If you boycott Israel but not China, you’re an idiot.
An idiot at best, but you’re probably an anti-Semite
If you live in America, Australia, England, Spain, and I’m sure the rest of the western world, you have no doubt encountered people purporting to care about the plight of the Palestinian people, calling for a boycott of all Israeli products, businesses and even engagement with its people. They are part of what is called the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) group, and they’re dedicated to isolating Israel from the international community. They are using the same strategy as was used by the western world to end Apartheid in South Africa. It’s fitting since they want to end what they call the “Israeli Apartheid of Palestine”.
While my immediate gut reaction to this movement is admittedly hostile, I’m going to do my best to impartially understand their grievances, summarize their positions, encapsulate their movement and strategy. Then with the magic of logic, morality and those dangerous little inconvenient buggers, known as facts, explain why they are uneducated, unstable and immoral.
According the the bdsmovement.net “BDS is now a vibrant global movement made up of unions, academic associations, churches and grassroots movements across the world.” That sounds reasonable enough to me and not worth debating, so I’ll leave that alone. According to the same website, they have a series of simple demands, each predicated on a series of statements, claimed to be facts, ranging from true and obvious to utterly absurd. In turn, they have a series of schemes they intend to use to reach their goals. And so, without further ado, let’s get into their demands, claims and plans so we can show just how truly dangerous and stupid these people are.
1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantling the wall.
This claim might sound reasonable were it not for the fact that in a different part of their site, they include all of Israel as Arab lands. As part of this demand, they’ve included statements that the Israeli checkpoints are illegal and that the walls are a violation of the international law. What is especially laughable about this, is that they claim that Palestine is a state, and as anyone who’s ever crossed any international border with a hostile state (think India/Pakistan, Morocco/Western Sahara, North Korea/South Korea) you will undoubtedly encounter heavy armament and extensive checkpoints if its possible to cross the border at own. Indeed, even friendly nations generally have extensive checkpoints and some form of security such as the legal border crossing of the United States and Canada or Mexico.
They also claim Gaza is the largest open air prison in the world. This is absurd and factually incorrect. Lets be clear, any law abiding Palestinian in Gaza is free to enter Israel or the West Bank. However, the leaders of Gaza are Hamas, a terrorist organization, internationally recognized as such. And members of Hamas, and people who support them, can not leave Gaza without being arrested, and brought before a court. So clearly Gaza is not a prison, it’s a sanctuary for terrorists.
2 Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality
According to the BDS movement, Palestinians living within the boundaries of the state of Israel don’t have access to full rights and citizenship of the state they call home. The BDS site claims over 50 laws have enshrined the discrimination against Palestinians. They offer no citation for these claims, and a mere cursory look at the Israeli constitution and legal system makes it abundantly clear that it is simply impossible. What they may be referring to, are the laws that prevent residents of Israel, who refuse citizenship, or renounce the state of Israel, are not eligible for certain privileges reserved for citizens. Given a large portion of Palestinians/Arabs voluntarily renounce their citizenship, refuse to vote, and refuse to engage with the Israeli government as Israeli’s, they are in fact voluntarily making themselves second class residents. However this is purely of their own making, and in now way a result of discrimination on the part of the secular, liberal government of Israel.
The Israeli legal system makes no distinction between citizens, and while obviously a Jewish nation, there are thriving communities of Christians, Muslims, Druze, Zoroastrians, Buddhists; white, black, brown, or any of the other multitude of religious, ethnic and social groups that call Israel home.
3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194
It is on point three where they make their most egregious claims. Firstly they claim that Israel has been taking part in widespread “ethnic cleansing” of the Arab population. This claim goes well beyond stupidity and ventures into the realm of anti-semitism. Their use of the words ethnic cleansing is certainly no accident. They can’t pretend this is just a coincidence that they would use the words to describe and compare Israel’s now-defunct policy of resettling and generously compensating certain at risk Palestinian communities to the very actions during the holocaust that largely lead to the creation of the state of Israel. To compare a non-violent policy that admittedly did occasionally involve financial coercion, (a policy I disagree with) to the worst crimes in human history by the Nazis is, let’s face it, disgusting. Anybody who believes making someone leave their home for their own safety is comparable to the gas chambers at Auschwitz or Treblinka is either extremely stupid, extremely biased, or has no value for Jewish life. Every single person involved in that website should hang their anti-Semitic heads in shame.
Immediately below this disgusting comparison is a disclaimer, claiming that the BDS movement is inclusive, and opposed to anti-semitism and islamophobia….sure you are.
As part of my dedication to knowledge and understanding, I travelled to UCLA to meet with some of these BDS advocates and learn what exactly it is they believe, what they want, and what their motivations were. Whilst there is no doubt that most of the people I met were nice kids who’d simply been shown photos and videos of Palestinian women and children possibly injured in Israeli strikes in Gaza, and reacted on a gut level, the leaders were significantly more sinister.
