Boycotting Israel :: by Matt Ward

Israel is under attack. Last week, Orange, the multinational telecommunications giant decided to boycott Israel. It isn’t that they won’t deal with other Israeli telecommunications companies, but that they will completely withdraw their coverage from the nation of Israel.

This is a fundamental attack on the integrity of Israel, an act that Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu describes as “miserable.” Their decision to boycott Israel forms part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, a movement gaining swift momentum worldwide.

It is an ominous development.

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, known as B.D.S for short, is steadily growing more and more popular worldwide. The aims of the movement are to apply on a global scale, increasing economic and political pressure until Israel comply with the stated aims of the movement; “…the end of Israeli occupation and colonization of Palestinian land.”

This movement is becoming widely popular. It has the support of many, including a sizeable number within the Christian church. The young are prevalent within its ranks as are the more liberal-orientated members of the older generation. Each of them hold to a notion, more of an ideal; that in supporting BDS they are standing up for the rights of the Palestinian people, who they see as a plucky type of underdog, against an aggressive, ruthless, bullying Israel.

In the ill-educated eyes of many supporting this movement, BDS is the modern equivalent of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, championed by Nelson Mandela, …It was wrong in South Africa is wrong in Palestine, it, or so the thinking goes. It is a notion that is totally flawed and morally bankrupt.

It is in fact, Israel, who is the underdog in that region. Israel is a country literally surrounded by nations who have vowed to eliminate her from history, nations that have tried to make good on their threats five times in the last seventy years alone.

Israel is the only nation that has championed democracy in a region overrun by authoritarianism and oppressive regimes. Israel is literally a democratic oasis in a desert of totalitarianism.

Israel enjoys a fiercely independent judiciary, an accountable government and police force, a well-established and codified system of laws, with inbuilt checks and balances. Israel is the country where each citizen enjoys individualized rights and freedoms, protected under law. The law in Israel protects all, Jew and Arab, Muslim and Christian, not just an elite few, as in every one of Israel’s immediate neighboring states.

Israel has record numbers of Arab Muslim MK’s in their Knesset, Israel’s version of the Houses of Congress. Indeed, there are so many Arab MK’s proportionately that they actually form the third largest political group in the Knesset and therefore the State of Israel.

When Israel’s former Jewish president, President Katsav, for example, was jailed a few years ago, it was a Palestinian judge that determined the type and length of punishment he received, not a Jewish Israeli judge.

Israel is unique in the Middle East in which there are 350 million Arabs. In the entire Middle East there are only 1,658,000 Arab Muslims who have the right to vote in free and fair democratic elections, and they all live in a Jewish State.

Yet the B.D.S Movement accuses Israel of apartheid.

To accuse Israel of apartheid is ridiculous. Travel around the Middle East today and count the numbers of Jews living in Syria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Tunisia, Jordan and Gaza. It is exactly the same number in each of these countries; zero. Yet Israel, with an Arab population of close to two million is accused of apartheid.

To accuse Israel of stealing land as BDS does, is equally ludicrous. Israel as a land mass represents 0.5% of the total land available in the Middle East. Israel doesn’t even add up to 1% of the land mass; 99.5% of the land is controlled by Arab Muslim countries. These Arab Muslim countries want the other 0.5% even though the Arab world is currently 650 times bigger than Israel.

The BDS movement reeks of hypocrisy. In Britain, the powerful National Union of Students, a body representing many, many thousands of college and university age students recently voted to become a part of the BDS movement against Israel. This decision came twelve months after they voted not to sanction or boycott products sold or used to profit ISIS!

Yes to boycotting Israel, no to boycotting ISIS.

Why does BDS not boycott China whose human rights abuses are legendary? What of China’s well publicized cultural genocide of Tibet? Not a peep from BDS.

Omar Barghouti is one of the principle founders of the modern BDS movement. He believes that there should be a complete boycott of Israel, economically, politically and academically and spends his time forcefully challenging all who trade or cooperate or work with Israel. Barghouti is stated as saying that anyone working with Israel is collaborating with a racist and bigoted regime.

What Barghouti doesn’t broadcast so widely though, is that he received his own Masters Degree from the University of Tel Aviv, in Israel. When asked about this he responded, “…my studies at Tel Aviv University are a personal matter and I have no further wish to comment.”

Those who wish to support BDS should do so, but they should do so in a proper, meaningful and intellectually honest way. Boycotting Israeli olives because they were produced in a so called “occupied area” is really neither here nor there to Israel or its economy. Anybody can buy an American Coke rather than Israeli Soda Stream.

Instead, boycott the industries that are going to really hurt the Israeli economy; the high tech industries and their fields of scientific development.

