BDS doesn’t bother me

Even the extreme haters like Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky are beginning to distance themselves from BDS.

By SHARON KOIFMAN
January 21, 2018 21:33
3 minute read.
BDS doesn’t bother me

Australian musician Nick Cave performs to a sold-out audience at Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv yesterday. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds kicked off their two-day concert series last night, taking the audience on a musical journey with songs both old and new. Cave, who stood up to pressure from the BDS moveme. (photo credit: ORIT PNINI)

Yep, you heard it right: the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement does not bother me. Yes, I’m a proud Zionist, and yes I love Israel, and yes I’m concerned by anti-Israel sentiment, but I do not mind having the BDS movement around.

The truth is, the only thing BDS has been successful at is creating a brand for itself. Sure, it did manage to convince a few second-rate artists and angry has-been rock stars from gracing the shores of Israel with their washed-up presence but in return for this, it has inadvertently turned any apolitical artist who does choose to perform in Israel into a high-profile friend of its cause. Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Radiohead – y’know, the real rock stars of the world – even if they don’t want to get involved, still support Israel by simply showing up.

On top of it all, the willingness and graciousness of these musicians to reward their loyal Israeli fans with rocking concerts only further emphasizes the spiteful nature of the BDS movement and the has-been musicians who buy into its kooky ways. While Radiohead are focusing on bringing their music to the people, Brian Eno, Devendra Banhart and Vanessa Paradis are picking sides in a political conflict they, let’s face it, probably know nothing about and canceling concerts because of it – which is kind of sad since these obscure artists could use all the exposure they can get, right? Cultural boycotts are just one example of how BDS exposes the world to what the anti-Israel sentiment is all about. It’s not about helping the Palestinians, it’s about hurting Israel and weakening it to nothing. Even if it means bringing harm to its own people and economy, the BDS movement is hell-bent on the obliteration of Israel and each time it rolls out one of its desperate schemes, the more the world sees BDS for what it truly is.

Even the extreme haters like Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky are beginning to distance themselves from BDS because of how the organization’s extreme and reckless measures are exposing them for the radicals they really are.

Furthermore, BDS, in all its weird and wacky glory, is forcing Israel and its allies to wake up to the sheer level of crazy out there and, in doing so, is prompting the State of Israel to think and act smarter about its defense. While BDS poses little threat to Israel, it serves as a great reminder to remain vigilant, to protect the constitution, and prevent anyone who poses a risk to Israel from setting one foot in the country.

To be honest, my only real concern about BDS has to do with the people it’s supposed to be protecting: the Palestinians.

A classic example of this is what I like to call the Great SodaStream Backfire of 2015.

For years, BDS fought tooth and nail to get the Israeli-operated SodaStream factory moved out of the West Bank. Come 2015, its grand master plan came into fruition. But you know what else happened? The 500 Palestinian workers employed by the factory lost their jobs.

The people of Palestine are truly suffering and their only hope out of this miserable chapter in their history is by reaching a peace accord with Israel.

Yet BDS continues to draw Palestinians away from the negotiating table by giving them false hope about their future.

The truth is, BDS doesn’t really care about Palestinians.

It cares about its own goal of destroying Israel and quite frankly, anyone who supports it likewise has Palestinian blood on their hands.

It would be nice if BDS would go away, but not because of what it’s doing to Israel. Because of what it’s doing to the people it claims to be protecting.

The author is a Jewish activist in the Montreal area who has been fighting antisemitism for nearly two decades.


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