The BDS Message

Perhaps we ought to rename this economic warfare more appropriately for its nature: colonialism.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The BDS message
Lahav Harkov’s article regarding Israel’s readiness to take on BDS (“Erdan holds top-secret confab of world Jewish leaders to fight BDS,” February 23) is a timely reminder that the movement is an economic knife at our throat. Perhaps we ought to rename this economic warfare more appropriately for its nature: colonialism.
Ryan Bellerose, an indigenous Canadian, wrote that the BDS message cites Jews as “white colonizers,” a ridiculous presumption when there is no question that we are a Middle Eastern people. Our laws are the bridge between the cradle of applied philosophy among nations and those begging for democracy and freedom of religion – as long as no Jews are affiliated with the cause.
The destruction (and redistribution) of our short, dark-haired and frequently olive-skinned populace is nothing less than a desire to colonize Israel. The United States of America is similarly under attack, presently referred to as “America” and devolving into a further-coded term for “white.” Perhaps that’s because the name Filistina has already been used.
In the interview with Nickolay Mladenov by Herb Keinon and Tovah Lazaroff (“UN special envoy admits to ‘Post’: Israel not always treated fairly,” February 19), it is distressing to read Mladenov’s response when asked how this situation could be changed. He suggests talking “to your Foreign Ministry about that, not me,” adding: “You have your foreign policy establishment, it is their job to present your views to the world, it is not my job to present them.”
I am both angry and embarrassed by his condescending response (I haven’t read of any great achievements coming from Bulgaria lately) – because we have indeed done such a pathetic job of public relations. This is especially regrettable when we have so much to our credit.
This neglect has had terrible repercussions, so that now we are constantly having to defend ourselves as the BDS movement gains an increasingly frightening momentum, and Jewish students are harassed on college campuses for the “occupation” that Mladenov – possibly the next secretary-general of the UN – mentions.
It is critical to entertain creative measures to address this egregious situation. Given the incredible success of the Birthright program for young Jews, why not offer an analogous version, and all-expenses-paid, 10-day trip for BDS organizers on campuses? It would educate them as to what Israel is all about, partly through joint meetings with Israelis and Palestinians who can set the record straight – especially those Palestinians who have lost their jobs as a result of BDS.
If only a few of these champions of the BDS movement could return to their followers with a new perspective, the effort to change their hearts and minds will have been well worthwhile.
Hopefully, a critical mass will reverse this disastrous direction.
It is time!
Two state solution...
In the last paragraph of “Cooperation option” (Editorial, February 23), you say: “Merkel and Herzog are right. Implementation of the two-state solution right now is not feasible.”
When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says this, he is pounced upon and decimated by the press. Talk about double standards! Heaven forbid a right-wing person dared post such a thing.
“Incitement” would be the buzz word.
Petah Tikva they deserve it?
People ask many questions about the two-state solution.
Where would the borders be? How would Israel ensure its safety and security? One question seems to never be asked: Do Palestinians really deserve a state of their own? It seems pretty clear that the Palestinians have done everything in their power to make themselves undeserving of their own state, starting in 1948. No country has ever lost land during an offensive war and then had it given back. Anybody who still thinks the Palestinians deserve their own state surely overlooks the famous three no’s by the Arabs after the Six Day War: no peace, no negotiations, no recognition.
Nowadays, with every intifada, suicide bombing and rocket fired at Israel, the Palestinians show they are not deserving of their own independent state.
Two points overlooked
In commenting on the recent Knesset debate about the presentation of Israel’s case regarding our rights in this land (“‘Pa Pa Pa’ – Kushan! The dilemmas of Israel’s hasbara,” Think About It, February 22), Susan Hattis Rolef takes MKs to task for using the Bible and the Balfour Declaration almost exclusively to buttress our case.
Quite correctly, she cites the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, which includes the Balfour Declaration. She also mentions the 1947 UN partition plan, resolving that Palestine west of the Jordan River should be divided into Jewish and Arab states. However, she fails to mention what are probably the two most important elements in the Mandate for Palestine relating to Israel’s case:
1. The document’s preamble states that “recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.”
2. Article 6 calls on the mandatory power to “encourage...close settlement by Jews on the land, including state lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.”
International recognition of these rights is enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, Article 80 of which preserves intact “the terms of existing international instruments to which members of the United Nations may respectively be parties.”
Susan Hattis Rolef is either misinformed about the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine or is being somewhat disingenuous in order to make a point that fits her political philosophy.
I tend to agree that Likud MK Yoav Kisch might not be the best and/or most articulate advocate of the right of the Jewish people to the whole of the Land of Israel, but this does not detract from the solidity of our case. And yes, she is right in that the Balfour Declaration was included in the 1922 League of Nations Mandate (2nd Recital), thus giving it the force and effect of international law.
But she fails to mention (inter alia) the 3rd Recital in the preamble to the mandate and Article 6 [see previous letter – ed.], the first of which is a clear acknowledgment of the Jews as the indigenous people of the country deriving from biblical times, the second acknowledging the right of Jews to settle anywhere in the Land of Israel.
The fact that the British reneged on this obligations does not detract from the strength of our case, nor does the General Assembly resolution for partition of November 29, 1947, which was not binding and, in any case, was not accepted by the Arabs. The mandate (which followed the terms of the San Remo Declaration of 1920) remains valid under international law by virtue of Article 80 (1) of the UN Charter.
As an interesting footnote, US President Woodrow Wilson’s commission to draft a map of the world based on the famous 14 points, in applying the principle of self-determination as regards the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine, stated: “Palestine should become a Jewish state, as it was the cradle and home of their vital race, the basis of Jewish spiritual contribution, and the Jews were the only people whose only home was in Palestine.”
I rest my case.