Rafeef Ziadah, a Palestinian-Canadian BDS activist who co-founded Israel Apartheid Week, writes in the Irish Times about being invited to “tour Ireland during Nakba commemorations and the 1916 Easter Rising centenary.”
As she is in Ireland, she refers to the ”historic example of the workers at Dunnes Stores” who refused to sell fruits from South Africa in the apartheid era, as an inspiration to BDS activists.
Her description of BDS is that it
upholds the simple principle that Palestinians are entitled to the same rights as the rest of humanity. It aims to end international support for Israel’s regime of apartheid and settler colonialism that began with the Nakba.
She uses the language of human rights, but she is actually – whether intentionally or not – revealing that the BDS movement’s true goal is ending Israel in its entirety. By saying that Israel’s “regime of apartheid and settler colonialism” began with the Nakba in 1948, she is denying Israel’s very right to existence. While the Nakba may have been a catastrophe for the Palestinians, it was the result of an Arab-initiated war that failed in its goal of wiping out the Jews in the newly established state.
Earlier this week, the Columbus Dispatch published an editorial where its description of BDS is that it merely “seeks to change Israel’s policies in the Palestinian territories it occupies.” But this is entirely misleading and panders to BDS by echoing its rhetoric of human rights that attempts to mask that it is not Israeli policy it seeks to change but the fact that Israel exists.
While the editorial acknowledged that there are “some bigots” in the BDS movement, it said that does not invalidate the participation of those who object to Israeli policies and are motivated only by “moral conviction.”
But those who do participate out of moral convictions have themselves been misled by the BDS movement, both about its true goals, and about the truth about Israel, its history, and the current conflict.
If it was about moral convictions they wouldn’t be singling out the one Jewish state for demonization, they would be learning about the situation from both sides, and promoting engagement and coexistence.
BDS is not necessarily concerned with making an economic impact on Israel, it is more about what boycotts represent than the boycotts themselves. Using boycotts and lies, the movement wages a war on Israel’s image, to undermine its legitimacy and right to self-defense.
When the media falsely and inaccurately portray the BDS movement, they enable and feed that movement, providing it with exactly the platform it needs to promote its lies.
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