As I engaged with them I quickly saw they had absolutely no interest in debate, no interest in facts or information that contradicted their view, and instead were ready to dismiss me as (and this is a quote) “a war crime apologist, dedicated to the military industrial complex!”
Ok, look at that, facts have a pro-Israel bias… pathetic.
So let’s look at the real facts behind the state of Israel, and it’s consistent conflicts with their neighbors.
Israel is the most moral armed force in the world, bar none.
Before Israel bombs a target in Gaza, they do more research and gather more intelligence on potential targets than any other army on earth. This is especially easy for Israel, as they control the bulk of the communications infrastructure in Gaza, which Israel provides for free to their hostile neighbors.
Additionally, under most circumstances, Israel places ads on local radio, drops leaflets, and even calls the building of targets before they bomb them to ensure the Palestinian civilians have the best chance possible to leave the targeted location, even though this sometimes give Hamas time to move their weapons and personal from the target.
No other nation does this. But Israel does, because Israel knows that not only is it moral and right, but that the world will inevitably judge Israel with a very different standard to how the judge Hamas.
The most stark example of this double standard occurred in 2014, when Hamas placed weapons in a school, and began firing missiles from within its ground. Israel then called the school and put out broadcasts on the local airwaves, naming the exact school and time the bombing would begin. For four hours they waited while Hamas continued to fire rockets into Israeli territory, but they did not allow the children or teachers to leave, using the Palestinian children as human shields for their weapons caches. Thankfully parents of the children forced their way into the school and managed to get the majority of the children out. When Israel finally bombed the location, most of the Hamas terrorists had left, however they’d managed to force some children to stay to guard their weapons.
After the dust settled and a few children had been injured and a teacher killed, the international community condemned Israel for the bombing. Never mind the fact that not one of them would have been hurt had Hamas not placed weapons within the school. Or that the Palestinians began the conflict by firing rockets into Israel. And let’s forget that when Israel gave warnings to the people within the building, and the community at large, the Hamas soldiers prevented them from leaving, hoping that Israel wouldn’t fire at all.
Imagine that, reporters with a straight face, attempted to blame Israel for not being entirely deterred by the use of child human shields, and place no blame whatsoever on those using children as human shields. They also complained Israel suffered no loss of life, as if Israel is somehow morally wrong for building bomb shelters, anti-missile systems and having a world class hospital system. The moral imbalance is incompatible with rational thought.
On one side, you have an army that is for all intents and purposes, capable of achieving all its offensive goals. And this army which goes out of its way to avoid killing non-combatants from the enemy state. Whilst on the other, there is an army not only deliberately killing enemy non-combatants, but actively using women and children as shields for weapons. The Hamas government quite literally values their rockets more than the children of their own people. So it’s clear that Israel could kill Palestinian civilians, but goes to great lengths to avoid doing this.
Can you imagine what would happen if Hamas had the offensive capability of Israel? What they would do? Well, we don’t need to imagine because it’s one of the stated aims of their government. “The complete destruction of the state of Israel and extermination of the Jewish race.” That’s not an opinion. That a quote from their party platform. And their actions consistently demonstrate their commitment to this goal. They regularly attempt to kill Israeli citizens, in fact 80% of their attacks target non-combatants. The impact they would do if given the chance would be horrific.
Not only that, but we can’t let the general population off as merely victims of a Hamas regime. The local Arab/Palestinian population have consistently elected and reelected the Hamas government, and support for the government which impoverishes them and continues to put them at risk remains sky high. Even worse, their terrorist wing of the organization is even more popular than the government. The same terrorist organization willing to use their children as human shields. And if you are willing to kill your own children in the pursuit of your goal, I’d say you’re pretty dedicated to the cause.
I ask you to compare the actions and intentions of Israel with its Muslim neighbors. Israel tries to avoid killing Palestinian non-combatants, Palestine deliberately targets Israeli non-combatants. Israel has the capacity to destroy their enemy’s civilians population and goes to great lengths to avoid doing so, where Palestine and her allies consistently target Israeli civilians and pledge to destroy them all if given the chance. Israel gives money to Palestine for humanitarian purposes, all the while knowing some of it will be diverted to terrorists and used against them, because of their commitment to saving Palestinian children, children who’s parents encourage them into martyrdom and are more than happy to use them as human shields.
Yet BDS supporters and Islamist apologists either ignore these facts, or use some fanciful notion that if these Palestinians weren’t being “oppressed” they would abandon their genocidal goals and somehow suddenly embrace the values of a modern a secular society.
They ignore the fact that the last few centuries are littered with examples of parties, groups and nations who have pledged to commit genocide while in minority, have then carried out their goals once they’ve came to power.
The Jews were of course the most famous victims of genocide during the holocaust. And then as now, there were many apologist liberals and protectionist conservatives who believed, or at least said, that Hitler would stop his violence and mellow out if he was given a few of his demands. 6 million Jews, (around 1 in 2 Jews on earth at the time) and another 65 million people had to die because of this miscalculation. If someone is dangerous and violent without power, there is no historical example to suggest they will be less dangerous and less violent with power.
In fact the reverse is usually true. Pol Pot, Hitler, Bin Laden, Stalin, Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein, Mao Zedong, all became more dangerous in power than anyone had ever believed they would be before they attained power. And yet even these evil men, with all the horrors they unleashed, had the good sense to hide their crimes. The same can not be said of the current Islamist extremists.
ISIS, Hamas and their allies actually use videos of themselves committing war crimes and atrocities as a means of recruiting. Just how evil are these people.
The Nazi’s, for all their incredible, unimaginable crimes, disguised Treblinka. They would never have sent videos around the world showing SS soldiers throwing gays from roofs, decapitating children, burning enemy non-combatants alive. If they had the German people would have risen up and overthrown the Nazi government in days. But ISIS do this every day. And Hamas has children’s tv programs targeting preschoolers that espouse the glories of martyrdom and have the heroes killing Israeli women and children.
How can anyone who believes in a liberal, secular, liberal democracy, possibly support the BDS movement? Why do they want to punish Israel for defending itself against these lunatics? What am I missing here?
And now to the title of this piece; the reason that it is patently absurd, to choose Israel of all countries as a target of a boycott. I think I’ve done enough to demonstrate why the actions of Hamas and their operatives in Gaza are entirely disproportionate to Israels extremely measured responses. If you’re still not convinced that Israel is by far the more moral party in this conflict, the only possible reason I can think, is that you value Jewish life significantly less than the lives of Hamas terrorists and the local Palestinian population who have consistently elected and supported them.
Further evidence of the obvious anti-semitism in the BDS movement is the way their leadership refuse to engage in any conversation, prefaced with a question about Israel rather than any other regimes engaged in conflicts around the world.
China has occupied Tibet for the past 66 years, with the occupation beginning just two years after the formation of the state of Israel. China’s historical claims to the territory of Tibet is far more dubious than Israel and the Jewish people’s claim to the holy land, but for the purpose of this article I won’t even address that as it’s not necessary to prove the oppression of the Tibetan people, in contrast to the Palestinians.
To prove this contrast, let’s compare the key metrics generally used to asses the humanitarian aspects of war and occupations
1. Civilian deaths
- Since 1948, Israeli soldiers, police, allies and civilians have killed between 10,000 and 15,000 Arab and Palestinian civilians.
- Since 1950, Chinese soldiers, police, and famine caused by social policies has killed between 143,000 and 1,080,000 Tibetan civilians.
- Over 3,000 Israeli’s have been killed by Palestinian terrorists, soldiers, and in wars with neighboring nations backing Palestine.
- Fewer than 200 ethnic Chinese have been killed by Tibetans since the beginning of the occupation.
2. Combatant casualties
- In the same time period Israel has killed roughly 30,000 Muslim soldiers. These Muslim soldiers are mostly from Palestines supporters and allies such as Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran. The vast majority of these occurred during a few short defensive wars.
- China killed no fewer than 87,000 Tibetan soldiers, guerilla rebels and members of the Dalai Lama’s bodyguard in the invasion, subsequent rebellions and ongoing skirmishes.
- Since it’s formation, Israel has lost 9,745 soldiers in conflicts with neighboring nations and Palestinian terrorists.
- China has lost between 2,000 and 8,000 soldiers in their occupation of Tibet.
3. Income and freedom
- The GDP per capita for Palestine is $1,309.66.
- The GDP per capita for Tibet is $1,802.85, however for ethnic Tibetans the rate could be half that as China does not release economic data separating ethnic Chinese and Tibetans.
- Palestine has two local governments. Both were empowered and partially funded by the Israeli government until Israel pulled funding for Gaza and its Hamas government when it was shown they were consistently diverting funds for terrorist activities.
- Tibet has no local self determination or democratic control.
So as you can see, on all metrics and means for measuring the humanitarian impact of China on Tibet compared to Israel on Palestine, it is very clear that china is substantially more oppressive and aggressive than Israel. This is especially concerning considering Tibet has taken almost no retaliatory action towards China, whereas Palestine and their allies consistently attack Israel and her non-combatant citizens. How anyone can show passion for boycotting Israel, while China’s occupation of Tibet, a nation China has no historical claim to, is surely a demonstration of clear antisemitism or extreme ignorance and stupidity.
So while activists ban Israeli’s from staying in their Airbnb’s, force Sodastream to move their factory (which employed hundreds of Palestinians) out of the area, and chant on college campuses across the country, the people of Palestine stab and kill Israeli teenage girls in their homes, shoot rockets into Israel and use their own toddlers as human shields while shooting at Israeli soldiers. Meanwhile, the people of Tibet patiently wait and pray. Hamas considers Hezbollah, Iran, Al Qaeda and even ISIS as allies. If you’ve considered backing the BDS, remember, you’re allying yourself with ISIS. So tell me again why your boycott of Israel is justified?