web analytics
July 30, 2015 / 14 Av, 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.
.The real BDS.

.The real BDS.
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
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. July 29, 2015.
Bibi on Iran Deal: ‘We Aren’t Partners at the Table, We Are a Meal on the Menu’ [VIDEO]
Latest News Stories
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. July 29, 2015.

Kerry justifies keeping Iran deal “side deals” from the American public, while skipping Israel on ME trip.

Pope John Paul II and Chief Rabbi of Rome Elio Toaff

The exhibition “A blessing to one another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People,” opened on Tuesday in the Vatican.

Best Western Eretz Copacabana

Rio De Janeiro’s Jewish community will open two synagogues to accommodate Jewish visitors at the 2016 Olympics.

2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin

Israel said the report is “fundamentally flawed in its methodologies, in its facts, in its legal analysis and in its conclusions,” and one-sided, bringing “into serious question Amnesty’s professional standards.”

“I think what Mike has done has hit a nerve and he’s made people think a little bit.”

The Prime Minister approved construction of the homes after the High Court ordered demolitions of homes under construction.

The White House said Pollard’s serious crimes’ preclude his being allowed to travel abroad.

“Those who were highly connected to Israel were more likely to perceive their campus environment as hostile toward Jews and Israel and to report being blamed for Israel’s action.”

In explaining the confidential agreement between the IAEA and Iran, Moniz recalled a similar one between the agency and South Africa in the early 1990s.

Israel’s Air Force allegedly eliminates child-killer Samir Kuntar in Syrian Golan Heights.

The film will be based on Martin Blank’s play “The Law Of Return,” about Pollard’s work for the US Navy, and the process of his becoming a spy.

Dreinoff House, Beit El, July 29, 2015. Photos by Hillel Meir / Tazpit News Agency.

The solar energy field of at Kibbutz Ketura cost $79 million and consists of 140,743 solar panels.

The suspects belonged to an infrastructure that tried to disrupt the May 2014 visit of Pope Francis.

At least two reliable sources reported that Mullah Omar, one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, has died.

By noon Wednesday, Israeli forces were demolishing two buildings in Beit El.

More Articles from Meir Halevi Siegel
d 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: