Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
Omar Barghouti, the Qatari founder of the BDS movement, has been living in Israel for 25 years. And the activist who helped introduce the boycott of Israel to the world has spent many of those years arguing that he should be allowed to live in Israel, attend Israeli schools, and shop for Israeli products.
Barghouti’s one concession to his own BDS principles was cheating on his Israeli taxes. After delivering lectures around the world on the importance of boycotting Israel, Barghouti kept the lectures fees in an American bank account. The founder of BDS refused to report income of $700,000 which would have been taxed to pay for the infrastructure and amenities that he uses while living in the country he hates.
Earlier this year, the United States refused to allow Barghouti to enter this country, either due to his support for terrorism or the tax evasion case. The boycotter had finally become the boycotted.
And boycotting BDS is the best way to beat it.
Barghouti’s boycott paradox isn’t unique among enemies of the Jewish State. When Israel passed a law barring BDS supporters from entering Israel, there was an outcry from lefties. But the law should not have been necessary if BDS activists were really boycotting Israel. Instead the same BDS supporters who urge every musician who announces a concert in Israel to stay away from Israel, can’t stop going there.
They do it for the same reason that crazed stalkers go out of their way to harass their victims.
BDS is not about shunning Israel, but using calls for a boycott as a form of harassment. It’s not about disengaging, but engaging on hostile terms. The calls for a boycott are an opportunistic pretext for staging a confrontation with supporters of Israel in a public forum by radicals who have passed through Ben Gurion Airport, despite their fanatical hatred of spending a single shekel in the Jewish State.
When Nazi thugs gathered outside Jewish stores in Berlin with signs warning against shopping there, they were, in the modern progressive parlance, spreading awareness about the evils of the Jews. BDS, which perpetuates the Nazi boycott, is also less about boycotts than about spreading awareness.
That’s why Rep. Tlaib and Rep. Omar played at wanting to go to Israel. Like all BDS activists, their goal was to stage a public confrontation. And by barring them, Israel limited the scope of the confrontation.
That’s why the BDS travel ban was passed.
Israel has grown tired of the protest tourists of the world showing up to get arrested. It’s weary of lefty activists staging conflicts with police and soldiers. It’s sick of BDS supporters who spend thousands of dollars to visit the country to be able to add a symbolic arrest photo to their Instagram feed.
BDS activists claim that their hateful activities are non-violent forms of protest. And Israel non-violently protested BDS by barring Rep. Omar, Rep. Tlaib, and other extremists and bigots from the Jewish State.
If boycotting Israel is valid because it’s “non-violent”, then boycotting the boycotters must be valid too.
But BDS boycotters insist that their boycotts are non-violent, but that boycotting them violates their civil rights. Boycotting BDS silences speech, they insisted after Israel’s travel ban was implemented.
Then Rep. Tlaib called for a boycott of Bill Maher’s show after he criticized her calls for a boycott.
“Maybe folks should boycott his show,” Tlaib ranted. “I am tired of folks discrediting a form of speech that is centered on equality and freedom.”
Destroying the only non-Muslim country in the region and implementing Islamic theocracy, which would deprive Christians, Jews, and everyone else of equal rights, is all about “equality and freedom”. And the right response to criticism of BDS is to call for a boycott of anti-boycott speech. In the name of speech.
The truth about BDS is that it’s not non-violent. It’s the political adjunct to a terrorist movement.
“In the BDS movement we don’t say we’re against violent resistance,” Barghouti said.
BDS isn’t about speech or economics, but intimidation. Like its Nazi predecessor, the purpose of the boycott is to dominate public spaces through a series of confrontations with Jews. These confrontations are calculated to make it seem as if the perpetrators are the victims by engaging in harassment and then claiming that the response to that harassment has deprived the perpetrators of their free speech.
That’s why the movement to counter BDS legislatively has missed the point. Instead it provided BDS activists with more platforms for staging confrontations and playing the victim. The legislative efforts against BDS assumed that the endgame for anti-Israel activists was an economic and cultural boycott. BDS activists are happy to impose boycotts where they can, but their real goal is to maintain the political friction of protests against Israel. Confrontation is not the means, but an end unto itself.
BDS copies the political dynamic of the terrorists that it supports because it shares their values and goals.
What BDS activists really want is attention. They want a series of escalating confrontations that will allow them to regularly attack Israel and play the victim. This strategy is an extension of the terrorist attacks on Israel whose purpose was not merely to kill Jews, but to gain the attention of the world.
Israel’s BDS travel ban was condemned by American Jewish organizations, but it far more relevantly addresses the strategy behind BDS than the statewide BDS bills passed in the United States do.
American Jews have treated BDS as an unprecedented crisis. Israelis however understand that BDS is one of a succession of harassment campaigns whose real goal is to gain publicity for the cause.
BDS lives on publicity. Israelis understand that the best way to beat BDS is to starve it of publicity.
American Jewish organizations have decried Israel’s BDS travel ban, which reduces confrontations, while championing legislative BDS bans, which increase confrontations. Banning Rep. Tlaib and Rep. Omar from coming to Israel was considered unwise by most American Jewish organizations. But it deprived Tlaib and Omar of the opportunity to participate in protests, and get themselves arrested.
