Protests along the border between Israel and the Gaza strip have once again led to clashes between Palestinian protestors and the Israeli Defense Forces.
The death toll has reached over 1,109 people. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement led by Palestinian Activists has reached a fever pitch as they try to turn Israel into an international outcast. The BDS movement should be rejected as it is built on ridiculous demands, propaganda and the basis that it lies to support the delegitimization of Israel.
Israel is not perfect and has taken part in many controversial things, like its settlement policy and right of return. However, this does not even begin to cover what the state has had to deal with since the moment it was created.
Due to modern Israel’s creation at the hands of the League of Nations and the British, the neighboring Arab states were outraged by its existence and multiple wars were fought between Israel and these Arab neighbors over its right to exist as an independent nation.
Israel faces an unprecedented amount of scrutiny over what has happened in these disputed territories. At the same time, Russia can land-grab unprovoked and without warning and Myanmar can commit genocide on a religious sect in its own country with little sustained international outcry. The global community yawns at these events, but is quick to jump down Israel’s throat any chance they get.
The reality is BDS runs a great public relations campaign and represents the so-called horrors that Israel puts on the Palestinian people. A great example is what is happening now along the Gaza border. Over 100 people have been killed, which BDS refers to as a massacre. However, those people are not innocent protestors but members of the terrorist group Hamas, which took over as the official government of Palestine in 2007.
Hamas has been planting improvised explosive devices along the border and attempting to rush people through checkpoints so the Israelis are too overwhelmed to deal with the terrorists hiding among the crowds. In reality, Hamas is willing to sacrifice civilians so they can further their cause and BDS helps them by printing Palestinian-friendly news.
A good example of BDS omitting information to pass an agenda is posting articles on their websites about the destruction of hospitals in Gaza. At first glance, this seems like a horrific international war crime. However, an article the Washington Post published in 2014 shows that Hamas actually uses hospitals, schools, mosques and even residential areas to store weapons.
Another example is how BDS claims Israel stole Arab land but the notion that the land is exclusively Arab is not the truth. The disputed lands, which include West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Syrian Golan Heights have been controlled by vastly different groups through history. These different peoples include the ancient Israelites, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, various Muslim Caliphates and now the modern Israelis.
Palestine has never been an independent nation. That region of the world was called Judea because of the large Jewish population living there. This was until 135 AD, when the Romans renamed it Syria Palaestina to embarrass the Jewish people who had been causing issues in the province.
The Israel issue is that of anti-Semitism and public relations. BDS has a left-wing media on its side, happy to push their narrative. According to ADL Global 100, about 26 percent of the world’s population is anti-Semitic as of 2015 and this number has only risen. Some outlets report anti-Semitic incidents have risen sixty percent in 2017 alone.
Israel is not perfect, as no country ever is. But society must reject the demands of BDS, which only exists to push propaganda. To support BDS is also to indirectly support Hamas, which rose to power on a campaign promise of ending the only free nation in the Middle East. This cannot stand and Israel should be allowed to protect itself from this evil.
– Jordan Drake is a communications senior