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BDS: A threat to Palestine
By DANI KEDAR
08/12/2013
The BDS movement and its Marxist approach to politics is heavily impacting on the integrity of Palestinian solidarity organizations.
 
If Palestinian organizations want a two-state solution, then they need to dissociate from the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement.

While human rights organizations that demand a two-state solution tend to ignore the fact, their support of BDS seriously comprises their integrity. Here are a few critical arguments level-headed Palestinian supporters should consider: Effective boycotts against Israel are impossible, as well as destructive to Palestinians. Specifically within the IT, agricultural and medical industries, Israel’s contributions are invaluable and irreplaceable. There at a plethora of Israeli products that the global community benefits from of which many are not even aware. For example, BDS relies on Facebook to promote its campaigns; Facebook recently acquired Israel-based start-up Onavo.

BDS activists prefer to focus on boycotting settlement- made goods, such as Sodastream, yet are insensitive to the fact that many Palestinians work for Israeli companies in the settlements, earning higher wages than if they were to work for Palestinian companies.

BDS-ers have declared that if Palestinians lose their jobs due to sanctions against settlements goods, it is a sad yet necessary price to end “apartheid.” Yet they offer no road map for how these Palestinians will support themselves economically if they are totally disassociated from Israel, even if a Palestinian state were to be established.

This anarchistic approach to Palestinian welfare impacts heavily on the BDS movement’s integrity, as well as that of other Palestinian organizations that claim to be supporting Palestinian self-determination.

BDS activists enjoy using the South African narrative as an example of why such concern for Palestinian welfare after a Palestinian state is established is nothing more than Zionist propaganda. A key fact they choose to ignore is that Nelson Mandela valued collaboration between whites and blacks in South Africa, especially because South Africa’s economy required white experience within commerce to insure economical sustainability.

Then there’s the fact that BDS supports a similar narrative to Fatah’s political charter that states Fatah’s commitment to the destruction of Israel’s government and economy. The strong BDS anti-Israel narrative results in further polarization of moderate Jews who would otherwise be open to the idea of peace talks and a two-state solution. Jews who were previously critical of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict are pushed to the Right due to the perception that so-called liberal organizations are not concerned about the total ethnic cleansing of Zionist culture, economy and state, as stated by every Palestinian political charter, and following the intense anti-Semitic narrative expressed by Palestinian media as well as religious institutions, in which Judaism and Zionism are identified as the same thing.

IT IS not unrealistic to imagine a crusade against Zionism easily evolving into genocide and ethnic cleansing of Jews living in Israel.

If liberal human rights organizations are indifferent to such concerns – or view the destruction of Israel and genocide of Jews as moral and humane aspirations – why would any sane human being support or even indulge them? The greatest catalysts in establishing a Palestinian state will be Jews, but how can pro-Palestinian organizations expect to get buy-in while indulging the BDS narrative that Israel simply needs to disappear? Further, it is highly irrational to expect the Knesset to simply sign on the dotted line an agreement for Israel’s extinction. So many organizations that support Palestinian statehood keep on shifting the battle lines regarding their demand for a two-state solution, but will also argue that the establishment of the State of Israel was a mistake and criminal, something which needs to be rectified.

This results in level-headed people disengaging from these organizations.

Even Norman Finkelstien, a dedicated activist against Israel holding the 1967 borders, has stated that the BDS movement cannot be recognized as a legitimate organization that should be engaged in political and legal issues with Israel, since on the one hand BDSers use the law to protest against Israel keeping the 1967 borders, but on the other, neglect the law when demanding Israel’s destruction.

Finkelstien explains that BDS will never get the required political and legal backing that will be effective enough to create a Palestinian state if it continues with double standards regarding Palestinian rights while neglecting Israel’s right to exist.

Either an organization is pro-human rights or pro-BDS.

To be both is very problematic, and even hypocritical.

The rest of the global community is also not going to accept a false narrative created by organizations that seek solely to demonize Israel; most people are not interested in being involved with a political debate that involves radical opinions. For Palestinian solidarity organizations, this should be a serious problem.

Lastly, BDS activists often claim that they “distance” themselves from violence. What they mean, however, is that while they do not support Israeli violence against Palestinians, they will turn a blind eye toward Hamas’s activities, for example.

But if one truly supports the Palestinian cause, then they should also feel comfortable criticizing any actions of the Palestinian leadership that are preventing the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Consider: Israel’s greatest ally, America, is a strong critic of Israel’s settlement activity, which the US believes is harmful to peace, yet Israel still holds the US to be a close ally. The fact that BDSers are not prepared to condemn Palestinian violence and jihadist ideology suggests that they support terrorism and the killing of Israeli civilians.

If Palestinian organizations truly want to help Palestinians, they need to start thinking along the lines of conflict resolution, and be openly critical of Palestinian militant factions. Anyone organization truly sincere about advancing Palestinian self-determination will need level- headed, critical and educated individuals on its side.

To this end, they will also need to disassociate from BDS and the anti-Israel narrative, as the BDS movement and its Marxist approach to politics is heavily impacting on the integrity of Palestinian solidarity organizations.

The author is a social media activist against the BDS and the Media Review Network. He holds a degree in psychology and business administration.
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