web analytics
April 19, 2015 / 30 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Open Letter to a BDS Friend

Volunteering on behalf of the Palestinians is admirable. But comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa is outrageous and unfair.
.

.
Photo Credit: Peter Haskin for Australian Jewish News

Dear Kathleen

I read with interest your letter about The BDS Debate in Our House, between you and your secular Israeli husband. You are clearly passionate about the Palestinian cause, and while I may disagree about your analysis of the Israel-Palestinian situation, I greatly respect your dedication and commitment. Would that all people of conscience stood up and took action to right the wrongs of injustice.  For that alone, you have my respect.

At the same time, however, your defense of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement left me with more questions than answers. I know you view the Israel-Palestinian situation as the 21st century version of South African apartheid, and the Palestinian Authority as little more than a bantustan – a quasi-free political entity, surrounded on all sides by the Israeli “occupation” and possessing little ability to function due to Israel’s numerous laws and regulations.

For many reasons, however, you are simply wrong.

To begin with, you claim that “BDS is nonviolent resistance,” the result of years of “lecturing” by the international community about non-violence. In theory, you’re right.

But where are the Palestinian leaders who back up your BDS movement with strong, singular, unequivocal statements about the value of non-violence? Where are the leaders who draw inspiration and guidance from true disciples of non-violence such as Mohandas K. Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr?  Currently, Israel security forces (often in conjunction with Palestinian police in Judea and Samaria) scuttle approximately 10,000 terror attacks a month, in addition to roadside stonings, Temple Mount riots and other incidents. How come your BDS campaign has failed to influence the Palestinian street in this way?

This question is even more potent in the context of your beloved apartheid claim. In your view, Israel plays the part of the minority Afrikaner government, while the Palestinians play the role of the oppressed black majority (let’s forget, for a moment, that Jews are a clear majority in the Land of Israel. That fact alone distinguishes Israel from South Africa. But I digress).

Who, then, is the Palestinian Mandela, the man who fought and suffered for his country and his people, but yet emerged from prison with his moral compass unscathed? Who is the Palestinian leader who speaks passionately about Jewish rights in the Land of Israel, no less than Palestinian rights? You will agree that there are many examples in the other direction; i.e. Israeli officials and public figures who speak out strongly for Palestinian rights and against what I would describe as Israel’s defensive actions.

Secondly, you say (rightly) that Idi Amin’s appalling human rights record in Uganda did not, and should not have excused human rights activists from acting strongly against South Africa. Similarly, you feel it is appropriate to boycott Israel, despite the fact that Israel’s record on human and civil rights – even in Judea and Samaria- is far superior to other nations both in the Middle East and farther afield.

But is the Israeli situation really akin to the South African one, or to other nations that you could plan to boycott? Perhaps the best way to answer this question (in good Jewish fashion) is with another question: Were Israel to pull out of Judea and Samaria, would that satisfy Palestinian claims? Would the children and grandchildren of 1948 refugees, second and third generation Jordanians, Syrians and Lebanese, accept the deal, immigrate to the nascent Palestinian state and forego claims to their ancestors homes in Jaffa and Haifa? Would you and the BDS brigades make that demand?

The answer here is clearly “no.” As in Lebanon and Gaza, an Israel pullout would merely whet the appetite of the Palestinian political class, and their violent supporters in places like Gaza south Lebanon. Thus, the situation here cannot be compared to the South African one: In the best case scenario, Palestinians seek to flood Israel with refugees (from a war started by the Arab world, it should be noted) to displace the Jewish majority. South African blacks always represented an enormous majority, and sought to exercise equal rights as a majority population in their own country while respecting the rights of the white minority. The two situations are simply not compatible.

