‘INSTEAD OF fighting the Israeli army on the battlefield or killing civilians through acts of terrorism, the BDS movement seeks to destroy Israel’s image in the eyes of the world.’.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Tell a lie often enough and people will start to believe it.
This sad truth came to mind as I addressed the European Parliament last week as part of the fight against the notorious global campaign against the State of Israel known as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). It is but the newest weapon in a decades-old effort to eliminate Israel, and deny the Jewish people their right to self-determination.
For years, those who wanted to destroy Israel first tried wars, and failed. They tried terrorism, and failed. And now they are trying another method, one which has been used in the past: boycotts.
For decades, starting in the 1950s, Arab countries boycotted Israel. Any company that sold products to Israel could not sell products to Arab states.
So this is not new. Only the method has changed. Instead of fighting the Israeli army on the battlefield or killing civilians through acts of terrorism, the BDS movement seeks to destroy Israel’s image in the eyes of the world. As long as they damage Israel’s image, the leaders of the movement do not care that they are actually harming thousands of Palestinians who work in Israeli-owned factories or joint ventures.
At a time of turmoil throughout the world, Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East, is singled out for boycott.
We thought these demons of the past were gone. Let me be clear: the aim of this movement is not the two-state solution or any peaceful solution. It seeks to undermine Israel’s right to exist as the homeland of the Jewish people. That’s what this conflict has been about since Israel was created in 1948. And that is what it remains about today.
Every country has its faults. It is legitimate to disagree with some of Israel’s policies. But to single out Israel and to hold it to a different standard than any other nation in the world – is antisemitic.
This discriminatory campaign may have a new name but is the same old poison of the past.
The writer is Israel’s social equality minister.