Israel Apartheid week is upon us once again (and set to commence next week 10 March), the BDS movement (boycott, disinvestment and sanctions) has launched a feeding frenzy of invective against Israel. The campaign includes, not for the first time, some of the most appalling statements that have been made in the BDS public assertions over the past years. Most of what they say and write is demonstrably unsubstantiated by credible sources and draws conclusions in total opposition to reality.
The BDS crowd is fully aware that their statements that the Palestinians are living under apartheid similar to South Africa’s unlamented system, is an egregious distortion. Claiming that Israel is an apartheid state is the most potent weapon in the armoury of BDS promoters, irrespective of the falseness of the allegation.
Although activists unashamedly use the public’s revulsion of the word “apartheid,” it is apparent BDS’s aim is not to fight genuine oppression, but rather to revile Israel, the Middle East’s only liberal democracy and the only country among its neighbours designated as “free” by Freedom House, a non-partisan group that monitors the status of political, human and civil rights around the world. In short, Israel is being singled out for unfair, discriminatory treatment.
Martin Luther King, Jr. once said that Israel, which he described as “one of great outposts of democracy in the world”, has an “incontestable right to exist. Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all our might to protect its rights, its territorial integrity.” To push against King’s truth can only impede the dream of peace and justice in the Middle East.
Prof. Norman Finkelstein, once one of the BDS’s poster boys and its honoured guest in South Africa, had this to say: “BDS is nothing more than a cult. I think [its stance] is silliness, childish and just leftist posturing. It is legally correct to recognise that Israel is a state. The problem with these solidarity movements is that they are a mirror image of the so-called Palestinian Authority, whose means will never achieve their goal, which is the destruction of Israel. There is nothing in International Law that caters for one state. Step out of your little cult, your little ghetto, and you enter the real world. …That you focus on Israel’s minorities and not the plight of the 10-million other minorities throughout the Middle East and elsewhere is an indication of what hypocrites you are. Israel has a case and I am tired after so many years having to consider and answer these lies.”