About the Author: Meir is a news writer for JewishPress.com - and he loves his job.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Open Letter to a BDS Friend”

  1. Claude Roloff says:

    Sad day in the USA. The Presbyterian USA decided to join the ill informed and support this 'boycott' of businesses doing business with Israel. They have so lost their way.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
US has no problem with Egypt's bombing hundreds of homes of Gaza civilians but can't stand to see Israel destroy a terrorist's home.
Gaza: Egypt Responsible For Weapons Shortage
Latest News Stories
U.S. President Barack Obama

Obama to maintain phased-in sanctions relief pegged to compliance; he’ll give Iran a huge signing bonus instead!

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat at the scene where a Shalom Yochai Sherki was killed and Shira Klein was injured when an Arab crashed his car crashed into a bus station at the French Hill junction in Jerusalem on April 15.

She is unconscious and on a respirator at Hadassah Ein Karem hospital.

Philanthropist A. Alfred Taubman died on Friday at the age of 91.

Alfred Taubman, who helped shopping in the United States by developing malls, died of a heart attack while at home on Friday, He was 91. Taubman was known for philanthropy, especially in his native Michigan, where was a large contributor to the Detroit Institute of Arts. “Al Taubman changed the way America shops. But his […]

S300

In the past, both Russia and Israel stopped their weapons sales to avoid excess friction between the countries. Not anymore.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara visited on Saturday night the grave of Yoni Netanyahu, the leader and lone IDF casualty in the rescue mission at Entebbe in 1976. They visited the grave at the Mt. Herzl Cemetery at night instead of on Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel’s Wars this week […]

Is Afghanistan becoming another country that US has made safe for the Islamic State?

This could be a lead-up to a joint ground operation in Yemen against the Iranian backed Houthis.

Netanyahu’s “humanitarian considerations” are a euphemism for political considerations.”

The hackers used easily downloadable, but sophisticated, hacking tools to do the job, rather than requiring any in-house technical knowledge.

The wannabe terrorist wanted to be arrested more than he actually wanted to stab the soldier.

Israeli workers raise a large Star of David (Magen David) onto the “Harp Bridge” at the entrance of Jerusalem on April 17, 2015, in honor of Israel’s upcoming Israel’s Memorial Day and the 67th Independence Day. Israel will mark its 67th Independence Day on April 22, 2015.

First thwarted at the Israeli polls, now V15 funder’s “healthy” bars are also losers.

She had many names and was many things to many people, but to me she was just Babineni.

The EU wants to label Settler products. Liberman want to remind them of the last time they labeled Jews.

A pro-BDS professor at Sydney University may face disciplinary action over his conduct at lecture where anti-Israelis disrupted a speech by retired British Col. Richard Kemp, who has often praised  the IDF for its morality while fighting terror. The university issued a “show cause” letter to Prof. Jake Lynch, according to The Australian. Jewish students […]

Liberman is adamantly insisting on receiving the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but Netanyahu wants Liberman to step back and take something else.

More Articles from Meir Halevi Siegel
Economics Minister and Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett

Jewish Home leader blocks exhibition of dead bodies citing Jewish tradition to honor the dead; NIF objects.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Cabinet holds special session in Ashkelon, faces criticism from local residents, officials over lack of aid package

For two-and-a-half years, residents of the Golan Heights understood that domestic interests in Syria would keep war away from them.

4,000 dunams in G’vaot area declared state land, will open door for large construction project.

With Judeophobic attacks spiking around United Kingdom, local Jews say not enough done to enforce hate crime laws

Drug dealers suspected of aiding Hezbollah make inroads into Israel; smuggling attempts also included Jordan, Syria

Only time PLO seems interested in justice for Palestinians is when Israel is involved

For years, Binyamin Netanyahu’s views on negotiating with terrorists, and on negotiating under fire have been clear: In his defining treatise on the subject Terrorism: How the West Can Win, Netanyahu spelled out clear guidelines for dealing with the scourge of attacks on civilians. Amongst other principles, the then up-and-coming Likud leader said clearly that terrorists must […]

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/179704/2014/06/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: