Monday, June 5, 2017

The Long-running Fiction About BDS

Nitzan Horowitz,

Image from article, with caption: BDS activists in Los Angeles, August 22, 2016

A senior Israeli official serving in the United States didn’t even attempt to evade the truth. It’s true, he told me – we have been greatly exaggerating the issue of the boycott. It’s a marginal, insignificant phenomenon

It’s a well-known rule in politics: the more inflated the job description, the more the actual position is meaningless and superfluous. Take, for example, the government department with the grandiose name of the Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy. It was invented by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and became a consolation prize handed to all kinds of cabinet members whose egos had been hurt.
It has been dismantled and reconstituted several times. This coalition-building fiction is now in the hands of Gilad Erdan, who wants to turn it into a mini-Mossad or at least a little Shin Bet. He is promoting an outrageous bill that would exempt the ministry’s operations from the Freedom of Information Law and give it cover for acts such as tracking Israeli citizens and sneaking agents onto college campuses to fight the BDS (boycott, sanctions and divestment) movement.
This too involves a fabrication, one of the most widespread legends cultivated by the government – the idea that there is a huge movement in the West threatening Israel and working to boycott the country out of opposition to its very existence. This lie has many accomplices who know the reality but either handsomely profit from it or are afraid to buck the party line.
But isn’t there opposition to Israel and its policies? Of course there is, but not of the kind that the government describes. ...
[T]he government and its legions of advocates will not be swayed: The whole world is against us, criticism of the occupation is anti-Semitism, there’s no point in a diplomatic move because Israel-hatred is permanent. In this way, Israel plays into the hands of the boycott movement.
The world’s Jewish communities, all of Israel’s friends in the world, and especially Israelis themselves must be urged: Don’t go along with this unfounded hasbara argument. ... 

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