The punching bag bigots of anti-Israel boycotts
The practitioners of anti-Israel boycott bigotry are bent upon disrupting the free flow of knowledge, academic discourse and civilizational advancement in the Western World. They must not be allowed to do so, for we are all in peril if they are, says Vijeta Uniyal of Indian Friends of Israel
The Italian philosopher and politician Niccolò Machiavelli famously said: "Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception". After decades of aggression failed to destroy Israel, deception is the "new" game in town.
This deception has a name, or to be precise, a lame sounding acronym -- BDS, the campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.
The BDS campaign has two main ingredients -- one is deception and the other is another kind of lie. There's the sinister deception about the campaign’s own true nature, and a blatant lie about the state of Israel.
The otherwise vocal BDS campaign remains eerily silent about its ties and sympathies with terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The campaign lures in faith-based Christian groups, and LBGT community and feminist groups while at the same time hiding its ties with the homophobic and misogynist clerical regime of Iran.
Yes, indeed. The BDS campaign calls for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel, while doing the bidding of its masters in Tehran who offer bounties on the heads of writers abroad and hang poets for penning dissenting verses at home.
The BDS campaign targets and maligns Israel, the only functioning democracy and liberal-minded multi-ethnic society in the Middle East -- a country that doesn’t discriminate negatively against its citizens on the basis of gender, sexual orientation or faith; and where every citizen has access to an impartial judiciary for redressing grievances regardless of faith or ethnicity.
The terrible beauty of the BDS campaign is that it does not have to bind itself to facts. This fact-free campaign is all about emotions. The campaign scouts interest groups, communities and campuses for “grievances”. Their game plan is to whip up emotions, ratchet up the hate, and present the mob with a target, namely Israel.
The fact that their issues and grievances have nothing to do with Israel doesn’t really bother BDS campaigners.
There is something for everyone. An all-inclusive package to fight “evil corporations”, “apartheid”, “racism”, “militarism”, "gender oppression" -- or any other perceived discriminations. On university campuses all across Europe and North America, the BDS’s message is simple: “If you have a grievance worth getting mad about, we have just the right punching bag for you.”
The BDS campaign camouflages itself as the reincarnation of the Résistance, the Civil-Rights Movement or the Gandhian Civil-Disobedience movement in our times. The fact that it has nothing to do with the reality of Israel isn’t allowed to dampen the mood at this anti-Israel slugfest.
On the other hand, those in the western liberal academia and self-proclaimed “civil society” also have no big qualms about hopping on a bandwagon driven by Hamas or Hezbollah.
The question worth asking would be; what drives elements like Hamas and Hezbollah to hate Israel. It is not about the “settlements”, the “refugees” and the “occupation”. It is about the very existence of Israel; the existence of a free, humane and enlightened society in a neighborhood of bigotry, despotism and tyranny.
The contempt and hatred of Israel is in fact contempt and hatred of Western Democracy and Civilization. The radical Left in the West hates the values signified by Israel just as much as the religious supremacists in the Arab world do. It is a match made in hell in which the BDS campaign plays cupid bringing these sadists and masochists together to form an unholy alliance.
It would be hilarious, if it wasn’t so tragic. The BDS campaign uses the avenues and free spaces provided by the liberal and open societies to hit at the very core of values that built them in the first place. It uses University campuses, faculty unions and student bodies to divide and polarize. It targets trade unions, local communities and churches to spread the mean-spirited gospel of BDS.
The BDS campaign will never achieve its intended goal of “bringing Israel to its knees”. However, it is bound to have unintended consequences.
The practitioners of BDS are bent upon disrupting the free flow of knowledge, academic discourse and civilizational advancement in the Western World. They must not be allowed to do so, for we are all in peril if they are.
Vijeta Uniyal is an Indian entrepreneur based in Germany. He is founder of "Indian Friends of Israel", an initiative of Indian Diaspora in Europe to promote friendship between India and Israel. The article reflects the personal view of the author. He tweets @iUniyal
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