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What's Behind the 'Boycott Israel' Movement?

What's Behind the 'Boycott Israel' Movement?
Roz Rothstein and
Roberta Seid
Arutz Sheva
"Zion's Corner" Blog

May 13, 2014

The anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement [BDS] grabbed attention when the American Studies Association [ASA] voted for an academic boycott of Israel, and when actress Scarlet Johansson, against intense pressure, refused to renounce her decision to represent SodaStream, an Israeli company whose main plant is located in the West Bank. BDS, a fringe movement trying to gain support on campuses and among the American public, portrays itself as a non-violent campaign for social justice and a peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. But BDS's human rights rhetoric merely disguises its real agenda: the demonization and elimination of Israel. 

In short, BDS is the latest manifestation of the longstanding refusal by countries in the Middle East to accept even a small Jewish state in their midst. BDS activists invent crimes, invert facts, make false accusations, and spread this propaganda on campuses, in corporations, churches, and the media, and within the artistic community. 

For example, at UCLA in February, 2014, BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti deployed blood libels, claiming that Israeli soldiers shoot innocent Palestinian children “for sport” or because they are “bored.” On campuses, they use this propaganda to convince student governments to vote for university divestment from companies involved in Israel's security infrastructure, such as General Electric, Caterpillar, Raytheon, Motorola, ITT, and Hewlett-Packard. University administrations have consistently declared they will not divest, but BDS die-hards persist. BDS activists also directly target corporations, buying stock to introduce BDS resolutions at shareholders' meetings, regardless of how remote their obsession with Israel is to the meeting's agenda. 

They have repeatedly brought resolutions for Caterpillar to stop doing business with Israel, and have repeatedly been defeated. Their resolutions at pension giant TIAA-CREF meetings finally led CEO Roger Ferguson to request and receive permission from the SEC to omit their resolutions from consideration.  

BDS may claim to advocate non-violence, but they won't condemn Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group governing Gaza that has launched over 10,000 rockets at Israeli communities since 2005, and calls for the murder of Jews and obliteration of Israel. Indeed, Barghouti assured his UCLA audience that Palestinians have the “the right to resist by any means, including armed violence.” BDS may claim to represent Palestinian civil society, but few Palestinian support it. 

In December, 2013, PA President Abbas stated he opposes boycotts of Israel. The 500 Palestinians who work for SodaStream objected to BDS targeting their company where they earn good wages and work cooperatively with Israelis.  Some 80,000 Palestinians work in Israel or the Jewish communities in the West Bank.  Many support the joint business and economic projects in which Israelis and Palestinians have successfully partnered. 

Hypocritically, even Barghouti chose to attend Tel Aviv University where he admitted he encountered none of the anti-Palestinian prejudice he claims is rife in Israeli society. Unfortunately, BDS  activists are so obsessed with destroying Israel that they oppose such cooperative relationships and never propose measures that would actually help Palestinians, such as improving the Palestinian economy and  institutions.  

Simply put, BDS calls for the dissolution of the Jewish state. Consider one of its three demands: that Palestinian refugees of the 1948 War and all their descendants -- who live in Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza, Syria and Lebanon now numbering close to 5 million -- have the “right to return” to Israel -- not to the proposed new state of Palestine within agreed-upon borders, but to today's Israel. 

The result? Jews would become a minority in their own state. 

Since 1948, the demand for "right of return" has been a euphemism for destroying the Jewish state. President Obama has said  that the right of return" ... would extinguish Israel as a Jewish state, and that is not an option.”  

The people who advocate BDS are abetting a dangerous movement that opposes peaceful coexistence, masks the century-old Arab war against the Jewish state with new rhetoric, and promotes the destruction of the state of Israel in the name of social justice and human rights, values which BDS activists pervert beyond recognition.

Roz Rothstein is the CEO and co-founder of StandWithUs and Roberta Seid, PhD, is the Director of Education at StandWithUs.

Read the original article here.
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