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Telling the Truth About BDS

Israel Diplomatic Network
Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest
Professor Resnicoff, DePaul University College of Law 
May 16, 2014

The international movement to Boycott, Divest, and Sanction Israel (BDS) is rooted in a big lie. Through hypocritical double standards and outright lies and deceptive machinations, it falsely demonizes and defames Israel as a pretext to denying the Jews the right of self-determination, while covering up the hate-filled truth about itself and its most radical supporters. All members of the DePaul community who support human rights and peace in the Middle East must vote against the BDS resolution that's on this year's student government ballot.
 
The BDS movement is the latest incarnation of the 100-year-old Arab boycott of Israel. Before Israel declared independence in 1948, the Arab dictatorships enacted a boycott against the tiny Jewish state which they later tried to destroy through a series of failed wars and terror attacks. Today, these very dictatorships, like the Palestinian Hamas and Fatah, are crumbling under the weight of the people they oppressed, and over the past century have been guilty of attacking not only Israelis, but Jews throughout the world. In Israel, France, Bulgaria and elsewhere, they purposely target and kill young schoolchildren instead of targeting adults. They also despise and oppress Christians, Buddhists and, in fact, everyone who is not their type of Muslim. Consider, for instance, the persistent violence against the Coptic Catholics in Egypt.  The Muslim Brotherhood and its allies like Hamas in Gaza think that women should be severely oppressed, not allowed to drive (or even to walk in public without being accompanied by a male relative), not permitted to dress as they like, and tragically presumed guilty even when they are raped.  Gays are executed in the public square as in Gaza, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.  Where these extremists have power, they put these discriminatory policies into practice.
 
By contrast, Israel protects every person's right to practice the religion of his or her choice,  guarantees a woman's right to complete equality, and has one of the best records on LGBT rights in the world. In fact, Israel is the only country in the Middle East to guarantee equal rights for all of its citizens, be they Jewish, Christian, Muslim, or of any or no faith.
 
How does the BDS movement respond to these realities? Does it condemn Palestinian religious, gender and sexual orientation persecution?  No, not at all.  Instead, it disingenuously charges that Israel's hard fought for LGBT rights are only used to "pinkwash" the alleged persecution of Palestinians.  In reality, though, Israel's policies are the natural outcome of Israel's historically consistent commitment to human rights.  For example, while the Islamic government of northern Sudan continues to permit and promote the enslavement of Black Africans, Israel supported the emancipation of slaves and creation of the free country of South Sudan.
 
Israel is in the forefront of humanitarian efforts worldwide.  For example, it has provided medical assistance to those wounded in the inter-Arab warfare in Syria (warfare which has already cost over 100,000 lives). Right now there are Israeli soldiers in Nigeria helping to free the over 250 young girls kidnapped by the Islamic militants in Boko Haram. It aids victims of natural disasters in Haiti, Japan, Turkey and elsewhere.  It counsels victims and survivors of violence as far away as the Philippines and, soon, as nearby as Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood.  See Pastor Harris' video here.

It's not enough to realize that the most powerful promoters of BDS movement do not really care about the protection of human rights - and, in fact, favor the deprivation of those rights for the Jewish People.  Nor is it enough to acknowledge that they do nothing to help ameliorate human suffering throughout the world.  It is necessary to understand -- and to understand clearly - that they do not want peace in the Middle East.
 
The only realistic answer to the Arab-Israeli conflict is the two-state solution, which provides for the co-existence of Israel as a Jewish state and of a separate Palestinian state.

The BDS Movement and its supporters have repeatedly rejected that solution.  Instead, on campuses throughout North America, BDS supporters openly call for the complete destruction of Israel through a fictitious “right of return” that has no basis in international law, and only serves to deprive the Jews of their right to self-determination. On many campuses, including DePaul, one has heard loud genocidal BDS chants calling to free “Palestine from the river to the sea,” which destroys Israel, or ranting about “Zionist” control of the government, media, and finance system, which is a veiled reference to Jews and rhetoric out of the 1930's. Around the country, individual students have been threatened and attacked.  The international BDS movement is not dedicated to peace, but, instead, to fomenting hatred, strife, and violence.
 
I take note, however, that, to a large part, the BDS backers at DePaul this year have been far less strident and shrill than those at other campuses.  This may be because many of the BDS supporters at DePaul are in fact well-intentioned, albeit terribly misinformed as to the facts.  It may also reflect the local leadership's recognition that members of the DePaul University community would not be receptive to the blatant, ugly anti-Semitic tactics that find resonance elsewhere.  Don't be fooled by the relative soft-sell.  The merchandise - the student referendum - contains false allegations against Israel and is designed simply to promote the demonization of Israel and Jews.  Vote  "no." 

Read the original article here.

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