BDS – Belligerent, Disruptive and Silly

This blog post is currently featured in the Algemeiner:

http://www.algemeiner.com/2013/04/26/bds-belligerent-disruptive-and-silly/

‘Tis the season to cause folly? Hot off the trail of Israel Apartheid Week, a global festival of anti-Israel invective that appears on University campuses around the world that extols the “virtues” of boycotts, has come a flurry of anti-Israel activity, compliments of the BDS movement.

 Perhaps the most vocal of all has been former Pink Floyd front man, Roger Waters. Waters has forsaken writing rock classics to concentrate on his campaign of endorsing cultural boycotts against the Jewish State. He felt the bite of the American Jewish community when his plans for a public interview at the Theresa L. Kaufmann Concert Hall was cancelled following outrage from officials at religious group JCC Watch. Waters has done some serious back peddling. He is quoted in the Huffington Post, “I am considering my position. The letter asking my fellow musicians to boycott Israel has never appeared. I am thinking all of this through extremely carefully and I’m thinking it all through extremely carefully because I care more about the outcome, because I care about the people involved, than I do about the moment.” A mea culpa or has sanity prevailed?

While Waters’ previous stance had been comfortably dumb, he is realising that there are repercussions….

 While anti-Israelists do have a democratic right to voice their opinions do they have a

right to be belligerent and disruptive? BDS supporters have taken their right to protest as meaning a right to do harm. This week, three out of the four Jewish students forcibly removed from an event on campus hosted by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at ColumbiaUniversity formally lodged a complaint. The rationale for their removal? A “plausible inference can be drawn that the removal of the four students was motivated by their political viewpoint.”

 Who can forget BDS poster boy, George Galloway, storming out of a debate at Oxford University because he doesn’t “recognise Israel or debate with Israelis.” Tsk Tsk Georgie, perhaps “Respect” is the wrong word for your political party.

 

Who can forget the trolley jockeys in the French town of Carrefour who removed Israeli produce from supermarket shelves or the flash mob in the USA demanding the removal of Israeli hummus to the tune of Lady Gaga’s song “Telephone”. The irony being that Lady Gaga is a recent visitor to Israeli shores…

 

And then there is South Africa. South Africa is a very important factor in the BDS movement as it is not just the birthplace of Apartheid but the seaside city of Durban was the venue for the UN Conference against Racism in 2001 where a variety of NGO’s unleashed this nefarious campaign. Some of Israel’s greatest detractors hail from the southern Africans state – Desmond Tutu, UNHRC’s Navi Pillay and John Dugard. South Africa is perhaps the most important country when it comes to BDS trend spotting. Over the last two months, BDS activists in South Africa have taken their protesting to another level.

 

 During Israel Apartheid Week held on the campus of the University of the Witwatersrand, Israeli concert pianist, Yossi Reshef, who lives in Berlin, had his concert interrupted by vuvuzela-blowing, screaming protesters. Reshef had been invited as a guest of Tararam, an Israeli culture initiative to showcase the myriad of cultural gifts that the country has to offer. The concert abruptly ended after a short while with Diplomatic guests being hastily removed by their respective security. Members of the audience were traumatised and manhandled.

 His crime? Being born in Israel.

 This type of action continued at last week’s Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day) celebrations when BDS protestors threw stink bombs and disrupted a performance by Israeli opera singer Yaniv D’or, in Johannesburg. This time they were in for a surprise because the community fought back. Security officials removed hostile protesters and the concert continued.

 

Yes, something sure smells rotten. In their haste to prove how concerned they are about Palestinian human rights, BDS activists have trampled on the rights of Jews in communities across the world. Our students have a right to protest just like you. Our concert pianists have a right to perform. Our Opera singers have a right to sing. Our community members have a right to decide for themselves. And we all have a right to celebrate our holy and national holidays without intimidation.

 

While the BDS campaign may have enjoyed minor victories, they have failed to score a major boycott goal. But here is a message to BDS activists:

 It is summertime in Israel and apart from expecting the influx of tourists who visit us every year, we are gearing up to welcome a plethora of famous faces that includes Depeche Mode, Cliff Richard, Alicia Keys, Rihanna and another lady you may have heard of (and in my opinion Jewish royalty) Ms Barbra Streisand. We are the start up nation – a natural investment haven for major technology brands like Apple, Google, Microsoft and others who see this as a R&D haven. But don’t take my word for it – ask Warren Buffett or Stephen Hawking…

 Perhaps one of our fabulous start ups will invent some technology that will allow BDS activists to hear the anguished cries of our neighbours who wonder why nobody is paying attention to how their autocratic governments are trampling on their human rights…

 Their failure to do so and their singling out of Israel for opprobrium just enforces the fact that they are belligerent, disruptive and downright silly!

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4 thoughts on “BDS – Belligerent, Disruptive and Silly

  1. This sort of undisciplined and irrational display simply proves how shallow and hollow the rationale is that motivates the BDS “movement”. In the end it’s nothing more than mindless hooliganism based on the flimsiest pretext to demonstrate for a “cause” that is barely understood. Once again, as we witnessed with the likes of Julius Malema, we face the lowest common denominator bent on ensuring that their pathetic voices are heard, no matter how ridiculous their utterances. Sadly, we have a number of members of our own community who line up with this rabble for reasons known best to themselves, a main one being their own sense of inferiority. Their is no other logical motivation.

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    • Victor Gordon, your comments with regard to the disgraceful and nefarious BDS “campaigns” are insightful and spot on!

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  2. The BDS movement has been a colossal failure and, in fact, has done a great deal to improve the quantity and marketability of all Israeli products. How? Well, they have given Israeli products and services millions of dollars worth of free advertising, identifying Israeli goods so that people who wish to but a tomato might purposely look for one grown in the Jewish state, They have made the issue of Israel’s phenomonal research and development of thousands of hi-tech, medical and agricultural achievements public, Their fascist tactics have heaped scorn and opprobrium upon them as the enemies of free speech and the right of all people to be heard whether in university classrooms, theatres or other public venues. But the most glaring and hypocritical activity of these anti-freedom groups is their use of Israeli hi-tech in their campaigns-their computers! Well, I wish them all the best, especially their health as they will gladly keep to their convictions and permit themselves to suffer horrible and pain filled deaths as they refuse Israeli medications and medical technologies.

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    • Irwin, your comments on the subject of the highly bigoted and discriminatory BDS “campaigns” directed solely at the Jewish State of Israel are brilliant and insightful!

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