IF you believe in fairies, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaigners – who I’ll call BDS-ards for space reasons – are kindly folk, if a tad economical with truth, who only seek a better world…better still without that pesky state of Israel.
What a travesty it is, they claim, that uppity Jews – six million of them – boss the Middle East, an oasis of fellowship, where 400,000,000 amiable Arabs merely want to go about their daily business of annihilating each other.
And what are these ‘land-grabbers’ doing there at all, demand the BDS-ards. Huh! It’s as if the Jews think they’ve some 3,500-year-old right to Israel, not poor Arabs, who’ve identified themselves as Palestinians for…er, well maybe a century, give or take a decade.
So forget historical fact, including the glaring one that no country called Palestine ever existed.
And perish the thought BDS-ards think there’s anything amiss with China brutalising Tibet, Turkey – with more journalists jailed than anywhere else – persecuting Kurds and ‘annexing’ Northern Cyprus, Russia turning Chechnya into an abattoir or Saudi Arabia, Iran and North Korea believing human rights are just for the wimpy West.
Similarly, the gang of mass murderers blighting much of Africa are of no consequence.
Because in the warped, BDS mindset all the world’s ills lie at the doorstep of Israel, uniquely the world’s only Jewish – if secular – state and rated by internationally respected Freedom House as the Middle East’s only free one.
The point is, despite swapping land for peace with Egypt and Jordan, the confounded Israelis just won’t cave in to all Palestinian demands – PLO warlord-cum-compulsive kleptomaniac, Yasser Arafat, was even offered 96% of what he sought for a nation-state, yet still flatly rejected it.
Israel also has the audacity to insist on the same rights as 57 countries that are Islamic and be recognised as Jewish.
That’s a definite no-no, rail the BDS-ards, who contend – for all its Western democracy, respect for gays, equal rights for women and people of other faiths, especially its 1.3-million Muslims – Israel is an ‘apartheid regime’, ruthlessly occupying the West Bank, coincidentally the cradle of terrorism.
Israel even built a protective wall rounds itself, dramatically curbing terror attacks by 80%, and has the nerve to retaliate against suicide bombers and fusillades of rockets fired by Gaza’s cuddly do-gooders, Hamas.
So, indulging in a repugnant equivalence to the Holocaust, not a few BDS-ards compare Israel’s legitimate right to self-defence with ‘Nazism’, disingenuously obscuring the issue their own tactics smack of totalitarian thuggery.
Founded in 2005, BDS was inspired by Qatari-born bigot Omar Barghouti – bizarrely a student at Tel Aviv University – to delegitimise and destroy Israel via an international trade and cultural boycott.
BDS-ards say their model is the one that helped topple white, supremacist South Africa, though Nelson Mandela, who knew a thing or two about real apartheid, distanced himself from their ravings.
Meanwhile, BDS stoops to sophistry in a claim that it merely seeks to end Israeli ‘occupation and colonisation of all Arab lands’ and a ‘right of return’ for Palestinians.
What they’re coy about admitting is this includes today’s four million descendants of the 700,000 Arabs displaced in the 1948 Israel War of Independence, when five, invading Arab armies failed to crush the re-born, UN-sanctioned Jewish state.
Note the ‘all’, because the ploy is to dump on Israel a multitude of Arabs, weaned on a diet of vicious anti-Semitism, that BDS-ards hope will deliver a new Muslim state, entirely Jew-free – ‘Judenrein’, as Hitler termed it – even if a bloodbath is guaranteed.
In its pursuit of this ghoulish vision, BDS never lets truth spoil its PR war, especially with a pliant Western media – lead by those bastions of journalistic objectivity, The Guardian, New York Times and BBC – to give lies legs
Naturally, there’s a fetid stench of far-Left odium about BDS-ards, who subscribe to free speech, only if it chimes with their preposterous ‘group think’.
Its key battlegrounds are academia, big biz and showbiz, where it has achieved some traction, though not without embarrassments, the latest being a kick in the bias of Oxfam by its former goodwill ambassador, actress Scarlett Johansson.
When the charity upbraided her for promoting SodaStream, a fizzy drinks gizmo made in a factory just over the contentious, pre-1967 Six Day War ‘Green Line’, the Hollywood A-lister summarily dumped it, saying she supported ‘economic co-operation and social interaction between a democratic Israel and Palestine’ (which, by implication, Oxfam doesn’t).
Worse, Oxfam was told to shove off by SodaStream’s 700 Palestinian workers, who enjoy identical rights to Israeli staff and are paid four times the West Bank average.
Still BDS remains the toast of certain showbiz luminaries, like the preciously PC Emma Thompson, who ganged up with like-minded luvvies to pen an anguished letter to The Guardian – where else! – demanding an Israel theatrical troupe be banned from appearing at London’s Globe Theatre.
Another is ex-Pink Floyd strummer, Roger Waters, whose hysterical animus towards Israel is claimed by critics to hide motives far more insidious as he tries to harass pop stars into nixing appearances in the Jewish state.
Despite such coercion, icons such as Sir Elton John, Rihanna, Madonna, Lady Gaga and Alicia Keys continue to play Israel; Sir Paul McCartney did so, too, bravely defying death threats, reportedly from BDS-ards; and The Rolling Stones are due in Tel Avis this June.
On the financial front, several European banks have been pressed into severing links with Israel for ‘ethical reasons’, notably Denmark’s Danske Bank (otherwise known as the bank that liked to say ‘Yes’ to backing North Korean sales of ballistic missiles to Iran, according to a US State Department report revealed by Wikileaks).
In academia, the tiny, Left-leaning American Studies Association recently added its voice to BDS, only to find itself boycotted by over a hundred, top US universities.
But BDS-ards claimed a major scalp when they persuaded Professor Sir Stephen Hawking, lauded as Britain’s most brilliant physicist, to renege on an invitation to visit Israel…despite the hi-tech wonders powering his awesome, life-enhancing wheelchair being Israeli innovations
The stark truth is BDS is shot full of such hypocrisy and bigotry and – let’s face it – not a few who hide their repellent anti-Semitism under the pretence of Palestinian solidarity.
The authoritative Economist magazine branded the movement ‘flimsy’ and ineffective, pointing out that ‘blaming Israel alone for the impasse…will continue to strike many outsiders as unfair.’
And not even the Palestinian leadership supports the boycott.
Sane folk would also imagine art, wealth-creation and ground-breaking technology should transcended all boundaries, their bounties shared by people everywhere. But, where only Israel is concerned, that’s heresy in the skewered opinion of BDS-ards.
And the people they target – from showbiz stars to businesses and academics – are no more responsible for the Israel-Palestinian imbroglio than they are for the slump in Mongolian yurt sales.
So let there be no mistaking the real message of BDS: Make hate, kill hope.