gaza.
Despite using the pretense of the establishment of Israel in 1948 as the basis on which to justify the BDS call to action, the Arab boycott of Israel actually dates back to 1945, before the Jewish people formally had a state. The Arab League started boycotting Palestinian Jewish products only five months after World War II ended. This was long before the creation of the world’s only majority-Jewish state (1948), and certainly before any occupation, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, or apartheid claims, or other (real or imaginary) transgressions were initiated. The Arabs had collaborated with the Nazis during WWII and had the intent to kill all Jews who arrived in the area of Mandate Palestine, then not a country but a region given to England to steward following the end of WWI and the breakup of the Ottoman Empire.
Arab boycott of Jews in 1945 – before there was a state of Israel
The BDS slogan is “from river to sea, Palestine will be free,” which clearly defines its true goal. The clue is that as Israel resides between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, the total of Israel would need to disappear for the country to be known as Palestine to emerge. This slogan therefore, is nothing less than a call for the elimination of Israel, i.e. a genocidal call to eradicate the Jewish people from their homeland.
Israel is the world’s only majority-Jewish country. The BDS movement, funded by “American Muslims for Palestine,” is run by many of the same people from the (now defunct) “Holy Land Foundation,” which FBI investigators found guilty of funneling $12.4 million to Hamas, a listed terrorist organization. Seven of its leaders were sentenced to 15 to 65 years of jail time, two fled the U.S. and five are in jail. See here, here, and here.
Leaving their background and motivations aside, let us look at what those proposing BDS want you to accept as truth. There are basically three tenets to their position:
1. Israel is an occupier and colonizer of Palestinian Arab lands.
Who is indigenous to the disputed lands of Judea and Samaria? The Canadian indigenous Metis activist Ryan Bellerose, who makes a career of studying various indigenous claims, says,
“Archaeology, genealogy, and history all support the Jewish claim to indigeneity.”
The BDS claim is like saying the First Nations, Inuit, or Metis are occupiers of Canada. Go tell the Anishinaabe or Algonquin they are occupiers and colonizers. As for the original Jewish presence in the land of Judea, one has only to check the Bible, read history, or explore archeological findings, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls. More recently ancient ruins in Israel have validated ancient Jewish mikvahs (ritual baths), wineries, coinage, and more.
Dead Sea Scrolls found in the Judean desert. The scrolls include no Christian or Muslim texts.
Indigenous people are fighting for their rights all over the world. The right of self- determination of a people is recognized universally. There are few groups for which this right is being challenged. One, however, seems to stand out and that is the Jews.
Jews, like everyone else, have a right to self-determination. They are the indigenous people of Judaea and Samaria, and have held Jerusalem as their capital for over 2,000 years. The 1906 census of Jerusalem indicated there were: 40,000 Jews, 13,000 Christians, 7,000 Muslims. Jerusalem has never been the capital of any other country, and is not mentioned even once in the Qur’an.
In the 7th Century, Mohamed, the Muslim prophet, is said to have flown one midnight to the seven heavens on a winged creature called Buraq and from a site some distance from Mecca. This has been interpreted by some in the Muslim world to be Jerusalem. However, it’s questionable as stated by Imam Mohamed Tawhidi, an Islamic scholar, author and advisor to the Global Imams Council.
It is questionable whether Mohamad ever stepped foot in the land of Israel, especially because he is said to have been there and risen from the rock which is today known to be under the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount, but the structure was built years after the supposed midnight flight. As an Arab, he came the from Hejaz in what is now Saudi Arabia. The Quran does not mention Jerusalem even once by name nor make any claim to “ownership.”
The Jews have been the recorded inhabitants of Israel since 1,300-1,400 BCE. King Solomon built the first holy temple there in 1272 BCE. The land of the Jews has been invaded many times since. The invaders included the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, the Caliphate, Crusaders, Mamelukes, Ottoman (Turks), and the British. These colonizers tried to remove the Jews from their historical homeland and forbid them from returning. (Note, there has never been a “Palestinian” state there.)
These lands were illegally occupied by Jordan after their offensive war against the Jews from 1948 to 1967. Jews were forbidden from visiting much of their holy city of Jerusalem under the illegal Jordanian occupation. Under Jordanian occupation, 58 synagogues were destroyed. During the Jordanian occupation, no Arab leader other than King Hussein of Jordan ever visited Jerusalem. It was never declared a capital, no attempt was made to create a country called Palestine, and the Arab residents were awarded Jordanian citizenship. The area was ethnically cleansed of Jews.
Arabs from Jordan fought to keep the Jews out of Jerusalem in 1948 and illegally occupied the city. (David Rubinger/CORBIS)
Somehow there was no need for a “Palestine” when Jordan occupied the “West Bank” (Judea) and Egypt occupied Gaza. Only after the Jews liberated the territory in 1967 was there suddenly a need for “Palestine.” Evidently, 55 Muslim countries, including 22 Arab countries aren’t enough. But one majority-Jewish state is deemed one too many!
2. Israel doesn’t recognize the rights of Palestinian-Arab citizens of Israel to full equality.
Actually, Arabs in Israel have more rights than Arabs have in most Arab countries. Palestinian Arabs who are citizens of Israel can and do vote in all elections, sit in the Knesset, serve on the Supreme Court, form part of the current government coalition, attend any university or professional school, work in the government, are full staff members of hospitals, are lawyers and judges, serve in the military (at their discretion whereas for Jews it is mandatory), pray in their mosques, etc. Since Israel’s inception hundreds of mosques have been built.
