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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.