I asked Del. Ben Kramer (D-19) for this thoughts on the hearing and the BDS movement, as he vocally opposed their agenda at the hearing. Here is his response:
The BDS movement is unequivocally a propaganda tool being utilized by Israel’s enemies to do what they haven’t been able to do militarily, defeat Israel. The goal of the BDS movement is to force a collapse of the Israeli economy, and in doing so, force Israel to withdraw from the small area of land, that Israel has not returned to its Arab neighbors, captured when the Arab nations (yet again) attacked Israel in 1967.
To their credit, Israel’s enemies have done a phenomenal job of rewriting Middle East history to cast Israel as the aggressor in its dealings with the Arab world.
Quickly being forgotten is the fact that the Arab nations have repeatedly unified (a feat in and of itself, because when they are not focused on efforts to rid the Middle East of Jews, they are often caught up in sectarian violence against one another) and launched wars against Israel for decades.
In defending itself, in 1967, Israel captured considerable Arab territory.
However, in a pursuit for peace, Israel has returned 94% of the captured lands to the Arab nations, which attacked Israel.
My question to the BDS supporters, at the hearing, was to name another occasion in the history of the world when a nation that was repeatedly attacked by its neighboring countries, returned the land captured while defending itself, in an effort to achieve peace and stop further military aggression and war.
Additionally, I discussed the egregious human rights violations that are rife throughout the Arab world. More particularly, I quoted the UN Human Rights Chief, Navi Pillay, who recently offered the following: “Across the Arab world, people continue to struggle for their fundamental civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. The roots of those struggles lie in social injustice, marginalization, and lack of human rights protections.” He then added: “Unfortunately, intolerance, marginalization, impunity, sectarianism and violence remain significant challenges.”
I further discussed the violent treatment of women, gays and lesbians in the West Bank and Gaza, which is a routine topic of human rights organizations, and that such treatment is not only condoned, but encouraged by the Fatah led Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza. Furthermore, both the Palestinian Authority and Hamas arrest, jail, torture and execute (if suspected of collaborating with Israel) those who dare to openly challenge their governmental authority.
Therefore, my question of the BDS supporters was to identify which of the myriad of Arab countries, with their laundry lists of human rights violations, were they pursuing boycotts, divestment and sanctions against.
The answer was zero, none, nothing . . . not one.
Evidently, the xenophobic Palestinian governmental authorities in the West Bank and Gaza, with their extremist ideologies that call for the relentless pursuit of the destruction of Israel and the death of all Jews in the Middle East, are quite acceptable to those who support the BDS movement.
Apparently, honor killings of wives, daughters and sisters and the treatment of women as chattel, along with intolerance and violence toward the gay and lesbian citizens of Palestinian controlled lands, is of little interest to the ..progressive.. thinkers of pro-BDS.
I then questioned the BDS supporters as to which of the many nations in the world, dominated by despots and dictators, with unspeakable crimes against their own people and horrific human rights violations, were they pursuing a boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement against.
Once again, the response was a resounding. . . NONE.
The only nation on this planet that they are trying to bring to financial ruin is the only democratic nation in the region and ..coincidentally.. the only nation on our planet with a majority population of, yes . . . you guessed it . . . Jewsl
And then they have the shameful nerve to be indignant that their actions are being construed, by some, as being rooted in anti-Semitism. Evidently, human rights don’t apply to the right of Jews, in the Middle East, to live in peace.
The glaring hypocrisy of the BDS movement is simply blinding. And a group with the name Jew in the title, that supports the BDS movement against Israel, does not make the movement any less hypocritical.
No one says, not even the Israeli people, that Israel is perfection. Yes, just like with all democratic nations there is room for improvement. However, amongst all of the nations in the region, Israel is the only one where all citizens, including the Arab ones, are free to express their sentiments. Either good, bad or that which is ugly, all are welcome to express their thoughts about Israeli society and the democratically elected officials who govern it.
In fact, just two years ago, the Valedictorian at the most prestigious medical school in Israel was a Muslim Arab woman. This woman would never have had the opportunity to achieve such an accomplishment in the majority of the countries surrounding Israel and who are sworn to Israel’s destruction. Israel is a nation that fully includes women, minorities, Muslims, Christians and the LGBT community at the highest levels of academia, government, industry and business.