To those who don’t believe that BDS and other forms anti-Zionist agitation often lead to racism, here’s a video posted today at the site of the Oxford University Student Union.
The Respect MP (and ‘Comment is Free’ contributor) had just begun to debate Eylon Aslan-Levy, a student at Brasenose, a constituent college of Oxford, on the motion ‘Israel should withdraw immediately from the West Bank’.
Here’s what transpired next.
Galloway had been “misled”. He wouldn’t have agreed to participate if he knew he was debating an Israeli. He said:
“I don’t recognize Israel and I don’t debate with Israelis.
(I guess we can assume his policy of exclusion doesn’t extend to Muslim and Arab citizens of the state.)
So, out of a population of roughly 13.5 million Jews in the world, 6 million live in Israel.
Whilst there is always the danger of using gratuitous political analogies in even the most sincere and sober attempts to characterize the extreme malevolence of the BDS movement, there is a passage in a book about European Jewish history I read a while back which used a darkly evocative term that seems, at least in this context, historically apt.
The book, ‘The fate of European Jews’, by Leni Yahil, characterized the effects of the Nuremberg Laws and other antisemitic measures enacted by Germany in the 1930s as condemning the nation’s Jews to a “social death” – an idea which resonates at least when contextualizing the political objectives of some of the most extreme anti-Israel activists.
George Galloway, by, in effect, boycotting and refusing to recognize the moral legitimacy of Israelis (and not merely the state or its institutions), is attempting to consign six million Jewish men, women and children to pariah status, and social exclusion from the international community.
This is the hideously racist moral place the malign obsession with the Jewish state – often the sine qua non of the BDS movement – inevitably leads.