BDS is a global campaign -- hundreds of business and political and academic leaders that are targeting Israel. They want to discredit Israel’s claim to legitimacy, isolate her politically, and starve her economically. Their tactics are:
Boycott, or refuse to purchase Israeli goods. They promote boycotting Israeli companies and companies that contract with the Israeli government.Some of the advocates of this boycott campaign are the national governments [of New Zealand, Denmark, Luxembourg, and Maldives,] the U.K.’s National Union of Teachers, and entertainers [such as Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters] religious leaders [like Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church-USA, the United Church of Christ and the World Council of Churches.] and various student organizations on left-wing American college campuses.[UCLA Student Association]
Divestiture, or pressuring investors to sell their shares in Israel companies and technology.
Sanctions, or punishing Israel for public policies with which they disagree.
The BDS movement began in 2005. BDS proponents claim their campaign is aimed at Israel’s alleged mistreatment of Palestinians, but BDS ignores 2 important truths.
First, Israel’s presence in the West Bank has occurred from a defensive action against an alliance of surrounding nations that attacked in 1967. No Arab attack and Israel wouldn’t be there. And, Israel has tried to give the West Bank back, in 2000 and in 2008, but the Palestinian leadership rejected, and continues to reject-- this offer because it requires them to recognize Israel’s right to exist.
Many Arab leaders won’t recognize Israel’s right to exist because to do so would anger hardline Muslim extremists who believe the land of Israel belongs to their Islamic Caliphate. For these Muslim clerics and their followers, there is no recognition of Israel. The PLO charter calls for the total destruction of the Jewish state. The Hamas charter calls for the total obliteration of Israel and the destruction of every Jew in the world.
BDS also ignores another truth: That Israel is the one nation in the Middle East that recognizes freedom of the press and the civil rights of all its citizens, especially women. Israel is the only country in the region where women can drive a car, work, vote and own property. Israel is a beacon of freedom and democracy in a challenging area of the world.
More than 2 million Arab Israeli citizens understand that they have more freedom in Israel than in other surrounding nations. And over 100,000 Arabs in the West bank work for Israeli companies. In 2015 the Rand Corporation reported that if BDS were to last 10 more years, it could cost Israel as much as $47 billion. Arab employees are the very workers who would be hurt the most by BDS’ efforts.
So the next time you hear about BDS, understand -- the goal of BDS is not to protest Israeli policies. The real goal of the BDS campaign is to fuel anti-Semitism, undermine Israel’s right of self-determination – in short, to de-legitimize Israel as a nation. What can you do? Speak out against BDS. Everyone interested in peace should condemn BDS in the strongest terms.
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