Friday, February 19, 2016

UK/Europe: Jews know that a boycott is just the beginning

Jonathan Newmann, a director of Jewish Human Rights Watch, writes @ The Daily Telegraph:

The anti-Semitic campaign to shun Israeli goods embodies the radicalism that threatens everyone

[...]  BDS claims it protests against Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land, and models itself on the anti-apartheid boycott of South Africa.
But polls show that the Jewish community believes it to constitute anti-Semitism. Why?
First, BDS aims to eradicate Israel completely – its founder, Omar Barghouti, openly declared that “we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine”.

Second, the boycotters target the Jewish state alone. BDS does not go after any other liberal democracy or British ally, let alone any dictatorship; only Israel, the Jew among nations. 

Third, wherever BDS surfaces, it is accompanied by harassment of Jews – whether it’s Jewish students who retreat from campus life for fear of intimidation, or kosher food being forcibly removed from supermarket shelves, or Jewish trade union members who see their unions become vehicles for anti-Jewish hate, or a Jewish-American reggae performer being booted from a music festival.

Fourth, anyone remotely sensitive to Jewish history will know that boycotts have been the instrument of Jewish persecution for a millennium. The last century taught the Jews full well that what begins with a boycott by a few thugs or unknown academics does not end there. If “never again” is to mean anything, it is that BDS cannot be tolerated in a decent and civilised society.

Consequently, the Government’s announcement has generally been welcomed. But it has provoked a backlash from some, who claim it will limit councils’ freedom to make “ethical investments”, and that it is an “attack on local democracy”. Neither of these claims can withstand scrutiny.

If boycotting a liberal democracy like Israel in support of the brutal dictatorships of Hamas in Gaza and the Palestine Liberation Organisation in the West Bank – neither of which have held anything resembling an election in years and routinely execute political opponents, in line with the rest of the Arab world – constitutes an ethical investment, then something in the moral compass is suspiciously askew.  [...]

But BDS is not just about Jews or foreign policy. It’s about the radicalism that threatens us all. Jihadi John hated Jews before becoming the face of the Islamic State (Isil); Alexe Kotey participated in a pro-Hamas flotilla before becoming an Isil executioner; and the Bataclan Theatre in Paris was for years a target of BDS protests and abortive terrorist attacks before Isil slaughtered 89 innocents there last November. 

BDS and anti-Semitism may come for the Jews first, but the radicalism behind them has us all in its sights.

read more

No comments :

Post a Comment