Boycotts, shmoycotts – who are the real losers?

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Boycotts shmoycotts on Israelink

The BDS (Boycott, Divestment and sanctions) movement sure is noisy. While lacking cerebral substance, they understand the veracity of symbolism and language that is provocative, emotive and emotional. They understand that gratuitous use of the word Apartheid is guaranteed to get an emotional reaction from people.

I use the word gratuitous intentionally because BDS have no respect or understanding of the crime that was Apartheid and the trauma of its victims. To them it is simply evocative, sexy packaging that can be used to market their agenda and make it appealing to the masses who are concerned about human rights.

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If you wrap up hatred and sell it in an emotional package, then surely you must be on the side of good, right?

Wrong. There is a more nefarious agenda at play here and it is time to expose it.

A wolfish agenda in sheep’s clothing

Why is BDS so hell bent on this accusation? The motivation is simple. They want to paint Israel with the same colours as that of Apartheid South Africa and their rationale is that dish out the same treatment, then you can change the political status quo. Sounds simple doesn’t it. Except that in this case, changing the status quo in Israeli politics is not the end game result that detractors hope to achieve. In this case, questioning Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign state is up for debate. Anti-Israelists will passionately argue that this treatment worked for South Africa but fail to realise that the South African paradigm is not one solution fits all.

The question we have to ask ourselves is who really stands to lose in a boycott of Israel.

BDS would have you believe that boycotts and sanctions contributed to the downfall of Apartheid in South Africa and that the same kind of well strategized campaign can do the same to change Israeli policies. There are very clear differences – in Apartheid South Africa, the minority white population had dominion over the majority black population and eventually, it was the citizens of the country who spoke out overwhelmingly in a referendum that the time had long passed to do away with this heinous regime.

Israelis and Palestinians are far more complicated. We desire a divorce from each other – hopefully as amicable as possible because we each have our own desires of national aspiration. It is extremely presumptuous for South Africans to impose their solution on to one of the most difficult political conflicts in history.

Did boycotts and sanctions contribute to the fall of Apartheid?

The idea of boycotts and sanctions was debated in the 1960’s but only really gained traction in the 1980’s. In November 1962, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 1761, a non-binding resolution establishing the United Nations Special Committee against Apartheid and called for imposing economic and other sanctions on South Africa. All Western nations were unhappy with the call for sanctions and as a result boycotted the committee.

Fast forward to the 1980’s and the height of the regime and it can be said that while sanctions did have an effect on the economy, the credit for ending Apartheid for once and for all has to go to Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk who took great, sometimes unpopular risks, to ensure a better future for South Africans based of the democratic principles of equality and justice for all.

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FW De Klerk and Nelson Mandela

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is far, far more complex.  Nobody questioned South Africa’s right to exist as a nation state and the fact that BDS’s endgame is “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” means that we are dealing with a movement that does not seek democratic principles but rather the destruction of one of the main players – Israel.

Who stands to lose the most?

It is very easy for activists on both sides to play armchair politician but the impact is on the citizens. Palestinians stand to lose a lot more than Israeli’s in a boycott.  While the impact on Israelis is largely psychological and the economy continues to grow, Palestinians are impacted the most by this campaign. You would think that BDS would care that this is affecting the very people they purport to help, but they don’t. They prefer to demolish bridges rather than build them.

Human rights activist explains how the BDS movement and their boycott campaigns affects ordinary Palestinians in this video clip:

Bassem Eid demolishes BDS

If BDS really cared about the Palestinians, they would advocate that they become a second Singapore or start-up nation like their neighbour and do away with the murderous incitement and genocidal wishes.

Peace will be built from the ground up. It will start with individuals and communities, business people and investors. Boycotts only create barriers to this and discourage positive discours.

While the situation in the Middle East is not an easy one to fix, and Lord knows many have tried, perhaps the best way forward is to proceed with cautious hope and not to cry boycott at the drop of a hat.

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Palestinian and Israeli workers at the SodaStream Factory

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2 thoughts on “Boycotts, shmoycotts – who are the real losers?

  1. Apartheid and Israel: Anyone making that connection is either ignorant about apartheid, or ignorant about Israel, or has a racist agenda to delegitimize Israel. For example: the BDS movements fools.

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  2. SodaStream used to be located near my home and I could drive past it every day. More than half of the hundreds of workers were Arabs from Yehudah, Shomron as well as Russian and Ethiopian Jews who were, by and large, new immigrants to Israel.
    The company not only paid far more than the average wages available to factory workers withing the liberated territories, but also provided free transportation to and from their homes, free health care including private health insurance which is quite expensive in Israel for anyone, breakfast and lunch in the company cafeteria and a room for prayer for both Jews and Moslems.
    The company moved to the Negev, not because of BDS (a claim that they falsely aver) but because of the generous tax incentives given by the Israeli government for all businesses to move to the periphery of the country.
    Many of the Arabs from the liberated lands lost their livelihood as they could not travel the hundreds of kilometers and find equal paying employment (if any) under the so-called “Palestinian Authority.”
    The owner of the company even went to court to allow these workers to maintain their jobs, but the tax incentives demanded the employment of local Beduins and poor Jews from the immigrant communities to be hired. Nevertheless, he did finally manage to secure jobs in SodaStream’s new location for several dozen of his former employees.
    The BDS movement is a cabal of hypocrisy at best and virulent anti-Semitism at worst. All one has to do is find that famous photo taken in Berlin April 1, 1933, in Nazi Germany where uniformed, jackbooted stormtroopers are seen blockading the entrances to Jewish owned businesses with signs, “Do not buy from Jews” printed in German and English. BDS is a Nazi movement without question as its aim is identical to that of the Hitlerite ideology-destroy the Jews economically first, then annihilate them physically later. All the sophistry and pretense of only being anti-Zionist does not hold water.
    I’m still waiting for these hypocrites and prevaricators to deny themselves all of which Israeli intelligence in the fields of technology and medicine that they so rapaciously exploit. Maybe they should abandon their computer powered, Israeli designed Intel chips and carry the placards of the stormtroopers who are, after all, their ideological brethren.

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