While innocently attempting to access an article on the Haaretz website the other day, I was accosted by a sequence of intrusive advertisements inviting me to “Fight BDS”—the popular boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement that aims to force an end to Israel’s denial of Palestinian rights.
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The ads featured a fabricated image of a graffito consisting of a swastika and the phrase “Jews go home!” Next to this display appeared the information that “This is not 1938”; “this is now!” A final incitement to “Fight against anti-Semitism; Fight against BDS” then materialized, with a link to “more details” about an upcoming venue for said fight: the “First International Summit at the UN against BDS.”
Details on the Eventbrite website specified that the summit — referred to here with the title “Ambassadors Against BDS” — would be held on May 31 at the United Nations headquarters in New York, sponsored by Israel’s permanent mission to the U.N. in partnership with the usual suspects: the World Jewish Congress, the Anti-Defamation League, Hillel, and so on. In attendance would be such illustrious personalities as the Vice President of the Supreme Court of Israel and the CEO of SodaStream, which was tragically BDS-pressured into shuttering one of its factories operating in an illegal Israeli settlement in the West Bank.
The choice of the word “ambassadors” is perhaps willfully misleading in the context of an anti-BDS conference at the U.N., as the casual passerby is liable to infer that international diplomats will be there on the frontlines. In fact, the term is simply one that Israel regularly uses to refer to its propagandists-in-training; indeed, one of the aims of the gathering as stated on the Eventbrite site was to “cultivate ambassadors ready to fight the battle against exclusion and delegitimization of nations and peoples.”
Never mind that BDS is fighting exactly that battle. Those “peoples” aren’t meant to be included.
It’s unsettling, to say the least, that the U.N. should lend its facilities to an initiative equating BDS with Nazism. It’s like equating symphony orchestras with terrorism; it just doesn’t add up on any plane of reality whatsoever.
Of course, Israel’s modus operandi has from the get-go been to hijack the international discourse with preposterous logic and a perennial inversion of victim and victimizer. And the tradition was once again showcased at the conference this week, which according to the Times of Israel was attended by more than 2,000 people, among them students, legal professionals, and representatives of Jewish organizations.
The conference’s opening session, held at the U.N. General Assembly Hall, featured remarks by Israeli ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon, who denounced BDS as “the true face of modern anti-Semitism.”
The Associated Press quoted Danon’s view that the singular goal of BDS is “to bring an end to the Jewish state,” as well as his thoughts on a recent U.N. Human Rights Council resolution to create a database of companies operating in Israeli settlements in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights:
“With this disgraceful resolution the U.N. crossed a red line. Can you imagine that seventy years after the holocaust the U.N. is creating lists to encourage the boycott of Jewish companies? This is exactly the kind of hatred that the U.N. was founded to eradicate.”
Now, as Danon & Co. take the U.N. by storm, the moral of the story — essentially — is that the right of Jewish businesses to turn a profit in illegally occupied territory trumps the right of Palestinians to exist free of a constant danger of being slaughtered or otherwise deprived of basic dignity.
And if you don’t support the Zionist arrangement, apparently, it means you’re pro-Holocaust. Repeat after me: Black equals white. Five equals two. Oppressor equals victim.
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The Times of Israel meanwhile quotes the president of the World Jewish Congress as decrying the BDS campaign “to deny the Jewish people their right to self-determination,” a “basic right” that “every other people on earth have.” Except for, you know, the people on whose land Israel has already determined itself.
But hey, cerebral functioning is overrated.
The AP report incidentally makes note of the fact that the anti-BDS gathering took place “in the same hall where 40 years ago 72 nations voted to equate Zionism with racism.” Indeed, in 1975 the General Assembly passed Resolution 3379 stating that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.”
When the resolution was repealed in 1991, The New York Times cited the opinion of U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence S. Eagleburger that the equation of Zionism with racism “demonstrated like nothing else before or since, to what extent the cold war had distorted the United Nation’s vision of reality, marginalized its political utility and separated it from its original moral purpose.”
We can safely assume that the equation of support for Palestinian rights with Nazi genocide won’t be eliciting any such condemnation from the United States and its moral entourage.
As for current hysterics over the idea that BDS is intent on delegitimizing Israel, suffice it to say that the Jewish state doesn’t really require any help in that regard.