I accidentally cut off the second half of Ben Kramer’s (D-19) comments on BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) when I posted them earlier today. Here is the rest of his response to those who oppose legislation that would prevent businesses that support the BDS movement against Israel from doing business with the State of Maryland. The post got cut in the middle of thought, so I’m afraid the beginning here is a bit abrupt.
[In Israel, g]ays and lesbians serve openly in the military and there are no directives such as “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
Resolving the challenges of the West Bank are difficult and finding a path toward Palestinian self-determination is fraught with obstacles.
Israel unilaterally withdrew from the Gaza in 2005 without any assurances of peace from its occupants. Since that time, the governmental authorities in Gaza have been taking tens of millions of dollars in foreign aid and have been using it, not to build new hospitals and schools and to create a homeland, but to purchase tens of thousands of rockets from Iran to be launched against Israeli civilian targets from the decrepit medical facilities and schools that do exist in the Gaza. Millions of dollars are spent to build multiple, sophisticated tunnels into Israel, from which to launch terror raids on children in school buses.
Lesson learned…Israel does not have the luxury of making the same mistake in the West Bank.
The BDS movement is driven by Israel’s enemies who are cleverly using relentless propaganda and lies to manipulate the willing, the naive and the uninformed in a time proven strategy to create enmity toward Jews.
From the blood libel of the Middle Ages, in which Jews were accused of murdering Christian children for ceremonial purposes, to the Protocols of Zion and the government sponsored hate-mongering of Nazi Germany…the playbook of the anti-Semites has remained the same…tell the lie, and continue to repeat the lie often enough until the willing, naive, uninformed and misinformed, whether at a conscious or subliminal level, begin to accept it as fact.
How else can we explain the difference of the pro-BDS advocates total disinterest in the nations that are committing egregious human rights violations (including the beneficiaries of the BDS movement) from the impossible standard, for defending its citizens, they have set for Israel…a standard that has never been applied to any other nation, including that of our own.
Perhaps the efforts of those BDS supporting groups, who claim that they are motivated by a desire for peace, would be better off directing their efforts at convincing the Arab world to stop the formal (and informal) education process, of each generation, to hate the Jews. Maybe, if the governmental authorities of the West Bank and Gaza were willing to accept the right of the Jewish people to live in peace, in their homeland, there might actually be peace in the Middle East.
After thousands of years of persecution culminating in the Holocaust, Jews are no longer playing the role of the willing victim and this undoubtedly has caused angst for those who are more comfortable with the Jew in her/his former role.
Finally, for those who claim that boycotts are a time honored, peaceful means of protest, I completely agree with you.
Yes, the apartheid government of South Africa was rightfully boycotted.
However, the absurd effort to draw parallels between the South African government’s system of apartheid and the conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors is simply fantastical…but clearly a critical element of the propaganda strategy as the BDS proponents never fail to mention Nelson Mandela and the racist South African regime in their endeavor to confuse and fraudulently link the two movements, to justify BDS.
Those individuals who choose to participate in the discriminatory BDS movement are welcome to do so…that is called freedom of speech.
However, the people of Maryland do not have to see their PUBLIC dollars being used to support such discriminatory behavior, particularly when it undermines Maryland’s policy as articulated in its Declaration of Cooperation with Israel. An agreement which created a cooperative relationship which has benefited the citizens of Maryland and Israel through economic development, tens of millions of dollars in trade, the creation of jobs, as well as, significant achievements through joint scientific and medical research.
Not using public dollars to support discriminatory behavior is also freedom of speech…and as you appropriately pointed out, David…if the boycotters truly believe in the right to boycott…then we should be free to boycott the boycotters.
Like a classic garment carefully folded away in a drawer to be brought out and worn when fashionable again, anti-Semitism is once more all the rage in Europe. Nicely accessorizing it, on this year’s runway, is anti-Zionism. We should resist the urge to emulate the Europeans and reject the misguided, albeit chic, BDS movement fomented by propagandists whose end game has never been the well-being of the Palestinian people, but the destruction of the Jewish homeland and its occupants.