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Lets Talk about BDS
by Ami Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010 at 7:28 PM Original content copyright by the author. Zionism & Israel Center

Some of my American friends tell me that young Jewish people are complaining: "Why can't we talk about BDS?" "What's wrong with BDS?" "Please let's talk about BDS." "How come you never want to talk about BDS?"

Indeed, one Emily Schaeffer wrote an article in the anti-Israel blog Mondoweiss entitled, "People are talking about BDS."

So if people are talking about BDS, why not talk about it? By all means, let's talk about BDS.

Any subject referred to by its initials is likely to be something unpleasant, best discussed with caution in public: VD, STD, AIDS. The initials are used to euphemize reality. We can talk about the "C-word" without saying the name of the disease, and that makes us feel much better about it.

BDS is not much different. It stands for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. These are ugly words, especially when applied to Jews. They were first applied in Nazi Germany and enforced by Sturmabteilung troops - SA Storm Troopers.

In 1943, the Arab states began their "BDS," when they resolved not to purchase any goods manufactured by Jews in Palestine. The inspiration for this initiative was very likely the Arab Palestinian Grand Mufti, Hajj Amin Al Husseini, who was busy recruiting troops for the SS and hobnobbing with Adolf Hitler.

That boycott evolved into the Arab boycott, a part of the Arab strategy for eliminating the state of Israel, that has been, and remains, in place since 1948. Except for Egypt and Jordan, the boycott is observed throughout the Arab world, in violation of World Trade Organization agreements. The Arab Boycott violates US law. The BDS movement is an extension of the Arab boycott.

So we don't want to use a nasty word like "Boycott," especially not if we want to attract young Jewish people, just as we would want to avoid using nasty words like "venereal" and "disease," with their unpleasant associations. BDS sounds so much more innocuous, doesn't it?

All those things with initials get odd theories attached to them: "You can get it from a toilet seat." "It's not transmitted the way people think it is." "It is not as dangerous as people tell you." Again, BDS is not much different. Emily Schaeffer, who is either ignorant or mendacious, tells her readers:

As more and more people come to realize that BDS is simply a non-violent, creative, temporary tool for highlighting what is really happening within Israel and in the
territories ... Israelis will have to start looking inside ...

The Palestinian call for BDS is not a campaign to bring Israel to its end, but rather a campaign to force Israel to uphold its commitments under international law and the moral and legal standards of a real democracy.

Emily Schaeffer and anyone else can know, if they care to, that BDS is not a "temporary tool," but a campaign to bring Israel to it's end. It is not "Zionist propaganda." It is what the BDS supporters and initiators say.

We must turn the one-state solution into a relevant political agenda...
About sanctions/boycott campaigns as a necessary means:
- The legitimacy of Israel’s regime must be challenged for its racism on the one hand, and its colonialist character on the other. The only way this regime can be brought to collapse is from outside. We have to call for boycott and sanctions against Israel.

- There is no chance to change Israeli society from within, we are at a dead end and Israeli society is becoming increasingly fascist.

- We are dealing with the dismantling of power, and the question is how to convince this power to voluntarily dismantle. I totally agree that something more drastic is needed. (Source: Originally at,

The Bay Area Campaign to End Israeli Apartheid states "We are opposed to imperialism, sectarianism, and Zionism." (source: ).

There is no doubt that BDS is not a "temporary measure." BDS really is aimed at ending Israel as a homeland of the Jewish people. The liberal J Street group has pointed this out in a circular letter:

The BDS movement, whose dogmatic, counterproductive approach underlies “Israel Apartheid Week,” aims to delegitimize Israel’s very existence – making no distinction between West Bank settlements and Israel proper, and refusing to support a two-state solution that results in a viable Palestinian state and a secure, democratic Israel that is a homeland for the Jewish people, living side by side in peace and security.

Moshe Warshawski, a BDS enthusiast stated:

Peace, or, better, justice, cannot be achieved without a total decolonization (one can say de-Zionisation) of the Israeli State...

Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people. Those who seek to end Zionism seek to end the existence of the Jews as a people. In other words, they advocate cultural genocide. But the one state solution they seek to impose would leave a defenseless Jewish minority prey to a Muslim/Arab majority intent on its destruction. There is every likelihood that the end of Zionism will end the existence of the Jews- the physical genocide of the Jewish people in Israel.

Most of us who are alive today cannot remember when there was no Jewish state. The parents of most university students were not alive when there was no Jewish state. Human beings have limited imaginations. We tend to believe that what exists now, always existed, and will always exist in the future. In reality, nation states have arisen and disappeared many times in the past. Think about a reality in which there is no Jewish state at all, and what it would mean to Jews living in the Diaspora. The time when "Jew" was an epithet for a creature of derision, when there were quotas that screened Jews out of universities, when Jews were objects of contempt in literature, may seem like ancient history, but all this existed in the United States and other "enlightened" parts of the world in the last century. That time can very easily return.

So, by all means talk about BDS. Ask the BDS spokespeople and the organizers of Israel Apartheid Week, "What is your real goal?" What do they mean by "peace?" What is behind their talk about "justice?" What hides behind the rhetoric about "occupation?" And where is the "occupation?" Is it in Nablus, according to them, or in Tel Aviv and Haifa? Ask them, and ask yourself, why Israel and Zionism are being singled out for delegitimation. China has brutally occupied Tibet since 1949. Nobody seriously proposes a boycott of China. Nobody is trying to delegitimize the Chinese state, or deprive Chinese of the right of self determination. Russian brutality in Chechnya was unimaginable, but the BDS people are not calling for an end to Russia, and not asking for a boycott of Russia. Iran has terrorized its own people for the past thirty one years, murdering dissenters, religious minorities, homosexuals and religious transgressors. Iran is threatening regional peace with its nuclear development program, conducted in defiance of the United Nations. But the BDS people are, of course, opposed to sanctions on Iran.

Perhaps you think it is "hysterical alarmism" to point out the possibility of ending the Jewish state. Think again. If the BDS movement did not believe Israel and Zionism could be eliminated, they would not be doing what they do

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