Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Boris Johnson Against BDS

Among the reasons why Boris Johnson delivered a severe thumping to Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party was that the latter had been promoting anti-Semitism. Clearly, it was not about Jewish votes-- there are not enough of them to tilt the election-- but about the manifest bigotry and terrorist sympathies expressed by the Corbyn party.

Among the most important anti-Semitic manifestations of recent days is the movement to Boycott, Divest and Sanction Israel for its West Bank settlement policy. The BDS movement is a declaration of economic warfare against Israel, designed ultimately to destroy the Jewish state. 

Along with the Students for Justice in Palestine, it has become a leading American anti-Semitic movement. In American colleges and universities, BDS and SJP have produced an atmosphere that is prejudicial against Jewish students. Feckless and pusillanimous university administrators have largely stood by while this has happened. 

Last week President Trump signed an executive order threatening said administrators with a loss of government funding if they did not ensure a safe learning environment for Jewish students. Most Jews applauded the move. Others, members of modern day Jewish Councils, denounced it.

In Great Britain, the question involves whether city governments, for example, can on their own boycott goods imported from the West Bank. Until now, courts have allowed to do so. Johnson’s new legislation will hopefully end it.

Britain’s newly elected Conservative government plans to ban local authorities from taking part in the boycott-Israel movement, a British official said, following the lead of American officials who have also sought to clamp down on the campaign to pressure Israel to change its policies toward the Palestinians.

In his party’s pre-election manifesto last month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson of Britain mentioned the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, or B.D.S., as one of a number of things that “undermine community cohesion.”

As a result, the manifesto said, “We will ban public bodies from imposing their own direct or indirect boycotts, disinvestment or sanctions campaigns against foreign countries.”

As for the thrust of the BDS movement, it is obviously anti-Semitic. And it seeks nothing other than the destruction of the state of Israel.

The Times describes the debate:

The boycott-Israel movement has become a contentious issue on both sides of the Atlantic.

It is intended to pressure Israel into ending the occupation of the West Bank, granting equal rights to Palestinians and assuring a right of return to Israel for Palestinian refugees and their descendants.

Opponents and supporters say that these measures would lead to the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state, and some consider it a thinly disguised expression of anti-Semitism.

The so-called right of return means that Palestinians should take over Israel and should confiscate wealth that they cannot create themselves.

Aside from the manifest bigotry behind it all, we can also see a policy agenda. When your neighbor has been far more successful than you, your solution is not to adopt your neighbor’s better policies, but to destroy whatever he has built. It is the theory behind all policies involving wealth confiscation.

Its principle animates the American leftist war against inequality. What, after all, could be more unequal than Israel and the Palestinian territories? Does this level of inequality necessarily mean that those who are more successful are criminals?

Usefully, the British conservative party has declared that BDS undermines community cohesion. Local governments should not be making foreign policies and should not be taking sides in a highly contentious international dispute.

Until now the issue has been decided in the courts:

The British government issued rules to prevent local governments from boycotting Israel three years ago, but a High Court ruled them unlawful because the matter fell outside of the government’s statutory powers. After the ruling, boycott opponents called for new anti-boycott legislation.

The Leicester City Council began a boycott of products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank in 2014 because it said it opposed “continuing illegal occupation” of Palestinian territory. A Jewish group asked a judge to review the boycott, calling it discriminatory, but a court dismissed the challenge last year.

We shall see whether the new conservative government can succeed at this. Will its new law stand judicial scrutiny?

At the least, it shows that the modern political left is cornering the market in anti-Semitism and that the Palestinian agenda has a great deal in common with the modern political left’s agenda.


trigger warning said...

The UK's Metro newspaper (a free tabloid owned by the Daily Mail) reported yesterday that UK Muslims want to emigrate...

"Mr Ali went on to accuse the prime minister of ‘Islamophobia and racism’ because of his past remarks and ‘failure to root out Islamophobia in his party’. He added that Britain was his home and he didn’t know where else to go, but his family are in agreement that they should move to ensure their safety."

Syria? Iran? May I suggest joining the the devout brothers in Gaza?

UbuMaccabee said...

In England, the support for Labor among Jews fell to 6%. Good, but still work to be done. Jews in England vote their self interest both as Jews and as the bourgeoisie.

In the US, the Democratic Party is the mirror image of Labor, and the Jews will vote for Democrats in large numbers even though Trump has done more to defend and protect the Jews in the US and in Israel than any president since Truman (if Trump ran for office in Israel, he would likely win a landslide victory). Is it something in the water?

When I look at impeachment and Lawfare and the orchestrated coup against the president, I see Jewish leftists everywhere—and so does everyone else in the rest of the country. Any harm that comes to Trump as a result of this coup will be accounted for, and one group in particular will be singled out for being so disproportionately involved. Just a friendly reminder that 2-3% is a very, very small number. I’ve told my Chabad rabbi the same thing. “It’s the Trotskys who make the revolutions, and the Bronsteins who pay the price.”