Facts and Figures - Islam in Israel, from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Of note, the latest political coalition that has removed Benjamin Netanyahu from office includes the Arab political party (United Arab List) and its leader Mansour Abbas, from an Islamist party, is part of the new governing coalition.
Are Jews in Arab lands accorded similar rights and freedoms? No.
When was the last free election in Hamas-ruled Gaza or the Fatah-controlled “West Bank”? Do they have any free press, women’s rights, gay rights? And why did 86% of Israeli Arabs in a recent survey say they would rather live under Israel’s government and not under the Islamic rulers of the “West Bank” or Gaza? (Doesn’t that survey data tell you something?)
Maryam Banat, 67, mother of Palestinian Authority critic Nizar Banat holds a poster with his picture while attending a rally protesting his killing by Palestinian Authority Forces (for speaking out against the corrupt PA regime), in the West Bank city of Ramallah, July 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)
Another survey found that 65% of Israeli Arabs are proud of their Israeli nationality. Compare that with only 42% of Americans reported to be extremely proud to be American with 63% very or extremely proud. (Cilliza, 2020).
The leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has already made it clear not a single Jew will be permitted to live in any future Palestinian state (ethnic cleansing?).
If a Jew were to walk through Gaza City or Ramallah with a kippah on his head, chances are he wouldn’t come out alive. An Arab who sells land to a Jew is at risk of being legally executed. And Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas pays Arabs to murder Jews in what is referred to as the PA’s “pay-to-slay” program– the more you kill, the higher your pay. ($400 million paid to jailed terrorists and their families last year alone.)
3. Promoting the rights of Palestinian-Arab refugees to return to their homes and properties
The BDS supporters speak a lot about Israel’s ethnic cleansing and apartheid, so check the data:
Arabs and Non-Jews in Israel:
These numbers speak for themselves. It’s pretty clear the Jews have never embarked on a campaign of ethnic cleansing. In fact, the opposite is true.
Over 856,000 Jews were forced out of Arab countries following 1948. They were forced to leave all their possessions behind, had their citizenship stripped and in some cases were threatened, harassed and even killed as they fled. The Jews who fled North Africa and the Middle East were neither European nor colonizers but descendants from Arab Muslim countries where they had lived for over 1500 years. Many came from families which had settled in Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Iraq before the 7th century and the rise of Islam, some as early as the 2nd century BCE. All of these expelled “Mizrahi” Jews were integrated into Israel and a few other countries with the help of fellow Jews. The almost 900,000 Jews were brought into a land mass that is just slightly bigger than New Jersey during the period of 1948-67.
Meanwhile, in 1948, the day the State of Israel came into being Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq immediately launched a coordinated attack on Israel. Many Arabs fled in advance of the war and others were told by their fellow Arabs to leave their homes so they could come back after all the Jews were slaughtered Many heeded the call, some fled the violence and left in the throes of the war, others stayed. Ultimately, the tiny and nascent Jewish state won the war.
So maybe when the Arab countries agree to compensate all the Jews that they expelled for their losses, consideration for compensation could be given to the Arabs who fled from their homes in Israel. Though maybe that would be after Israel is compensated for the lands and property destroyed or stolen from the Jews in Judea and Samaria, (Sound fair?)
There are 22 Arab countries with a total land mass 800 times the size of Israel. Yet Arab countries have kept the Palestinians in refugee camps for three generations, refusing to give them citizenship; Jordan even rescinded citizenship from several hundred thousand Arabs after Israel reclaimed Judea and Samaria.
“Palestinians” - the world’s longest-designated refugees in history. Political football? Why don’t these Arabs have the same rights as the citizens in their Arab host countries? Apartheid? Where are the protests? How is it that the United Nations has allowed a separate agency to serve these Arabs when all other legitimate refugees from countries around the world, have one single agency to help them resettle? And why is the role of the agency, known as UNRWA, been to ensure that the Palestinian Arabs never get settled, but are kept in refugee camps, even within the boundaries of the towns the PA control within Judea and Samaria, and in Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon where the people are essentially the same people, not a distinct ethno-racial or cultural group at all?
Getting the Message Out
Social media has really changed our world, but not always for the better. The BDS lobby is a well-funded propaganda machine and has been able to convince many people to hate Israel. Unfortunately, lies now travel around the world before the truth even puts its socks on.
It seems that anyone in today’s world can have a platform and an audience.
Commanding an audience as do some entertainers, comedians, talk-show hosts, musicians, models, and others has led them to act as instant experts on world affairs. Despite widely available evidence to the contrary, only hearsay and propaganda spewed by Jew haters are spread by many of these personalities who spare no lie. Never in history have so many virtue signalers been able to opine so favorably on such falsely created information.
Today’s “progressives” now say Jews are white and are privileged. Over 50% of Israel’s Jews come from Arab countries and Ethiopia. They are brown and black. They gave up everything to be in their homeland. Notwithstanding that race is irrelevant in defining good and bad, colonizer and oppressor, the woke progressives have chosen to categorize Jews as “white” to add the oppressor label.
Today there are still 5 Arab countries openly practicing slavery of Black Africans and none of the woke personalities and celebrities, including those of colour, ever say a word. Historically, slavery was practiced among most peoples of the world, as was war, invasion, rape, enslavement, but it was the people of Europe, white people, who were the first to put a stop to slavery, to fight for and enact equality for all in legislation, to give women the vote, to give rights to LGBTQ people, and to defend religious freedom. Jews were part of all the social movements. Israel embodies the best of each of these.
Do you really support a movement like BDS that only extends the conflict and has no constructive solutions?
The Palestinian Arab populations in the disputed territories suffer the most from boycotts.
If you support peace, you won’t support BDS.
For more information, view this video:
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