Demonstrators protesting outside the Spanish Government Delegation in Barcelona, Oct. 20, 2015. Photo by Albert Llop/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.

BDS, back to front


The BDS phenomenon is not new.

Prior to Israel’s declaration in 1948, a boycott was initiated in 1882 against the Jews of Europe.

The sole purpose was to isolate and destroy their social, economic and intellectual lives as advocated by the Anti-Jewish Congress in Dresden 1882. In the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the slogan “Don’t buy from Jews” was deemed illegal, so they changed their slogan to “Buy from Christians only.”

When Hitler came to power in 1933, Nazi guards stood in front of Jewish shops and offices of Jewish doctors, lawyers, and engineers, denying entry and assaulting their clients.

The Polish government followed suit. Occasionally these boycotts ended in pogroms such as at Przytyk. The boycotts went hand in hand with the government’s encouragement of Jewish emigration. Clergy like the priest Stojalkowski publicly supported the boycotts, not unlike Bishop Tutu and some other churches that today promote the boycott of the Jewish State.

The Arab League started a boycott of “Jewish products and manufactured goods” in 1945 which was formalised in 1948 with the establishment of the Arab League’s Central Boycott Office in Damascus. The boycott was total and included blacklisting of firms that did business with other firms doing business with Israel.

Thus, companies such as British Aerospace, Shell, BP and major banks, joined Germany’s Telefunken, BASF and Siemens in complying with the boycott. Norwich Union Insurance Society dropped Lord Mancroft, a Jew, and former government minister, from its Board of Directors.

All of this prior to the occupation.

In 1977, Congress prohibited US companies from complying with the Arab boycott. Most countries however continued to comply.

In 2001, the anti-Israel BDS movement was formed to isolate and ultimately destroy Israel, since wars were unsuccessul. The boycott extended to academia and entertainment. Thus, Tutu tried to block the Cape Town Ballet from performing in Tel Aviv and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd continues to pressurise entertainers from visiting Israel.

Many BDS supporters maintain that they only boycott West Bank products. However in my conversations with such people, they admit to boycotting all Israeli products as they ”cannot be sure if these products might be linked in some way to the West Bank.” An Israeli soldier in Ma’ale Adumim eating an ice cream manufactured in Tel Aviv would be such a link.

The fact that many computer, cell phone, bio-medical technologies, pharmaceuticals, IT security, water and clean energy technologies were developed in Israel is an inconvenient fact and makes these selective BDS advocates hypocritically absurd.

BDS advocates use Israeli products each day.

Yet there is a case for BDS.

The same EU countries that uniquely insist on “Occupied West Bank” labels for Israeli products, rushed to sign huge deals with Iran that has one of the highest execution rates in the world. In 2014, Bishop Tutu, together with Kofi Annan, visited Iran, grinning in photo ops with their leaders. They praised arch terrorist and “Death to America and Israel” supreme leader, Ayatollah Khomeini.

Their visit occurred during a “normal” fortnight of about 40 executions that included Iranian poet Hashem Shabaani.

If Tutu, academics, entertainers and BDS leaders like Mohamed Desai in South Africa who goose stepped in front of Jewish students and wrote that “Hitler was right in what he did,” have a need to BDS, they should focus on the Palestinian leadership.

The PA violates the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Child Soldiers Protocol.

Activists need to BDS the Palestinian leadership that ruthlessly exploits and abuses children who are rewarded to kill Jews.

They need to BDS the PA that praises suicide bombers as young as 13. Some 160-plus small children as young as 7, have been crushed to death, forced to build Hamas terror tunnels with their tiny bodies.

The criminal Palestinian leadership has trashed the aspirations and dreams of an entire generation.

They need to BDS the PA for the ongoing honor killings of women which violate the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Instead, Norway, whose trade unions support the BDS, paid for the Palestinian Women’s Centre, named after Dalal Mughrabi who murdered 38 Israelis.

Gays flee for their lives to Israel. In Gaza they are punished by being thrown off the tops of buildings. Journalists, human rights activists and critics are tortured in jail—another good reason to BDS.

Activists need to BDS President Abbas in the 12th year of his 4-year presidency who cannot account for billions of dollars that disappeared. The Palestinians receive more aid than any other cause in history, including post-war Germany which worked hard to rebuild itself.

Abbas the multi-millionaire refugee leader cries all the way to the bank having made victimhood into a lucrative business.

Munib al Masri, worth some $5 billion, enjoyed a close bond with Arafat, and lives an opulent lifestyle outside Nablus. This “refugee,” supports the BDS against Israel.

Another BDS target could be Jibril Rajoub, jailed for terrorism, who continues to encourage the kidnapping and killing of Israelis on PA TV. He also said, that had the Palestinians obtained nuclear weapons they would use them.

Rajoub, who criticised the proposed minute’s silence for the murdered Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, heads the Palestine Football Association and Palestine Olympic Committee.

BDS advocates need to focus on the Palestinian leaders whose terrorism led to thousands of checkpoints in airports around the world. Thanks to them, toothpaste tubes are confiscated and millions experience the humiliation of having to hold up their pants while clutching their belongings after their jackets, shoes and belts were removed.

The ruling CDU party in Germany has deemed the BDS campaign to be antisemitic, reminiscent of their Nazi past. Spain, France, and all 50 states in the USA have legislated against the BDS.

BDS activists who need a cause, should therefore rather focus on the murderous kleptocracy, the PA.

One of the Ten Commandments states,”Thou shalt not steal.” This also applies to stealing the truth.

Ron Jontof-Hutter is a Fellow of the Berlin International Centre for the Study of Antisemitism and the author of the satirical novel,”The trombone man: tales of a misogynist.”