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.
An Iranian flag flutters in front the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters in Vienna, Austria, March 4, 2019. Photo: Reuters / Leonhard Foeger / File.
The acting chief of the UN nuclear watchdog policing Iran‘s nuclear deal with major powers, Cornel Feruta, will meet senior Iranian officials in Tehran on Sunday, a spokesman for the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Friday.
“The visit is part of ongoing interactions between the IAEA and Iran,” the spokesman said
The headquarters of the World Zionist Organization (WZO) in Tel Aviv. Photo: Screenshot.
The World Zionist Organization (WZO) on Friday opened a three-day conference in Santiago, the capital of Chile, on the topic of confronting antisemitism in Latin America.
Convened by WZO vice-chair Yaakov Hagoel, the conference will involve 150 Jewish professionals from around the region who will receive briefings from “high-level experts in the field to deal with the growing phenomenon,” the Spanish-language Jewish news outlet Diario Judio reported.
Russian immigrants (new olim) attend an event marking the 25th anniversary of the great Russian aliyah to Israel from the former Soviet Union at the Jerusalem Convention Center on Dec. 24, 2015. Photo: Hadas Parush/Flash90.
JNS.org – For most olim, moving to Israel is the realization of a dream. After years of hoping and planning, making aliyah and taking root in the Jewish state is a joyous and exultant experience. Still, the big move is not without its challenges, and many new immigrants become frustrated while attempting to navigate Israeli bureaucracy, secure a job, and find the right neighborhood to call home.
Taglit-Birthright Israel trip participants visit the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem, Aug. 18, 2014. Photo: Flash90.
JNS.org – “It’s so much more.” That’s the mantra of the 54 Jewish young adults from across North America who just wrapped up 10 weeks in Israel.
Sure, they had applied to the Birthright Israel Excel program for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to intern at Israeli offices of such top global companies as Facebook, Visa, Microsoft, Ernst & Young (EY), and Barclay’s.
Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announced that the State Department will consider allowing U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem to list “Jerusalem, Israel” on their U.S. passports.
“We’re constantly evaluating the way we handle what can be listed on passports,” he told JNS in a wide-ranging interview. “It’s something that’s actively being looked at.”
The Palestinian Authority Foreign Ministry responded to this in a statement published in Wafa News saying the move was “an emphasis by the administration of President Donald Trump to antagonize the Palestinian people and undermine any chance for peace on the basis of a two-state solution.”
If you’re Jewish, how afraid should you be of being a victim of a violent anti-Semitic hate crime? In the wake of the Pittsburgh and Poway synagogue shootings in the last year, many American Jews remain afraid. The specter of white-supremacist hate that fueled those and other mass shootings has become the primary focus of those tasked with fighting and monitoring anti-Semitism.
If the use of Nazi symbolism in fashion was manifested in isolated cases, there would be only slight cause for concern. But when this trend is backed or glossed over by giants such as Amazon, the biggest online sales platform in the world, we cannot remain indifferent. From home decor to clothing and accessories, the popular website is infested with products depicting Holocaust victims heading to the gas chambers and images glorifying the Third Reich.
When the Second Intifada broke out in 2000, Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin boasted that the desire of his people for death in the service of Hamas was greater than the Israelis’ desire to live. Yassin, of course, was not referring to himself; happy to send his people off to die, he himself clung to life and even believed that his advanced age and status would protect him. But nothing lasts forever, and in March 2004, he was killed in an Israeli airstrike.
Egypt’s leading authorities have reinstated a notoriously “radical” cleric and hate preacher to the pulpit (minbar), despite strong opposition.
According to Arab Weekly, “The Egyptian Ministry of Religious Endowments, which controls the mosques, gave Yasser Burhami, the deputy head of the Salafist Call, the umbrella organisation of Salafi movements, approval to deliver sermons before Friday prayers at the Wise Caliphs Mosque in Alexandria.”
This week’s Torah reading Shoftim, maps out for us, the ideal national structure, of the Jewish people in their homeland, the Land of Israel. It describes the policies that Jews should be striving to implement today: Malchut/Kingdom, Sanhedrin/Torah, Nevuah/Prophecy, and Kehunah/Temple.