There is a good argument to be made for keeping supporters of the Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement out of the proverbial Jewish tent. BDS opposes not only the Israeli occupation of the West Bank but also the very existence of the Jewish state. This is where the line in the sand ought to be drawn.
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Fair enough. But what do we say to those BDS supporters who nonetheless claim they are only combatting Israeli occupation? We dismiss their assertion. We cite the movement’s founder Omar Barghouti and other BDS luminaries. It is we who decide whether the movement passes or doesn’t pass the Jewish tent’s entry exam.
OK. Now what about those who simply support the Palestinian right of return? They have no beef with Israel’s existence, even as a Jewish state, they say, but Palestinian refugees should be allowed to return to their homes, as UN Security Council resolution 194 mandates. Hogwash, we tell each other: We all know that the right of return is a euphemism for creating an Arab majority and destroying Israel’s Jewish character. So right of returniks are definitely out.
Fine. How about people who advocate a return to the 1967 Green Line, with or without land swaps? We all know that the 1967 borders are “Auschwitz” borders: even Abba Eban said so. Anyone advocating such borders is actually seeking to render Israel defenseless – missiles on Ben Gurion airport, etc. – as a gateway to its eventual destruction. If you have any doubts, there are many senior politicians in the current Israeli government who will be happy to set you straight.
And while we’re there, we might as well chuck out people who advocate “only” a boycott of Jewish settlements in the territories. As Prime Minister Netanyahu recently told the Conference of Presidents, a boycott of Jewish businesses has been the favorite tool of anti-Semites throughout history. And everyone knows that settlements were all set up by democratically elected Israeli governments, so that by boycotting them we are actually boycotting the Israeli state itself (see above). So bye bye Peter Beinart; see you around.
J-Street? Fuggedaboutit. As Harvard scholar Ruth Wisse explains in the new film “The J-Street Challenge”: “They align themselves on the Arab side.” They advocate “a potential recipe for Israel’s suicide,” as an editorial in the grassroots Five Towns Jewish Times put it this week. J-Street has “done more damage to Israel than any other American organization,” Alan Dershowitz asserts. Need we say more? J-Street, raus.We are not exposing impressionable Jewish minds to your anti-Zionist propaganda,
And while we’re at it, you can take all the Adalah, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Breaking the Silence, B’Tselem and other New Israel Fund–style groups with you. You only have to read a few choice chapters of NGO Monitor to understand that these groups are doing the enemy’s work for it. No reason for Jewish institutions to help them.
And what about those defeatists who think Israel shouldn’t insist on maintaining troops along the Jordan River? Who are they kidding? And those who oppose Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state? By doing so, aren’t they aiding and abetting the ongoing Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist? And those who have the gall to call on the U.S. to pressure Israel? Those who advocate the division of our eternal capital Jerusalem, the religious and historic symbol of generations of our attachment to the land? Those who want to uproot Jews from their homes? Those who supported the Gaza disengagement? What’s up with that?
And if we’re already going there – are we really sure about the people who support a two-state solution? Isn’t that just a devious way to implement the PLO doctrine of eliminating Israel in stages? And what about those who negotiate with Abu Mazen and tout him as a “partner” – even though they don’t believe a word he says? Should they be allowed?
More importantly, should they really be given an opportunity to preach their destructive beliefs from such an influential podium as the AIPAC Policy Conference? Did the AIPAC people really consider the implications of inviting Prime Minister Netanyahu to address their crowdnext week? What are they hiding, these so-called “pro-Israel” lobbyists?
The point is, Jewish groups aren't under any obligation to invite BDS proponents to their forums. Many of those who advocate such a ban, however, believe that once Jews start deciding who is and who isn’t kosher enough to enter their domains, they will know where to stop. I beg to differ.
Disqualifying whole groups of people based on what you deem to be their real intentions has, is and will always be a slippery slope. In their current state of agitation and intolerance, it won’t take long for many Jewish institutions to start skidding down. There are enough people – in fact there are more and moreof them – who will be able to intellectually equate BDS with 1967 borders with J-Streeters and two-staters. Just give them an opportunity to ostracize more errant Jews and leave our camp holy, as the book of Deuteronomy says.
Because once you start cleansing yourself, you want to be at least 99 and 44 hundredths percent pure. And you don’t really get to feel entirely comfortable until you are left alone in you room, looking at the mirror, staring at the only person you can truly rely on, and even that’s not certain anymore.