Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Saturday, 9 April 2011

"BDS is a Regressive Strategy": The Left's Mania for Boycotting Israel Slammed

Prompted by the BDS-mania of the Greens in New South Wales, the Sydney-based national newspaper The Australian carries a fine indictment of the BDS brigade.  Entitled "Israel Boycott Harms Arabs, Too," it's by three authors, including two well-known Australian academics; they deplore the path that the Left is taking against the only democracy in the Middle East.

Here's a taste:

'BDS is a regressive strategy that takes us back to the bad old days commencing well before the Israeli victory in the 1967 Six Day War when all Arabs and Palestinians boycotted Israel, and equally the days prior to the 1993 Oslo Peace Accord when Israel refused to speak with the PLO as the leaders of the Palestinian people. It is a recipe not for peace and dialogue, but rather for demonisation and never-ending conflict. BDS advocates construct their case via a particularly narrow interpretation of the conflict's history whereby an Israeli Goliath oppresses a powerless Palestinian David. But this polemic dressed up as analysis ignores the fact that the Palestinians have always exercised agency.

They chose to violently oppose the 1947 UN resolution creating both Arab and Jewish states in Palestine, and badly lost the war that followed, resulting in what they call the "Nakbah" or Catastrophe. They also freely chose to launch the violent intifada in September 2000 thus destroying the US-led peace negotiations that would have probably resulted in an independent Palestinian State during 2001. This intifada has only lead to further tragedy for both peoples.

Perversely, BDS advocates suggest that the Palestinians should now be congratulated for abandoning the horrific suicide bombings and rocket attacks of the second intifada, instead adopting a non-violent strategy. But BDS initiated in this zero-sum context can only be seen as a war against Israel by other means.

It bears a message not of humanistic support for two states, but of a utopia where Israel unilaterally surrenders and concedes its national existence.

Likewise, BDS fails to engage with Israeli and diaspora opposition to the settlements, but seeks to impose a collective national guilt on all Israelis irrespective of their political views, social class or whether their background is Jewish, Arab or Druze.

Inevitably, the overwhelming majority of the six million Israeli Jews view BDS as motivated by the same prejudices that influenced Nazi anti-Semitism, and also the ethnic cleansing that drove out nearly a million Jews from the Arab world during the 1940s and 1950s. Their response is hardly likely to be dovish or conciliatory....

Many reasonable people who aren't ideological extremists are naively attracted to the BDS's emotive, humanitarian claims. We urge them to rethink their support. For instance, why would you boycott the only country in the Middle East where homosexuality is not a capital offence or even a crime? This is to say nothing of the illogicality of delegitimising a pluralist, parliamentary democracy which boasts an independent judiciary, free press and vigorous public debate.

Isn't that the sort of society which the recent uprisings across the Arab world are fighting for? Practically speaking, a successful BDS would either result in a Greater Israel with no Palestinian state, or a Greater Palestine based upon turning all Israeli Jews into refugees at best or genocide at worst.'

Read the entire article:
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/commentary/israel-boycott-harms-arabs-too/story-e6frgd0x-1226035605319

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