The horrific truth is that the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) plays on the naivety, innocence and good intentions of students across the UK and cons them (there can be no better description) into actually calling for the destruction of a democracy. That this democracy is the Jewish State and the movement specifically targets only the goods of Jewish business (the boycott does not target non-Jewish products) sends a chill down the spine.
BDS is a con, make no mistake. Like a chameleon it adapts to its surroundings, lightening its message whenever necessary so as to be accommodated anywhere where ‘peace loving’ folk may be based. It is dangerous in both its simplicity and in its intent.
Firstly the simplicity; you cannot easily argue against horrific photos. The carnage in Gaza is both real and photogenic, innocent people tragically lost their lives and yes, it is all on film. In one split second the horrors of war, the broken bodies of children, display real victims and the awful price they paid. Any excuses or attempted explanation of this that even appears to belittle human tragedy or worse still throw blame on the victims themselves will simply reinforce the very strong message the photo contains. It takes hours, if not more, to accurately open up the conflict to a stranger and no one listens for hours anymore. At best these days you can grab attention for 140 characters and there is no soundbite in 140 characters that can explain away those images.
Additionally there are the rallying cries ’Apartheid’ ‘ Genocide’ ‘ Ethnic cleansing’; brutal in their efficiency, they convey the precise message the movement wants to portray in single, simple, easily understood concepts. Regardless of the spiteful nature of these lies, they still have to be countered, and explanations of historical context take far longer to digest than a photo showing different coloured number plates or a list of destroyed villages.
And then there is the (hidden) intent. The BDS movement is a one state solution movement. However much it becomes watered down in places, with more seemingly lenient boycotts of ‘settlement products only’, BDS at its heart, does not want to bring Israel to the negotiating table at all, it wants to bring Israel to its knees. Nowhere in the BDS mandate or statements is there talk of peace; there is simply a call for Israel to be forced to abide by whatever definition of ‘international law’ the BDS movement believes in. And therein is the deliberate con, BDS does not position itself with moderate Palestinians or Israelis; it does not see peace in two states or compromise; BDS is using rhetoric of peaceful protest to hide brutal intent.
Hiding behind the left wings flags of peace, the BDS con simply switched the word ‘peace’ with ‘justice’. After all, to the innocent and well intended student, what difference can that make? On the about BDS page the word ‘peace’ does not even appear, yet ‘justice’ appears twice. If, in any of their writing they actually mention ‘peace’, it is never alone, it is always accompanied by the words ‘genuine’ and ‘justice’. So perhaps all of us understand what peace means in the West, even if the BDS movement view it differently, but what is BDS ‘justice’? And just who are these judges that students and left wingers are giving their power too? The clue lies in article 3 of the BDS call to arms
“Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.”
Not part of a negotiated settlement, not a goal of a two state solution, but a cynical attempt to force Israel to abide by a BDS definition of a 66 year old UN resolution that will categorically bring Israel to an end. They are not supporting the refugees moving to ‘a new and free Palestine’, but moving millions of Palestinians into the land ‘occupied’ by Israel in 1948 (not 1967) *in addition* to creating ‘a new and free Palestine’ in the West Bank and Gaza. Two Palestines, or in effect ‘ the one state solution’. If the BDS ‘manifesto’ was to be fulfilled as per the BDS wishes Israel would no longer exist; it is that simple. BDS, through their goals, align themselves with Hamas, Hizbullah and any other terror group calling for Israel’s destruction; their goals are not similar, they are identical. And we have them here, in the UK, a modern Western, pluralistic society, standing with students in our places of higher learning, waving a flag of peace. It is a script you could not write. The aims of these groups, the ones who reject pluralism, persecute women and gays, oppose democracy and hate Jews are being pushed forward by left wing students who are voting for them.
The BDS cannot reject this accusation. It is after all one of their 3 stated goals. The students however will reject it; they will claim that they only seek peace, only want to see the Palestinians given things that are the fundamental rights of all human beings; but this is entirely irrelevant. When you vote for someone, when you give something power, it is not your desire that is important, but the desire of that which you enable. If out of ignorance you give strength to a movement that specifically calls for the destruction of Israel, you carry the responsibility of what happens with you. BDS is a call for war, not peace. It wants to make Israel so weak, it can do what it wants with it. As students look around at Libya, Iraq, Syria and Yemen, just what is it exactly that they are voting for? If people on the left seek peace, even if their sympathies lie far more with Palestinians than Israelis, BDS is no more a way to register dissatisfaction than voting for the Nazi party in protest at the Tories or Labour.
Israel is not perfect. In fact, given the impact of its environment and history, it is fair to say Israel has many flaws. But regardless of your belief, regardless of your political persuasion, Israel is still factually the only nation in the entire region where people can pray to, vote for and sleep with whoever they want. Man or women, in Israel, you are equal. And given that Hezbollah lies to the North, Hamas to the South and ISIS to the east it is simply beyond all understanding that our UK student movements, groups that have historically brought so much progressive change to our society should align themselves with sexist, homophobic, radical Islamic extremists who openly state they *DO NO WANT PEACE* with Israel on the map at all. Our UK students who align themselves with BDS, innocently or not, are actually calling for the destruction of a liberal democracy. BDS is a monster and it is time to unmask it.
If you are interested in the BDS movement, over the coming weeks, please stay tuned to this blog.