BDS sounds scary.
But it shouldn’t have to be, because in the final analysis, Boycott, Divestiture and Sanctions are good for Israel and the Jewish Nation.
All sorts of people use BDS as a threat to try to bring Israel to do what they want her to do. Take the Islamic totalitarian governments. Look, for example, at the monarchy of Saudi Arabia that spends millions of their hard-earned petrodollars at college campuses across America. They bankroll Middle Eastern study programs whose goal is to make Israel, the only stable and working democracy in the Middle East, look like a mean monster. They pour their money into youth movements who work tirelessly to portray Israel and the Jews as an aggressive nation bent on genocide in their homeland. The tools they propose for knocking Israel down to size are Boycotting of Israeli products, Divestiture of private and public organizations of their investments in Israel, and Sanctions against Israeli citizens and business practices.
They do this because they fear Israel as a threat to their way of life. And you better believe that they are right.
Israel’s existence as a nurturing nation, dedicated to pursuing the wellbeing even of their own bitter enemies, is a direct threat to their draconian stranglehold the Islamic fundamentalists maintain on the peoples they rule here in the Middle East. The Islamic dictatorships are running scared, because in the age of the free exchange of information that is descending upon us minute by minute, they will eventually have to loosen the vise grip they hold on the lives of their citizens.
But it is not only Arabs who hold the threat of BDS over the heads of Israel like a club. There are others, including - surprise - Israelis themselves.
The Jewish People has been known throughout the millennia of its existence to be one nation, divided, under God. If you have two Jews, the saying goes, you have at least three opinions. So there are those Jews in Israel who embrace BDS as a way to get Israel to stop what they fear the most - building new Jewish communities in the regions of Judea and Samaria, those most ancient and precious ancestral lands promised to the Jewish nation thousands of years ago.
The problem with this thinking is that it can only backfire. Just ask an ancient pundit by the name of Yehezkel the son of Buzi the (Jewish) priest, who lived in Iraq some 2,500 years ago.
“And you, mountains of Israel - you will give forth your branches and you will lift up your fruits to my People Israel, because they will soon be coming. Because here I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you will be worked and seeded. And I will multiply people on you, the whole House of Israel, all of it - and the cities will be resettled, and the ruins - rebuilt. And I will bring people on you, my People Israel - and they will inherit you - and you will be for them an inheritance, and you will no longer lose them.” (Ezekiel 36)
Now you might ask: what does someone who lived so long ago have to do with the modern world? Good question. I grew up in a secular, suburban America where the prevailing wisdom said that the Bible and its prophets were for the goyyim to believe in. We Jews were above that sort of nonsense. We went to temple for Rush-i-shuh-nuh and Young Kipper (that’s how I said it as a child), but no one really BELIEVED in that stuff. And certainly, no one read the prophets, much less believed them to have any relevance. THAT was for bible-thumping, blond and blue-eyed Christian preachers to scream about, right?
One day I found myself in Israel long enough to be able to read the Bible in Hebrew and see what the Hebrew prophets had to say in their own language, which was now MY language. And little did I expect that they spend a lot of time talking about what would happen when the Jewish People returned after a long and painful exile to the Land of their ancestors that was given them to by the Deity Himself.
In short, the prophets - virtually all of them - are talking about the rebirth of the Jewish nation in Israel. In our own times. Today.
So, for example, let’s go back to the aforementioned Zeke for a second.
“Here - I will open up your graves and I will bring you on aliyah from your graves, my People; and I will bring you to the Land of Israel. ... And I will put my spirit in you, and you will live; and I will set you down on your land, and you will know that I am God - I have spoken, and I will do it.” (Ezekiel 37)
A careful look at our prophets - and I say OUR prophets, because the Hebrew Bible was written BY Hebrew-speaking Jews FOR Hebrew-speaking Jews - shows that all of them talk about this process of renewal. They are reporting to us what they were shown of the return of this ancient exiled people back to the Land that God gave their ancestors to be home, a base of operations for all time.
And this is what scares the BDS people into a frenzy. They know that the world order that exists today is about to be turned on its head, because, says another great Hebrew spokesperson, Yishaiyahu HaNavi (Isaiah the Prophet):
“... the teaching will go out from Zion, and the word of God - from Jerusalem. Nation will not lift the sword against nation, and they will no longer learn war.” (Isaiah 2)
But I say: let them just try to stop us, Just like Hitler tried to stop us! They will have the same success.
Boycott us - and we will find new markets for our products, because our products are among the best the world, and they carry with them the blessings of the Land that God blessed when he gave it to Abraham and his descendants the Jewish People so long ago. We are the world experts at turning hardship into new opportunities.
Divest your investments from us - and new investors, from the third and fourth worlds in search of good ways to make honest money, will come pouring in. Already, the Far East is expanding its investments in the infrastructure of the Holy Land almost exponentially, as the Chinese, Japanese and others see excellent opportunities for investment in the Land of Israel.
Sanctions - go ahead, try to stop us from travelling or participating in your academic conferences. And better yet - get ready to send your Jews on a one way journey back to the homeland, because that, my friends is their real destination, whether you or they know it - or not.
Wanna know a secret? BDS means Build, Diversify, and Send us packing - from the lands that still have Jews, back to the Land where they belong. Back to the Land that is their heritage, privilege, and responsibility.
Isaiah is talking about Israel and the Jewish Nation when he relates:
“Get up, shine, because your light has come, and the honor of God will shine on you. Darkness will cover the land, and fog - the nations; but God will shine on you, and his honor will be seen on you. Nations will walk to your light, and kings - to the glow of your shining. Lift up your eyes and see! All of them have been gathered to you, your children have come to you from afar, and your daughters - nursing on their sides.” (Isaiah 60)
So BDS supporters at home and abroad, be forewarned that your efforts will have the opposite effect. In spite of you, Israel, the Jewish People and the whole world will be better for your BDS BS.
So help us God.