Racism by Another Name :: By Matt Ward

The rank stench of antisemitism hangs heavily in the air as this New Year dawns. Its acceptable face today goes by the name of “BDS,” otherwise known as the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” movement. It is through the BDS movement that people from all walks of life can express their visceral hatred for Israel, Jews and all things “Zion.” All of this neatly packaged under the benign-sounding and morally sanctimonious umbrella of the modern “social justice” movement.

BDS today is growing into a truly worldwide movement; it is also fanning the flames of hatred towards Jews and Israel to levels we have not seen since late 1930’s in Europe. On the surface, the aims of the movement are to apply, on a global scale, increasing economic and political pressure until Israel complies with the stated aims of the movement, “…the end of Israeli occupation and colonization of Palestinian land.”

It is a widely popular movement. 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 liberally orientated members of the older generation. Each of them holds to a notion, more of an ideal, that in supporting BDS they are standing up for the rights of the Palestinian people, whom 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 (ridiculously) is the modern equivalent of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, championed by Nelson Mandela. “…it was wrong in South Africa, it is wrong in Palestine,” or so the thinking goes. It is a notion that is totally flawed and morally bankrupt.

It is Israel that is the underdog in that region. Israel is a country literally surrounded by nations who have vowed time and again, in private and in public, to utterly annihilate her. It is no empty threat either, which the nations that lead the BDS drive have tried to make good on five occasions in the last seventy years alone.

In a region overrun by authoritarianism and oppressive regimes, by regular state-sponsored human rights abuses and repression of the masses on a vast scale, Israel alone is the only nation that has championed democracy, freedom and equality for all under a free, fair and impartial justice system. Israel is a democratic oasis in a desert of vicious totalitarian despotism.

Israel’s judiciary, unlike any other in the Middle East, is fiercely impartial. Israel’s government, unlike any other in the Middle East, is a democratically accountable one; her police force is subject to strict oversight and regulation, all of which sits underneath the umbrella of a well-established and codified system of laws, with inbuilt checks and balances to prevent any abuse of power.

There is no other free country in the Middle East like Israel. Not one.

Israel is the country where each citizen enjoys individualized rights and freedoms, protected under constitutional law. The law in Israel protects all, Jew and Arab, Muslim and Christian, not just an elite few, as in almost every other state in the Middle East.

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 in the State of Israel itself. Arabs form the backbone of Israel’s modern parliamentary political system.

Indeed, when Israel’s former Jewish President, President Katsav, 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 to the region it finds itself in. In the entire Middle East there are only 1,658,000 Arab Muslims out of 350 million who have the right to vote in free and fair democratic elections. They all, incidentally, live in a Jewish State called Israel.

Yet the BDS Movement accuses Israel of apartheid.

To accuse Israel of apartheid is not just wrong; it is demonstrably ridiculous and false. Travel around the Middle East today and count the numbers of Jews living in Syria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Tunisia, Jordan and Gaza. Remarkably, it is exactly the same number in each of these Muslim and Arabic countries; it is zero. There are no Jews living in any of these countries, and why? Because Jews are legally prevented from doing so by the State.

Yet it is Israel, with an Arab population of close to two million, which BDS accuses of apartheid.

If BDS wants to look for an example of real apartheid, then it needs look no further than its “poster boy,” Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, who said, “In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli – civilian or soldier – on our lands…”

That is apartheid.

Equally ludicrous is the BDS accusation that Israel “stole” land from Palestinians and Middle Eastern Arabs. 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 Middle East! 99.5% of the land is controlled by Arab Muslim countries. These Arab Muslim countries want the other 0.5% now too; they want 100% of the land and nothing less. Even though the current Arab world is 650 times bigger than modern-day Israel, there is simply no room for the existence of Israel at all within the BDS movement. They do not want them to have even one square meter.

The BDS movement reeks of hypocrisy. In Britain, the powerful National Union of Students, a body representing 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, 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 Master’s 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.”

BDS wreaks of double standards and outright, blatant antisemitism.

Those who wish to support BDS should do, but 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.

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 five 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.

Unfortunately, Android is not an option for true BDS advocates either, as the sophisticated firewalls used by Android to protect against malicious attack, amongst many other systems within the phones, were developed by Ben-Gurion University, which is of course Israeli.

BDS activists should be sure also that the next time they buy a laptop or any other form of computer, 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 publicly supports BDS, that all the communications equipment he so famously uses to speak to the world, which has made him an icon on shows such as “The Simpsons,” also relies on Israeli technology. (1)

Perhaps somebody should point out to Ismail Haniyeh, an internationally recognized and notorious terrorist and leader of Hamas, a man who obviously hates Israel, that sending his daughter to an Israeli hospital when she gets seriously ill is also not consistent with his public BDS ideology.

It would seem that little Israel, so small and easy to castigate, vilify and attack, is making a huge impact on the world. It would seem that there are many people on both sides of the BDS fence who are enjoying the benefits of modern Israel in their own private lives. Many though, seem to be doing so entirely disingenuously.

The truth of the matter 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,” whilst 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, BDS activists spent the demo chanting “…death to Israel, death to Israel.”

What are we as Christians meant to believe in the face of such a prejudiced assault? What are we supposed to believe when even men esteemed as leaders within our own community, men like Desmond Tutu say, “Israeli universities produce the research, technology, arguments and leaders for maintaining the occupation?”

I believe that the BDS movement plays into 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 diaspora is a clear marker of the imminent return of Messiah. A significant number of Christians today do not have even the remotest concept that these days we live in 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).

BDS, intimately bound up with Replacement Theology, teaches that modern Israel 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! They are “social justice warriors.”

I often wonder what Christian advocates of BDS will do when they one day realize firsthand, as they watch Jesus return, that he won’t just be returning as the ruler of this world, but as the King of Israel, the nation that they have been so intent upon destroying. More disturbingly, I wonder what Jesus will have to say to them?

We are rapidly approaching the end game. Israel soon will stand against a hostile, baying world, completely surrounded and completely alone. As Christians we should be very careful when criticizing or attempting to harm Israel in any way because God’s foreign policy 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) and “…whoever touches you touches the apple of my eye…” (Zechariah 2:8).

It is time to admit the truth and it is time to be intellectually honest. BDS is not a platform for equality or justice. BDS is merely the latest, modern-day form of an ancient hatred. It is antisemitism plain and simple. It is the same old racism, known today by another name.

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/may/08/stephen-hawking-hypocrisy-israel-boycott