Young students are idealistic and enthusiastic. Being so they are ideal foot soldiers for the cynical manipulations of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns run internationally.
The Global BDS Movement publishes the following on its web page. Note that it is posted by StoptheWall (their first mistake, since the security fence is a wall for a small percentage of its length, in order to prevent sniper fire on Israeli civilians) and is principally driven by the Palestinian Academic and Cultural Boycott Initiative (PACBI):
“It is no longer denied that Israel has oppressed the Palestinian people for decades in multiple forms: occupying, colonizing, ethnically cleansing, racially discriminating, in short, denying Palestinians the fundamental rights for freedom, equality and self-determination. Despite abundant condemnation of Israel’s policies by the UN and all relevant international conventions, the international community of nations has failed to bring about Israel’s compliance with international law or its respect for basic human rights. Israel’s crimes have continued with utter impunity. The time has come for action, not just words. BDS are the most effective non-violent, morally consistent means for achieving justice and genuine peace in the region through concerted international pressure similar to that applied on South African apartheid.”
Note the emotive buzz words in the passage above, acceptable now because of the widely adopted “Big Lie” principle – in that they have been repeated unchallenged for so long that they are accepted as being true. The page is aimed at the converted and those lacking in the capability to think critically or question what they read. Note also that in spite of their arguments BDS campaigns have been wildly unsuccessful.
However, while many university societies may vote to boycott Israeli goods from their refectories, the boycott of Israeli academics is still illegal, at least in the UK, which of course begs the question of why the Global BDS movement should promote such activities on its web page.
Above all the BDS movement is amoral and immoral in its focus solely on the one democratic state in the Middle East on which to vent its spleen, and in its wilful ignorance of and enduring silence about heinous human rights abuses in other countries around the world, particularly Arab/Muslim ones. The Global BDS Movement does not question, for example, the gender apartheid system of Saudi Arabia, a Muslim country which also allows no Jews to enter nor Christians to worship and which still tolerates a form of modern slavery. There are no condemnations either of the inferior status of women under Palestinian rule or the practice by Palestinians of honour killings of women or their use of women as suicide bombers, until the erection of the security fence, sometimes in atonement for alleged infringements of family honour.
The BDS Movement seems also to be totally unaware of or not interested in apartheid against Palestinians in Arab countries.
One cannot help but wonder what drives the BDS movement, apart from the consummate manipulators of PACBI who hate Israel alone and are wilfully blind to human rights abuses against their own people, particularly their children, by the PA and Hamas, and are far more willing than is healthy to use the student community around the world as grist to their mill of hatred. PACBI are also master practitioners of the autorhinectomy (the act of cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face) and have little or no realisation of the long-term effects on Palestinians if any boycott were to be successful (see also here and here).
All these albeit risible and abortive attempts to boycott Israel are simply proof if any were needed that UK Universities, far from being champions of freedom of thought and expression, have become bastions of bigotry and enemies of the free and open exchange of ideas.
I believe that most BDS campaigns on UK campuses generate more heat than light, which is what they are designed to do since many of the Global BDS Movement’s claims would not bear close scrutiny by an informed reader. The latest UK university to climb upon the BOYCOTT ISRAEL!!!! bandwagon was the Students for Justice for Palestine at Edinburgh, which released a statement to the press on 16th March:
Firstly, note the disparity between the overblown headline and this little sentence embedded in the body of the release:
“.. Despite the meeting requiring over 300 students to attend for it to be quorate and for decisions taken to be binding, the huge level of student support for the motion means that EUSA will be under severe student pressure to adopt it as official policy…”
OK. The meeting was of a sub-group of the students at the university. It was not quorate (which meant that any decisions, votes etc were not binding), and less than 300 students attended (presumably the rest could not be bothered to do so), and yet this cream of the intelligentsia who will rule our futures declare it a victory for boycott! In the light of the foregoing, the remainder of the press release is so much fluff that it scarcely bears mention. It is a testament to self-delusion.
It has obviously escaped the Edinburgh boycotters that Israel is one of the world leaders in certain fields of science and technology. Last year Israel filed over 9000 patents, Iran filed only 50. If they really want to institute BDS, then they will have to do it retrospectively and stop using any technological progress that has come out of Israel during the past 60 years: computer technology, complex machinery, medicines, advanced medical technology, agricultural innovations, etc. (Or did they think that Israel’s only exports were dates and olives?). (H/T to NapoleonKaramazov on CiF)
Bearing all these in mind, please consider emailing the Students for Justice for Palestinians at firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy of this article, and in the spirit of education about some of what Israel contributes to the world. Also, in order to set a good example to the mindless masses at their seat of learning, here are a very few of Israeli advances in science and technology they should refuse to have anything to do with:
Firstly, the must-have for all students, the flash memory stick. This was first developed in Israel by Dov Moran as SanDisk and DiskonKey. In 2005, PC World named the DiskOnKey one of the world’s top 10 gadgets in the last 50 years. Edinburgh students who support BDS are therefore strongly advised to dispose of all of their flash memory sticks, since they are derived from an Israeli concept.
One hopes that all Edinburgh students will remain in the best of health, but anyone suffering from acne should avoid this preferring rather to remain spotty in solidarity with Palestine. Far better to be a spotty Herbert than an unblemished hypocrite!
Also, if a student should need medical investigations , s/he should avoid the now widely used camera in a pill preferring rather to undergo the rather less comfortable endoscopy. Choose discomfort over hypocrisy!
In the field of energy conservation, however green a student may be it is best avoid this at all costs if s/he is to remain true to what passes for principles! Far better to bite the bullet (or in this case, the battery) and pollute the earth than to support an Israeli concept and a clean universe!
Finally, if Israel boycotters got a Kindle for Christmas, they should throw them out! Kindle was largely developed in Israel. Better stick to space-consuming heavy books which they have to tote around than use an Israeli-made product, however convenient.
There are many, many more. Die-hard boycotters should do their own research. Good hunting and the best of luck with resits!!