For those who don’t know what BDS is (though it’s hard not to know, they’re quite popular among activists), it’s an acronym for “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions”. It is a campaign formed of several groups, NGOs, civil society organizations, who claim that they support the Palestinian cause by the way of “non-violent resistance”. What does that mean? Probably the idea comes from Gandhi, or the civil disobedience of Henry David Thoreau, or Gene Sharp (whose writings on “peaceful protesting” are considered as holy scripture for Otpor/CANVAS Institute which trains activists in “nonviolent protesting” from all over the world). In this case, concerning BDS, it means pressuring israel to end its “racist apartheid policies against Palestinians” by peaceful means, such as imposing economic sanctions, asking companies to withdraw their investments in israel, asking bands/singers to cancel their concerts in israel, asking academics not to lecture in israel, boycotting israeli products, boycotting brands/corporations that support israel, etc…
According to BDS, this method was followed against the apartheid regime in South Africa and it succeeded in pressuring it to end the apartheid system, so it should be applied to israel now. So what’s the problem with BDS and why are they infiltrators? It’s enough to say that its groups are funded by the businessman George Soros (who is famous for funding “activists” who caused destabilization in several countries where the governments stand in the way of US spreading its neo-liberalism everywhere) and by the EU as well. Proof on all that? Here, in a previous post :
AVAAZ partnered with one of the groups of the BDS (Jewish Voice For Peace) on a $100000 campaign… Electronic Intifada; another member of the BDS network, is also financed by Soros and by the European Union.
The Institute For Middle East Understanding (also financed by Soros) supports and promotes BDS and its website designer, Nigel Parry, is one of the founders of the Electronic Intifada website.
I know the source I used is far-right israeli, but why doesn’t BDS deny the info there if it isn’t true? Why don’t they disclose their financiers and be transparent? And as a movement, BDS basically contradicts itself several times.
First, they consider that the “racist apartheid regime” in israel should end and then the whole issue of the Palestinian-israeli conflict would be solved. What is wrong with this is that what is happening to Palestinians is not “racism” or “apartheid” from the state of israel, it’s much worse than that – it’s genocide. By calling it apartheid, BDS trivializes all what the Palestinians are suffering from; all the occupation, genocide and crimes against humanity, and reducing them to a simple problem of apartheid and racial discrimination. So how about “end genocide” or “end occupation” instead of “end apartheid”? But no, this way the Soros and EU funding would stop and many faux-leftist activists would stop supporting BDS.
Also, post-apartheid South Africa isn’t really what we should want Palestine to become: South Africa still has a lot of security problems and racial conflicts as well – so if you think it’s the socialist utopia of equality, think again. Also, BDS is actually implying that the conflict in Palestine is between two groups of people (white people and people of color, or Jews and Muslims) which is not true. Palestinians are NOT an oppressed group or minority within a society like women or LGBTs or ethnic/religious minorities, they are the original citizens who got expelled from their homes and their country, and subjected to genocide. Applying the “identity politics” mess to the Palestinian cause makes no sense since it’s a humanitarian cause, neither an ethnic nor religious conflict.
“Identity Politics” should not be applied to anything; it is poison, fanaticism and racism, but BDS adopts it. Here is the BDS founder saying he “won’t take lecture from a white person” and that whites are the most violent race because of colonialism and World Wars… It may be a surprise to him but whites have also been subjected to genocide (The Irish? The Armenians?); not everything is about race and identity politics… Didn’t he mention the Holocaust as an example of white violence as well? Its victims were also white. And I know white people who are more genuine supporters of Palestine than him. And him not being lectured by a white person is a lie; Soros and the EU are all white people you know…
BDS activists also take pride in “teaching” Palestinians about resistance through boycotting. For example, BDS activists here in Lebanon go to Palestinian refugee camps and teach kids there about boycott. Boycott what, I have no idea… No israeli goods in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, and definitely no Starbucks, no McDonald’s, or any of those corporations that support israel…
So let’s get this straight – a European/American activist, or an Arab from the intellectual elite of educated faux-leftist activists, comes to educate the Palestinians about their own cause? The Palestinian people live their cause everyday! Whether they’re in the occupied territories, or Gaza, or West Bank, or abroad in refugee camps, their daily struggle for life is resistance. Their strong will to overcome the challenge is resistance. Their keeping of the keys of their original homes in Palestine so that they might return to them one day is resistance. They resist everyday by all means available to them. With a paper and a pen, with a stone, with a weapon, with whatever their hands can reach. So it’s not for you, hipster coffee-shop activist, to lecture them about resistance. Instead, the right thing to do is to sit with them, listen to them and learn from them.
