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December 15, 2015 10:19 pm

Israeli Opposition MK Distributes Hebrew Anti-BDS Flyers in Ben-Gurion Airport

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"How do you fight the BDS lies?" asks a flyer handed out at Ben-Gurion International Airport on behalf of Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid Party. Photo: Screenshot

“How do you fight the BDS lies?” asks a flyer handed out at Ben-Gurion International Airport on behalf of Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid Party. Photo: Screenshot

Israeli parliamentarian Yair Lapid brought his campaign against the movement to boycott Israel (BDS) to Tel Aviv’s international airport on Tuesday, distributing Hebrew flyers explaining the Israeli government’s diplomatic battle.

Along with other volunteers from Yesh Atid, the centrist Israeli party chaired by Lapid, the Israeli Knesset member walked around the airport and solicited Israelis to get involved in the cause, which he has also championed among Jews worldwide.

The flyers reportedly said that BDS is an antisemitic movement founded by jihadis, whose activities have been recognized as hate crimes in the US and France. The flyer also apparently attempted to debunk certain common attacks against Israel, such as the claim that Israel’s military presence in the West Bank is the root of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and that Israel is not interested in resolving the peace process, according to the Jerusalem Post. 

In June, Lapid called BDS “antisemitism in a modern disguise,” during a policy speech at the Jerusalem Post conference.

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Speaking to the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, Lapid described the BDS backers’ desire to destroy Israel and replace it with a Palestinian entity:

Here’s the simple version. BDS has three circles to it. The inner circle: Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Qatari money, horrible ideas by horrible people, anti-Semites who hate Jews, people who don’t want a Palestinian state alongside Israel, who want a Palestinian state instead of Israel. The second ring: 171 NGOs, mostly from Europe. They came out of the Durban conference in 2001. They’re, at the core, anti-Israel, but more careful in what they say. Surrounding them is a third circle, which is just some heart-bleeding intellectuals, some well-intended progressive people, some people who sign up for this because it, you know, as it always is with political activists, it tells them something nice about themselves … people who do not know that they are actually being the puppets in somebody’s theater. So when I talk about being more aggressive fighting BDS, it’s first and foremost making sure people understand that they’re being manipulated by forces. I mean, here in the States I’ve been telling people, “Do you understand that this is actually working in the service of the same people and ideas that brought this country 9/11?” This is the most horrible people on Earth. These are the gay-killers, women-bashers, Jew-haters.

Lapid and his party’s campaign against BDS underscores the centrality of the cause among major parties in both the Israeli ruling coalition and opposition, where Yesh Atid has been since its weakened position after the national elections in 2015. Lapid was formerly Israel’s finance minister.

“We mustn’t abandon this arena,” the flyer read, according to nrg. “Not everybody is an antisemite, and everybody is against us. We simply need to explain our side. We have prepared for you a little pamphlet, and for every lie that is promoted we have written down for you the truth. In this war, we are all emissaries.”

Lapid did not say whether the flyers would continue to be available at the airport.

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  • Joshua Laskin

    What’s missing, is any suggestion of how people who oppose Israeli policies, are supposed to bring influence to bear on Israeli politics. True, people who are wealthy can contribute to Israeli political parties whose views reflect their own. But, for the rest of us, what’s the alternative to boycotts, etc.? The implication seems to be, that we should just let Israel be Israel, and not try to interfere. But, since big chunks of our tax-money are going to Israel, we feel we have the responsibility to interfere; and, if there’s no alternative to BDS, then the above arguments won’t make any difference.

    • Ploni Almoni

      Joshua, the best way to influence a government is to be a voter in that country.

      So many of us in the US think we know what’s best for Israel, but we don’t face the threats the Israeli’s do. We don’t have to worry about Hamas rockets from Gaza, Hezbollah rockets from Lebanon, and nukes from Iran.

      The people in position to know what’s best for Israel are the people living there.

      With that in mind, I encourage to make Aliyah, so that you can vote directly for the Israeli party that best represents your point of view.

  • The flyers should continue to be available at the airport. English and Arabic versions need to be widely distributed on social media, and on American college campuses.

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