If Palestinian organizations want a two-state solution, then they need to
dissociate from the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement.
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.
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
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
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.
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
Either an organization is pro-human rights or pro-BDS.
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
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
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.
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
The author is a social media activist against
the BDS and the Media Review Network. He holds a degree in psychology and
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