Caption: BDS supporters hold a protest against Israel in South Africa's Gauteng province recently.
(photo credit: BDS SOUTH AFRICA)
How much did BDS groups manage to harm Israel this year? It depends on whom you ask.
This past year, these groups had many “successes.” Most of these were in the realms of art, culture and sport. Among the memorable ones are: the cancellation of a friendly soccer match between Israel and Argentina; the cancellation of actress Natalie Portman’s visit to Israel to accept the Genesis Prize; and the passage of the settlement boycott law in the Irish Parliament.
On the other hand, Israel also had several achievements: the courts rejected a petition by pro-Palestinian activists demanding the release of the names of attorneys who represent the state against BDS groups; an Israeli won the Eurovision competition (and next year the competition will take place in Israel) despite pressure from BDS activists to lower the Israeli’s ranking; and the blocking of activists in 20 boycott groups from entering the country.
It seems that this coming year will be a crucial one in terms of the boycott movement against Israel. As this article is being written, it is being reported that a “human rights” group in Norway has been acting based on directives from the Palestinian Authority.
Many other “human rights” groups show clear hypocrisy.
They are only concerned with the human rights of those who oppose the existence of Israel; their use of the phrase “human rights” is only a cover for their true motives. However, these organizations and boycott supporters find that their time is limited: the face masks will come off, sooner or later.
In Germany, the Ministry of Legal Defense issued a report describing BDS groups as “opposing the right of Israel to exist” and acting out of antisemitism.
Munich and Frankfurt have already banned BDS groups from holding events in their cities and Berlin is likely to soon follow.
This drama will not go on for long: The discreet supporters of BDS will soon have to decide if they want to support the true goals of BDS, namely the destruction of the State of Israel and the establishment of a Sharia country in its place. This has been the goal of the Arabs surrounding Israel since the founding of the Jewish state. However, those silent voices also have the option of choosing to support Jewish development and growth.
THE BOYCOTT groups have no redlines of their own: they condemn every Israel action taken in defense, even in the case of defending civilians. They boycott all products remotely connected to Israel, including products not from Judea and Samaria – and even products from there that are produced by local Arab workers.
Finally, they insist that Israel is an apartheid state despite all evidence to the contrary, including the great restraint that Israel shows when defending her citizens.
At the same time, the BDS movement crosses ordinary redlines every day. This is not because they are ‘entrapped’ or they ‘went too far,’ but rather because that is their very essence – hatred of the Jewish state, and attempting to harm Israel at any price. This ultimate goal floats to the surface and is seen on the ground.
While this year the BDS movement had some moral and populist victories, the awakening of truth in Europe and other regions has also gained ground. Moral people are looking at the movement and realizing that they want no part of such hypocrisy. They see how BDS groups fraternize with terrorists and radical Islam, and have started to raise their voices against the demonization of Israel.
I am full of hope that this year we will witness an opening of the gates of truth to all those who wish to receive it. I hope that this truth passes through the wall of lies and that all those around the world see the true intentions of BDS groups and activists. I hope that this year we see more and more people join together to steadfastly support Israel and the right of the Jewish people to live throughout this Holy Land.
On a personal note, I pray that we Jews will be able to travel throughout our land without fear; that my children will be able to take a regular bus to school rather than one that is bulletproof.
I pray that this year Jews will be able to walk in Jerusalem without fear, just as their Arab neighbors do. I pray that Jews will finally be allowed to pray on our holiest site, the Temple Mount, at least in the same way that Arab visitors are allowed to.
Only through hard work can we make my hopes and prayers come true! Come join me on this path.
Nati Rom lives in the Esh Kodesh settlement in Binyamin with his wife and six children. He is an attorney and founder of the Lev Ha’olam (Heart of the World) organization, which fights the global boycott of Judea and Samaria. He conducts tours to overseas visitors and lectures around the world to support Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria.
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