BDS Revisited

I received a number of responses to my antisemitic series of blogs. Thank you for your contributions. One reply supplied an interesting take on BDS that I had not considered heretofore. It follows for your enlightenment.

Hi Howard.  This may surprise you but I have no objection at all to the proponents of BDS on Israel.  In effect I would like to see those people really go out and boycott, divest from and sanction Israel in a realistic manner.  That is, those BDS proponents, most of whom live outside Israel, should do without any product or service from Israel.  That means of course, they must all give up their cell phones and computers, eliminate much of the software they use on the internet, and avoid many medical products.  The reason of course is that there are a whole host of products and services that we take for granted that all came from Israel.  If you are going to be true to your cause, then, be true to your cause and be honest with yourself.

The best example of this occurred two years ago when the Israeli government blew a great chance to expose one of the leading American BDS advocates.  Rashaida Tlaib, the congresswoman from Michigan, wanted to go to Israel to visit her grandmother who lives in the occupied territories.  The Israeli government first refused her a visa but then allowed Tlaib to come but with many restrictions placed on her.  She declined this invitation.  The mistake was that the Israelis should have welcomed her with open arms.  Why?  Because Tlaib’s website was built using web software technology from Wix, a leading Israeli hi-tech company.  Wix should have invited her to their offices (in a beautiful location right near the old port area of Tel Aviv) and treated her as a valued customer.  This would go a long way to exposing the hypocrisy of what the BDS movement is all about.  It is one thing to boycott Jaffa oranges (try to find them these days in the supermarket anyway).  But now the high standard of living we have and enjoy depends on much of what Israel is able to develop and produce.

In a related instance, I remember reading a list from a BDS group identifying local Israeli companies (including big ones such as Tadiran, Bezek, Delek, Rami Levi) that people should avoid and boycott their products and services.  The reason was that they have operations in the Palestinian territories.  Well that was a good idea but it would have prevented local Palestinians themselves from buying or using many products and services that they require for day to day living.  The moral of this story for BDS proponents is to beware of what you wish for as you may get your wish and suffer the consequences.

Howard Mednick

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