(Originally Published on Israel Hayom)
While it may not always seem that way, in the cognitive wars being fought against Israel, most notably the hysterically high-pitched calls for boycott, divestment and sanctions by the BDS movement, Israel’s opponents are losing.
Naturally, the BDS movement claims it is winning. Omar Barghouti, its founder, asserts that his crusade “is working far better and spreading into the mainstream much faster than we had anticipated.” Obviously, a movement whose primary weapons involve all the mendaciousness it can possibly muster from its members will not be truthful about its results any more than it will be honest about its true goals.
While the BDS movement claims that it is about “peace and justice” and “encouraging international economic and political pressure against Israel,” the movement’s real and indisputable aim is to destroy Israel and replace it with “Palestine.” The founder of the BDS has said so himself: In Barghouti’s own words, “a Jewish state in Palestine in any shape or form cannot but contravene the basic rights of the indigenous Palestinian population and perpetuate a system of racial discrimination that ought to be opposed categorically. … Most definitely we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine. No Palestinian will ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine.”
The chairman of the U.S. Congress House Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade, Ted Poe, has described the BDS movement as “a threat, which seeks [Israel’s] ultimate destruction.”
While this is clearly what BDS wants, it is failing impressively. Not only has the Israeli economy not been affected in the nearly 11 years since the BDS movement’s founding, foreign investment in Israeli assets has actually nearly tripled, the financial news network Bloomberg recently reported. In fact, according to Bloomberg, in 2015, foreign investments in Israel hit a record $285.12 billion.
What’s more, Israel’s economy is growing faster than those of the United States and European countries, with expectations of 2.8% growth this year compared to 1.8% growth in the U.S. and EU, according to Bloomberg. In addition, Israel’s unemployment reached a record low in April, when it fell to 4.9%.
In comparison, France, to name one country that is obsessed with Israel and meddles disproportionately in its affairs, has an unemployment rate over twice as high, at 10.2%, youth unemployment of almost 25% and a stagnating economy, which grew only 0.5% in the first quarter of 2016. One would assume that France has more pressing matters at home than the status of Judea and Samaria, but then again, obsessive-compulsive disorder is not an easy condition to cure.
While these hard and incontrovertible facts regarding Israel’s thriving economy are likely to leave BDS activists apoplectic — presuming, of course, that they ever acquaint themselves with actual facts — Israel should not draw the wrong conclusions. In other words, this is no time to lean back and relax.
On U.S. campuses, BDS campaigns are orchestrated by the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Hamas, through associations such as the Muslim Students’ Association and Students for Justice in Palestine. The rallying cry of BDS activists, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” is the rallying cry of Hamas. It is no secret that the Muslim Students’ Association is a front for the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood itself states so in its operational plan, which was recovered by the FBI when it raided Hamas charity Holy Land Foundation in 2001. According to Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the sponsor of SJP is an organization with seven key employees that used to work for, among others, the Holy Land Foundation. SJP is among the most active BDS organizations on U.S. campuses.
Given the fact that Hamas is designated a terror organization in the U.S., it is rather unfortunate that so many campuses allow the unhindered activities of these likely Hamas-linked organizations to continue on campus without even blinking an eye. The more logical course would be to thoroughly investigate these activities and possibly prosecute related actions as terrorism, instead of viewing their activities through the prism of diversity, justice and other cheap slogans that are too transparent to cover the real issues for anyone but the willfully blind. BDS is the continuation of terrorism by other means. For that reason, it must be defeated.