As it is, Tlaib and Omar have to settle for whining about not being allowed to visit Israel. Tlaib’s speech is a much less effective propaganda ploy than a video of her being arrested by Israeli police officers.
And that’s what she really wanted.
Omar Barghouti, the founder of BDS, has spent a generation living in Israel. Israelis learned the hard way that it’s easier to keep BDS activists out of the country than to try and get them out once they’re there.
The best way to boycott the boycotters is not to let them into the country they’re desperately stalking.
Menachem Begin in December 1942 wearing the Polish Army uniform of Gen. Anders’ forces with his wife Aliza and David Yutan; (back row) Moshe Stein and Israel Epstein
(photo credit: JABOTINSKY ARCHIVES)
During the inauguration of a memorial to the victims of the Siege of Leningrad in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park on January 24, 2020, before the climax of Holocaust remembrance events at which Russian President Vladimir Putin was given a central platform, we were stunned to hear a rendition of The Blue Kerchief (Siniy
Giant figures are seen during the 87th carnival parade of Aalst February 15, 2015
The annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium, is expected to take place on Sunday with even more antisemitic elements than in previous years.
Aalst’s organizers have sold hundreds of “rabbi kits” for revelers to dress as hassidic Jews in the carnival’s parade. The kit includes oversized noses, sidelocks (peyot) and black hats. The organizers plan to bring back floats similar to the one displayed in 2019 featuring oversized dolls of Jews, with rats on their shoulders, holding banknotes.
Pope Francis waves as he arrives at the Basilica of Saint Nicholas in the southern Italian coastal city of Bari, Italy February 23, 2020. Photo: REUTERS/Remo Casilli.
Pope Francis on Sunday warned against “inequitable solutions” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying they would only be a prelude to new crises, in an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace proposal.
Francis made his comments in the southern Italian port city of Bari, where he traveled to conclude a meeting of bishops from all countries in the Mediterranean basin.
Palestinians walk past a shop selling fruits in Ramallah, Feb. 20, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Mohamad Torokman.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have reached an agreement to end a five-month long trade dispute, officials said on Thursday.
The dispute, which opened a new front in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, began in September when the PA announced a boycott of Israel calves. The PA exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank under interim peace deals.
Antisemitic caricatures on display at the annual carnival in Aalst, Belgium. Photo: Raphael Ahren via Twitter.
Disturbing images emerged on Sunday of the annual carnival at Aalst, Belgium, showing an astounding number of antisemitic themes, costumes, displays and statements.
Israeli journalist Raphael Ahren documented people dressed as caricatures of Orthodox Jews, a fake “wailing wall” attacking critics of the parade, blatantly antisemitic characters and puppets wearing traditional Jewish clothes and sporting huge noses.
The stench of anti-Semitism always hovers over Switzerland’s Lake Geneva when the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is meeting there. The foul emanations reached a new nadir last week with UNHRC’s publication of a “database” of companies doing business in the disputed territories in Israel.
Following the publication of the list, Bruno Stagno Ugarte, deputy director for advocacy of NGO Human Rights Watch, stated, “The long-awaited release of the U.N. settlement business database should put all companies on notice: To do business with illegal settlements [sic] is to aid in the commission of war crimes.”
One of the many things that annoys me about politicians is how sure they are of themselves. Everything is black and white. Every idea is good or bad. Take globalism, for example. You either love it or hate it. It works or it doesn’t.
Another thing that annoys me is how so much of a politician’s life revolves around power: Do everything you can to get it, and everything you can to keep it.
Why am I ranting? Because, while our politicians have been consumed with power and the media with the fights over power, a threat to our nation has been virtually ignored.
Blue and White Party leaders Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid are establishing their diplomatic credentials in the immediate run-up to Israel’s March 2 election with an insult to a U.S. administration that has arguably provided Israel with more diplomatic gains than any previous administration.
The Times of Israel reported that at a campaign stop in front of English-speaking Israelis, Gantz accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “of neglecting bipartisan ties in favor of exclusive support from U.S. President Donald Trump’s Republican Party,” under the headline “Gantz pledges to mend ties with U.S. Democrats if elected.”
Bipartisanship was in short supply at the State of the Union address earlier this month—with one notable exception.
Nancy Pelosi had been looking dyspeptic, shuffling the papers she would later rip to shreds, when President Donald Trump reminded his audience that “the United States is leading a 59-nation diplomatic coalition against the socialist dictator of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.”
Suddenly, the House Speaker applauded. Trump then introduced “the true and legitimate president of Venezuela: Juan Guaidó.”
The law professor Alan Dershowitz has thrown a legal hand-grenade into America’s political civil war by claiming to have evidence that former President Barack Obama “personally asked” the FBI to investigate someone “on behalf” of Obama’s “close ally,” billionaire financier George Soros.
He made his cryptic remark in an interview defending U.S. President Donald Trump against claims he interfered in the prosecution of his former adviser, Roger Stone.