Do I sound hypocritical? I criticized above the BDS founder for saying he “won’t get lectured by a white person” and then I myself say that European/American activists should not lecture Palestinians… what I meant is that those activists (and also Arab intellectual activists, not just foreigners) should not lecture (about boycott and “peaceful resistance” and all those buzzwords) Palestinians who suffer from the israeli occupation of their country and struggle everyday in their life: Palestinians who got kicked out of their homes, Palestinians who had their families murdered in cold blood right in front of their eyes, Palestinians who live in refugee camps abroad with horrible life conditions, Palestinians who live under siege in Gaza…Now tell me how is the BDS founder himself suffering from israeli occupation like the rest of the Palestinians? He gets money from foreign funders, belongs to the Arab intellectual elite, probably sits in air-conditioned rooms along with other salon-revolutionaries and coffee-shop leftists and they all discuss pseudo-Marxist mumbo jumbo. He was being racist and he doesn’t represent the Palestinian people in any way. And if you’re a “white person” who is wholeheartedly a supporter of Palestine (because it’s a humanitarian cause, not because it brings you foreign funding) then you have the floor to lecture him or any other Arab/Palestinian activist of this kind.
And now this is where BDS contradict themselves and do not clarify their priorities. They don’t support the two-state solution, they support the one state solution. And no, this “one state” is not a free Palestine, but a multicultural israel where Arabs have “equal rights” as Jews (as if “equal rights” could compensate for all the stolen lands and all the innocent people who were victims of the genocide).
Also, BDS state on their official website that they want israel to withdraw from the Arab territories occupied in 1976.
But if they’re in favor of the one state solution (which is israel, where Palestinians have equal rights as the rest of citizens) then what happens to the lands occupied in 1967 after israel withdraws as BDS wants? Since BDS doesn’t consider that those lands should become a Palestinian state on their own (BDS say no to two-state solution), should those lands have a kind of a local autonomy within the state of israel? Would Jordan annex them? BDS are not clear about that.
What is even more shocking is that the co-founder of Electronic Intifada (one of the biggest and most important BDS groups) suggested here that Israel should fully annex the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967:
“Given these realities, “The worst solution … is apparently the right one: a binational state, full annexation, full citizenship” in the words of settler activist and former Netanyahu aide Uri Elitzur.
This awakening can be likened to what happened among South African whites in the 1980s. By that time it had become clear that the white minority government’s effort to “solve” the problem of black disenfranchisement by creating nominally independent homelands — bantustans — had failed. Pressure was mounting from internal resistance and the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions.
By the mid-1980s, whites overwhelmingly understood that the apartheid status quo was untenable and they began to consider “reform” proposals that fell very far short of the African National Congress’ demands for a universal franchise — one-person, one-vote in a nonracial South Africa. The reforms began with the 1984 introduction of a tricameral parliament with separate chambers for whites, coloreds and Indians (none for blacks), with whites retaining overall control.
Until almost the end of the apartheid system, polls showed the vast majority of whites rejected a universal franchise, but were prepared to concede some form of power-sharing with the black majority as long as whites retained a veto over key decisions. The important point, as I have argued previously, is that one could not predict the final outcome of the negotiations that eventually brought about a fully democratic South Africa in 1994, based on what the white public and elites said they were prepared to accept.”
One gets lost this way – what do BDSers want? israel withdrawing from 1967 territories or annexing them? You can’t have both at the same time, BDS.
