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June 29, 2015 2:23 am

Why Doesn’t BDS Care About Expelled Jews and Arab Human Rights Abuses?

avatar by Lyn Julius

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Omar Barghouti. Photo:

Omar Barghouti. Photo:

The man behind the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, Omar Barghouti, is a PhD student at Tel Aviv University. Yes, you read that right: Tel Aviv, Israel, home of “apartheid” and what he claims are the worst human rights abuses.

In an interview explaining the aims of the BDS movement, Qatar-born Barghouti stated: “Israel’s deepest injustice is the denial of the right of return to Palestinian refugees.”

The BDS campaign seems to have gathered steam in recent times.

Using the language of human rights, Barghouti goes beyond urging Israel to end its occupation of the Palestinian West Bank. He is advocating, in no uncertain terms, the destruction of Israel, by overwhelming it demographically with millions of returning Palestinian Arab refugees.

BDS is old wine in new bottles: some Arabs joined Nazis in boycotting Jewish businesses in the 1930s, the Arab League declared a trade boycott of Israel, etc. The reason why the movement has appeared to gain traction this time is the support of “human-rights” NGOs, churches, and university groups.

The fundamental injustice of the BDS position becomes crystal clear if you consider that 51% of Israeli Jews are in Israel because the Jewish State gave them refuge from Arab and Muslim anti-Semitism – persecution and pogroms such as the 1941 Farhud in Iraq.

This Arab-Muslim anti-Semitism was not a consequence of the establishment of the State of Israel; it predated it. And this anti-Semitism created the need for a country where Jews, a vulnerable but indigenous minority, could exercise a right of self-defense. Together with native Christian communities such as Copts and Assyrians, Jews in the Arab and Muslim world had to submit, as “dhimmis,” to humiliations and exactions. Although the “dhimmi” status was not always rigorously applied, Jews were at the mercy of their Muslim rulers for 14 centuries.

Moreover, in the 20th century, the Palestinian Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, was complicit with the Nazis in a genocidal project that would have destroyed not only the Jews of Palestine, but Jews of the Arab world – before Israel’s creation. Today these racist aims are enshrined in the Hamas Charter. Hamas was until recently in a unity government with the Palestinian Authority.

After failing to annihilate the young state of Israel, Arab states created 870,000 Jewish refugees, driven from their homes in Arab states and dispossessed of their property. There were more Jewish refugees than Palestinian.

But these Jewish refugees are invisible, as far as the BDS movement is concerned. Indeed, the Arab world has never been called to account for its violations of Jewish rights.

A “right of return” for Palestinian refugees cannot be contemplated without also considering the same right for the 870,000 Jewish refugees. But returning to hostile states, where anti-Semitism is endemic, is hardly a solution for Jews. Peace should instead be founded on the concept of an irrevocable exchange of refugee populations.

For a genuine peace based on truth and justice, the Palestinians, and Arab states generally, need to acknowledge the fundamental injustice done to Jewish refugees from Arab countries. Jewish refugees do not want a right of return to Arab states, but an apology for their suffering and compensation for their losses.

The rest of the world needs to call to account the Arab and Muslim world for the injustices perpetrated against their Jewish and non-Muslim minorities, and both need to recognize the rights of non-Arab peoples in the Middle East and North Africa to self-determination.

A version of this article also appeared in The Jerusalem Post. 

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  • M McL

    Few Muslims needed the Mufti to radicalize. Stalin played an epic role in creating Israel; he is the murderer of at least 2 million Muslims. And realize that Mao-Tse Tung—who came to power only because Stalin survived World War II—was the greatest tyrant in history, responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of Chinese.

    Please share this article by using the link below. When you cut and paste an article, Taki’s Magazine misses out on traffic, and our writers don’t get paid for their work. Email to buy additional rights.

  • M McL

    so little was published about the BDS-destroying FAST TRACK clause that Congress passed with EU > polishes suspicion media control, allawhile the Vatican becomes The Palestinian State’s Truman.

