Barry Shaw spoke at AACI Netanya on his latest book “BDS for Idiots” (see www.barrysbooks.info ). He started by pointing out that the BDS movement is based on a series of false and misleading beliefs with a strong anti-Israel bias that derive from anti-Semitism. In an exchange he had with the head of the Dutch BDS movement in a talk he gave in Holland, Barry was attacked for various positions, based on many wrong assumptions. For example:
1. Israel does not support a two-state solution. Barry was able to point out using quotes from leaders of the BDS movement that they do not support a two-state solution either, they support a one-state solution with all of Palestine being Arab. And by the way, the official position of the Netanyahu Government is for a two state solution.
2. Israel is boycotting Gaza. In fact ca. 800 trucks a day (!) filled with everything (food, oil, concrete) enter Gaza, as well as water and electricity supplies from Israel. This is a boycott? In fact there is only a naval boycott, but all goods that are not of military use can be imported into Gaza via Israel (Turkey is doing this). On the contrary, Egypt allows nothing into Gaza, they have a total boycott. So why aren’t the BDSers who love the Palestinians demonstrating outside the Egyptian Embassy?
3. Israel occupies the Palestinians. This is not true, under the Oslo Accords the Palestine Authority was established and it is responsible for 95% of all Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank and in Gaza, although Gaza is de facto occupied by the Hamas terrorist organization.
4. Israel treats the Palestinians in an inhumane way. All Arabs that live in Israel are full citizens and have all the rights of citizenship, including voting and receiving welfare, etc. On the contrary, Palestinians who live in Arab countries, such as Jordan, Lebanon and Syria are kept in camps, without citizenship and have no rights and are even not allowed to work. Their condition is so deplorable that it is amazing that the BDSers who love the Palestinians don’t demonstrate outside the embassies of these Arab countries. Note that there are many countries in the world that treat their citizens and minorities inhumanely, the fact that Israel is singled out for condemnation shows the anti-Semitic (racist) nature of this movement.
Barry had a quiz to see what people know about the situation. For example: What does BDS stand for? “boycott, divestment and and sanctions. Who founded the BDS movement? Omar Barghouti, a Palestinian extremist who supports the destruction of the Jewish State and all Jews who live in “Palestine.” Who adopted the name “Palestine”? It was Emperor Hadrian, after he defeated the Jews and destroyed the State of Judea he renamed it Syria Palestina? Is Palestine an Arabic name? no, it is not, it is derived from the Philistines, who no longer exist. Also, there is no “P” sound in Arabic, they call it “Falastin.”
In conclusion, Barry pointed out that there is a growing reaction against the BDS movement on US campuses (e.g. http://www.jweekly.com/includes/print/76991/article/ethiopian-israeli-emissary-building-bridges-at-stanford/). They have been forced to retreat on many campuses by reaction of University authorities against their form of violent intimidation, such as preventing pro-Israel speakers from speaking. Several US States have introduced legislation against any such boycotts and similar legislation is being considered by the US Congress. In the UK, several Labor MPs who expressed incredibly biased views (such as that the Islamic State is controlled by Israel!) have either been forced out of the Party or have resigned and the Union movement, that had introduced resolutions against Israel, was forced to retract them under threat of legal action. Nevertheless, there is still a long way to go and we must continue to actively oppose the combination of ignorance, stupidity and evil intentions that make up the BDS movement.