And in that same article he seems to be giving israel instructions which help it gain legitimacy:
“Of course Israeli Jews still retain an enormous power advantage over Palestinians which, while eroding, is likely to last for some time. Israel’s main advantage is a near monopoly on the means of violence, guaranteed by the United States. But legitimacy and stability cannot be gained by reliance on brute force — this is the lesson that is starting to sink in among some Israelis as the country is increasingly isolated after its attacks on Gaza and the Gaza Freedom Flotilla. Legitimacy can only come from a just and equitable political settlement.”
Meanwhile, the official FB page of BDS says something totally different than what is written on their website (about demanding israel to end occupation of lands occupied in 1967)…
Let’s get this straight – on their website, they say israel should end occupation only in 1967 lands, but on FB, in ALL Arab lands… I know what you would think now, that it might just be a simple mistake and no need to make a big deal out of it. It could be either unintentional or intentional. If unintentional, then organizations which do not have their goals clear and unified are definitely ineffective and useless. If intentional then I’m sorry to say they are fooling people into supporting them based on their FB statement that all Arab lands should be freed, while their real purpose is that israel remains where it is but only withdraws from 1967 lands (and one of their activists contradicts this and says israel should “annex” those lands). This way BDS attracts and gains genuine supporters of a free Palestine who read only its FB page and are blind to its true intentions and think it supports a free Palestine, while at the same time it keeps its faux-leftist, faux-Marxist supporters who scream Identity Politics postmodern-ish gibberish and who want israel to stay and give “equal rights” to Palestinians and only end occupation in 1967 lands. If I remember well, this thing (gathering genuine well intentioned activists together with false ones) has a name: it’s called INFILTRATION.
And on the basis of cultural boycott of israel, they are so busy shunning foreign bands and singers who play in israel (such as here, here and here) and who most probably have no idea about what’s happening in the region; who don’t do anything political in israel, just go play a show there then leave… BDS should shun and denounce those instead:
- Western governments who support israel politically or financially or of any kind and thus take part in the crime
- Arab governments who denounce the resistance against israel and label it as “terrorism” and have diplomatic ties with israel
And the latest BDS campaign is targeting the hit movie “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice”… why? Because there’s an israeli actress in it who played the character of Wonder Woman. This actress was Miss Israel 2004 and served in both the israeli defense forces and the israeli army. BDSers objected to showing a movie in which there’s an israeli actress who openly supported the israeli war on Gaza .
But while BDS is busy calling for a ban on a movie with an israeli actress, do they know what movie is showing in theaters in Lebanon now? Son of Saul. It’s about an Auschwitz prisoner. Now this movie has an agenda, to show the Jews as victims so that people would think since Jews were oppressed in the past, they (Jews) are entitled the right to occupy Palestine and inflict genocide on Palestinians. This is why the media’s favorite thing is to show the horrors of Nazi Germany and the suffering of the Jews in it. When people sympathize with Jews, they would excuse israel’s horrible occupation and label anyone against it as “anti-semitic”. In short, this movie is propaganda (and it’s not the only movie like that, I can list many movies with similar messages). This movie is blatant brainwash straight in your face. It is not like “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice”; the latter is a movie with an israeli actress and many viewers wouldn’t even know there’s an israeli actress unless they google the cast; no propaganda or brainwash (all Hollywood is propaganda if you ask me, but the topic here is the Palestinian-israeli conflict and the hit movie itself has no propaganda of that kind) while Son of Saul is what should really worry BDS if they actually believe in all the boycott mumbo jumbo which they call for. But tell them that Son of Saul is propaganda; they’ll label you as an “anti-semitic”.
There is nothing wrong with boycott as a concept. If you boycott israeli products or don’t go to McDonald’s or don’t go to a show of a band who played in israel, it’s your choice, as long as you know that all this would help you more than help the Palestinians… If you don’t buy israeli dates or oranges from a supermarket this won’t put “pressure on israel to end racist policies”… remember, israel gets tons of aid and material and financial support from your own government, so “economic sanctions” and “cultural boycott” won’t matter to the zionist state and won’t pressure it. What might help the Palestinians is that you protest against your government’s support of israel and when the election comes, you do not vote for politicians who are pro-israel (this is hard in the US because all candidates are, but whenever it is possible…)