Calling BS on BDS - BDS Handbook: Forward

This is the first post in our new series Calling BS on BDS. In this series the JPF will not only debunk the major theories driving the BDS movement, but also go through the BDS Divestment Handbook used by anti-Israel “activists” all over the world and show how to counter their lies.

The forward of the BDS handbook sets the stage with two important points that must be properly understood:

The use of an anti-apartheid framework can be instrumental for student BDS activists, because some schools already have policies prohibiting investment in apartheid. (page 4)

Here they are admitting that their use of the “anti-apartheid framework” is tactical rather than substantive! BDS supporters are attempting to hijack a cause that is not their own in order to manipulate the system for their own benefit. The article this quote is referencing attempts to make the charge fit and is very effective if the reader knows nothing about the conflict, which is precisely why this debunking is so important

Showing reverence for the concept of self-determination is key when struggling in solidarity, and this call should be the basis for international BDS campaigns to challenge Israel’s occupation and apartheid. (page 5)

Anyone hearing a BDSer make this charge should immediately ask, “What about Jewish self-determination?! Why should the Jews be the only people denied the right to self-determination? If BDS cares so much about the right of self-determination, why are they trying to take this right away from one of the most persecuted groups in history?” Most supporters of Israel are not against the idea of Palestinian self-determination, but they do not support the idea of establishing a Palestinian state without it making peace with Israel.

Since this Handbook says the “concept of self-determination… should be the basis for international BDS campaigns” it is all the more important to point out the hypocrisy of doing so while denying that right to the Jewish People and by showing that Israel supports this right for the Palestinians, but in the context of peace.

Always highlight that Israel isn’t against Palestinian self-determination - every government since Oslo has supported it. Israel offered statehood to the Palestinians in 2000, 2001 and 2008 and negotiated on that basis in 2010, 2012 and 2014. Each peace offer was rejected without a counteroffer from the Palestinians and each peace negotiation was torpedoed by the Palestinians.

Israel even sought to “end the occupation” on its own, completely withdrawing from Gaza and four towns in northern Samaria (West Bank) in 2005. Then in 2006, Israelis then voted in a new government headed by Kadima, a political party based solely on the idea of pulling out of the rest of the West Bank. But before this new government could act on this platform, the Palestinians went to the polls and instead of voting for peace, they voted for the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas). This created a power struggle with the ruling Fatah party and eventually to the violent takeover of Gaza by Hamas.

So not only does Israel agree with the concept of Palestinian self-determination, but it has taken concrete steps to help bring this about. The only reason why more has not yet been done is because of Palestinian rejectionism and support for terrorism over peace.

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