Boycott Vaxill Bio Therapeutics, an Israeli company on the brink of developing a cure for cancer, “…that could be applied to 90% of all cancers.” This miracle should be here in about six years.

Boycott RedHill Bio Pharma, which has just developed a viable treatment for Pancreatic cancer.

BDS advocates that each one of the 10% of people who suffer from diabetes in the American population should boycott the newly developed “HelpAround” App for smartphones, which enables diabetics to find immediate help in any crowd at any time.

There would also need to be a complete boycott on the newly developed vaccine for Avian Flu, as unfortunately this was developed under the Israeli flag too.

Boycott all the treatment systems currently being developed at Tel Aviv University. They have discovered a substance, one of many, called Mannitol, which prevents the harmful buildup of toxins in the brain. This halts Parkinson’s disease.

Be sure, also, that BDS activists put away any iphones they possess. The voice mails, text messaging functions and High Definition photographs that can be taken on these phones use software developed by Israeli companies. (Also the next time BDS activists buy a laptop or any other form of computer, ensure they know that it doesn’t have any kind of Intel-Inside, because that’s Israeli too.)

In fact, the systems manufactured by Yavne-based Orbotech are used globally to produce almost every printed circuit board on the planet, which rules out virtually every electronic device in the world.

Somebody also should tell Professor Stephen Hawking, who supports BDS, that all the communications equipment he so famously uses to speak to the world relies on Israeli technology and somebody should definitely tell Ismail Haniyeh, notorious terrorist and leader of Hamas, (a designated terrorist organization), a man who obviously hates Israel, that sending his daughter to an Israeli hospital when she gets seriously ill is not consistent with his beliefs.

Little Israel, so small and easy to castigate and attack certainly seems to be making a huge impression on the world.

The truth, of course, is that BDS is not about the so-called occupied territories and it certainly isn’t about apartheid. BDS at its core is about getting rid of Israel. Omar Barghouti, founder of BDS, reveals their true intentions, “…we oppose a Jewish State.”

“We oppose a Jewish State.” It really is as simple as that.

As’ad AbuKhalil, a leading light in the BDS movement is quoted as saying, “…the real aim of BDS is to bring down Israel.”

Ahmed Moor, another leading activist in BDS adds, “BDS does mean the end of the Jewish State,” and Ronnie Kasrils, the lead BDS activist in South Africa explains how, “…BDS …will help bring about defeat of the Zionist Israel and victory for Palestine.”

The real motivation of BDS is the destruction of Israel through de-legitimization. This is why at a recent large scale demonstration held in South Africa, B.D.S activists spent the demo chanting “…death to Israel, death to Israel.”

What are Christians meant to believe when they are faced with the media assault that BDS can bring to bear? What are they supposed to believe when even men esteemed as leaders within our own movement, men like Desmond Tutu say, “Israeli universities produce the research, technology, arguments and leaders for maintaining the occupation?”

The BDS movement is a part of the apostasy foretold to occur in the last days. It is a growing part of the spirit of this age to hate and demonize Israel; it is the Zeitgeist of the age, and there are many, many Christians who are caught up in it.

Christians who do not read their Bibles do not therefore know how amazingly prophetic it is for Israel to be back in their land. Israel’s return from the Diaspora is a clear marker of the soon return of Messiah. A significant number of Christians today do not have even the remotest concept that these days in which we live are in fact the last days. They are asleep, they are materially comfortable and many have no room for God or His Word in their lives.

“Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8).

This is why it is easy for Christians to accept the obvious lies and hypocrisy of a movement like BDS

B.D.S is intimately bound up with Replacement Theology, the belief that the Church has replaced Israel and Israel therefore is completely irrelevant to God. This is why there are so many Christians deeply involved in it. They see no biblical significance at all in Israel; in fact they believe they are actually serving God by attacking Israel!

As Christians we need to understand that Israel is highly significant and as a nation and incredibly important to God. God has done things for Israel that He has never done for any other nation;

“Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children” (Isaiah 66:8).

Or as the NIV puts it, “…can a country be born in a day?”

Yes, on 14th May, 1948, a clear act of God.

God wrote in His Word that at the time of the end, “… I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people” (Zechariah 12:3).

B.D.S is a part of this process. It serves to further alienate Israel from the rest of the world and deepen her international isolation, entrenching her enemy’s hatred for her. We are rapidly approaching the end game, when Israel will stand against a hostile baying world, completely surrounded, completely alone.

So should Christians support BDS? My answer is that God has only one foreign policy and it is the same today as it was 3,000 years ago,

“I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you,” (Genesis 12:3)

I am going to take God at His word because, “…whoever touches you touches the apple of my eye…” (Zechariah 2:8).