Dr.Gerstenfeld’s article, The Disappointed BDS Supporters was first published in Algemeiner and republished here with the author’s consent…
The Disappointed BDS Supporters
The 2014 global survey of the Anti-Defamation League found that there are more than a billion antisemites worldwide.1 This translates into about 70 antisemites for every Jew. When an Israeli goes abroad he is likely to meet such extremely prejudiced people though they may not express these thoughts publicly.
Israeli citizens should expect their government to prevent hardcore antisemites from visiting their country. Thus, the new law for Prevention of Entry of Foreign Nationals Promoting Boycott of Israelis is a step forward.2 Recently 20 foreign organizations that promote boycott campaigns against Israel have been barred by the Israeli government.3
According to the Washington Post this list includes two organizations run by Jewish activists: the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and Code Pink.4 The Anti-Defamation League included JVP in its 2013 list of the ten most anti-Israel organizations in the U.S.5
One would have thought that these BDS supporters would not care about the prohibition to enter Israel. The UN has 193 member states. Why would somebody visit the one country which he or she has y singled out to incite against? The State Department definition of antisemitism states that applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation is antisemitic.6 The same is said in the antisemitism definition drawn up by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. Its acceptance required the approval of all its 31 member countries, all Western democracies including the U.S.7
Yet some of those excluded from entry into Israel because of their BDS hate mongering were disappointed with the new law. Rebecca Vilkomerson, Director of the Jewish Voice of Peace wrote: “BDS is a call from Palestinian civil society to build a global movement to pressure Israel to end the occupation.”8
This is a convenient example for teaching false argumentation. The entire Gaza strip and the majority of the West Bank are under Palestinian rule and thus not occupied. The so-called “civil society of the Palestinians” can hardly be called civilized. In the only Palestinian parliamentarian elections, which took place in 2006, voters gave a majority to Hamas, a party that promotes the genocide of Jews. Fatah, the only other party which took a significant number of seats, controls the Palestinian Authority which gives important financial rewards to murderers of Israeli citizens.
Ariella Gold is the Co-Director of Code Pink. She once again attacked Israel in an article in the Forward after the prohibition of entry saying: “I hope this isolation will bring the worldwide struggle for Palestinian rights one step closer to victory. If nothing else, it will cement for my children that they, too, like me, must devote their lives to freedom and justice for Palestinians.” She makes no mention in the article of the extreme Palestinian criminality promoted and supported by the Palestinian leadership.9
The New Israel Fund does not support BDS but according to NGO Monitor gives some grants to organizations which support BDS.10 It also weighed in with an irrelevant remark: “Banning political opposition is the policy of autocracies, not democracies.” The antisemitic BDS movement is however an enemy of Israel and not a political opposition. During the Cold War, the US kept foreign members of communist parties out even if they had never spoken against the US.11 Was the US thus retroactively autocratic according to the NIF? The Netherlands and Belgium do their utmost to keep out inciting foreign Muslim clerics. Are they not democracies?
Anybody can call himself a human rights activist, a fighter for social justice or an antiracist and at the same time show support for murderers. A prime example of this was the 2001 NGO gathering at the “World Conference Against Racism” in Durban.12
The Law of Return enables Jews to come to live in Israel. This country has traditionally been a refuge and home for all Jews, persecuted or other.13 That in itself makes it one of the most generous sovereign states in the world. The idea that any Jew is welcome here is however obsolete since a small percentage of Jews are among the most fanatic demonizers of Israel. This should not go unpunished and the Law of Return should accordingly be changed. It might be time that the immigration of anti-Israel inciters after having repented should be conditional upon a period of community service to make up for the damage they tried to cause the country in the past.