  • Arnold Handelman

    BDS is indeed old sour wine (anti-Semitism) in new bottles. Arab hatred of Jews predates the state of Israel. Arab acts of terror have been global. Munich Olympic games, Buenos Aires Jewish community center, are a few examples. But more torture, death, destruction, confiscation of wealth, denigrating, blood libel, slander, and dehumanizing have been perpetrated against Jews by Christians than Arabs or Muslims. I am especially disappointed by the current vigorous BDS campaigns being conducted by various Christian Churches, including the United Church and the Presbyterians. It goes in the face of Christian principles. It ignores the Jewish identity and practice of Jesus, Joseph, Mary, and the disciples–all practicing Jews. To me, Churches active in BDS are patently displaying anti-Semitism. They operate with selective blinkers on, screening out of sight and mind the atrocities being perpetrated by Arab countries, and many others. A few days ago, an Arab member of the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, was appointed head of a permanent Parliamentary Committee. A Palestinian sits as a member of the prestigious respected Israeli Supreme Court. Israeli hospitals are replete with Palestinian staff doctors as well as nurses.
    The Palestinian members of Parliament seek destruction of Israel, and openly support Iran, but they are allowed to carry on because they were democratically elected.
    Furthermore, talk about BDS stupidity: boycotting Jewish companies from the Westbank, causes Palestinians to be thrown out of work, losing badly needed income. The companies simply move to Israel. Wow. Perhaps the United Church and Presbyterians, and other church goers in the BDS movement should read the section in the Bible:
    “I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you.” BDS is a cursed movement destined to fail miserably after causing untold Palestinian suffering. It is not Christian in the true sense of the word.

  • Joe Stein

    Well on point. The end game of the BDS movement is the demographic destruction the one and only Jewish state through the forced return of millions of Islamists who call themselves Palestine refugees.
    Both the BDS and the Palestinian narrative lies quicky unravel in the light of fact. The word ‘Palestina’ is a Romanization of ‘Land of the Philistines.’ Historically, the Philistines were ancient, sea-going, now-extinct enemies of Israel, that migrated from the Aegean to occupy an area around the Gaza strip.
    Following the defeat of the Simeon bar Kokhba revolt in 135 AD, Emperor Hadrian renamed the Jewish national home after Israel’s enemies, calling Jewish lands Syria-Palestina, to attempt disruption of the Jewish connection to the land. It didn’t work.
    Jews never lost their identity while their enemies became footnotes in history. In modern times, both before and during the mandate period, the term ‘Palestine’ was revived to describe the territory designated to be the Jewish National Home, with the term ‘Palestinian,’ referring to the Jewish inhabitants.
    Even as late as 1967, the UN did not use the term “Palestinians” merely calling the Islamists “refugees.” (Resolution 242 of November 22, 1967. Even Ahmad Shuqayri (original founder of the PLO), rejected the term Palestinian, preferring to represent the national interests of ‘Southern Syrians’
    The Palestinian narrative and the BDS movement are baseless deceit. Yet both serve as powerful arms of political and tactical Jihad, fabricated to fool a gullible world while legitimizing Islamic territorial aggression against Isreal, under the banner of Arab national interest.

  • M. Otero

    We should have been using these facts over the last 67 years. Consider how many lives have been lost because we considered that the world was tired of hearing about the Jewish Holocaust. Hitler was urged to extend his campaign against the Jews of the Muslim world by Arafat’s uncle,Husseini, the grand mufti of Jerusalem. Husseini’s radio broadcasts to the North African Arab world spread

    hatred of Jews among them.

    Although like the upper class Palestinians, many North African Jews slipped away before the riots began. There is a popular myth that it was their

    Why have we chosen to keep this a secret for more than 65 years? Is it because we want to better integrate the Mizrachis in our midst who prefer to be seen as Zionists, not refugees. Or is it because records of Jewish assets have been expunged?