What’s Wrong With BDS

2017-07-27 – I’m not a big fan of boycotts (see links to a couple of my old posts on the subject at the end of today’s post). My beef with boycotts is with the tactic. Many boycotts are done with wonderful intentions.

This is true with BDS, but that doesn’t make BDS a good tactic.

BDS stands for “Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions.” (No wonder they call it BDS!) It aims to put pressure on the Israeli government to end its occupation of Palestinian lands. I would like the Israeli government to do just that. The behavior of the Israeli government has become more and more atrocious over the years. Not only does the Israeli government do great and unnecessary harm to Palestinians, but its policies are so extreme that it is actively destroying the character of the state as a democracy and as a refuge for Jews.

But as I said, my beef with boycotts is more with the tactic than with the underlying cause.

In the case of BDS, the tactic is more vile than most boycotts.

Israelis, no doubt, bear a heavy responsibility for the suffering occurring on its soil and the soil of occupied Palestine. No doubt. But the Palestinian Authority, its affiliates (or competitors, like Hamas), and its supporters bear a pretty heavy responsibility as well. You can play the who-started-it game forever—which only supports the idea that both the Israelis and the Palestinians are to blame. I’m not going to try to adjudicate that one.

The problem with BDS is that it only targets Israelis.

The sad truth of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that the conflict is perpetuated by hotheads on both sides. Peace-loving Israelis and peace-loving Palestinians—people who just want to be left alone to live their lives—are left out of the equation.

So if we’re going to run a boycott, shouldn’t we aim at the hotheads on both sides of the green line? Shouldn’t BDS be boycotting Palestinians as well as Israelis?

Think about it. Here are links to a couple of my previous anti-boycott posts that had nothing to do with BDS:

Boycott, Boycan’t, Boycan

Make Sure You Boycott Oat Puffies!

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