Divestment and the Destruction of Israel
Right now in Brooklyn, there is a major debate over whether Brooklyn College should allow speakers who advocate a policy of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions against Israel. The college president, Karen Gould, is allowing the scheduled forum to go ahead, under the rubric of free speech. The event is scheduled for February 7th.
Opposed are Jewish and Zionist groups who are pulling out all stops to prevent the forum. There have been calls for Karen Gould's resignation. Political pressure at its rawest is being applied. New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a New York political heavyweight -- and a pitbull defender of Jewish rights -- is in the thick of the fight. Funding for the College is being threatened.
Politicians are being forced to line up one way or the other. New York, both City and State, is heavily Jewish, and crossing the Jewish community can be the third rail of political life.
We're talking about the potential for a second Holocaust here. - Assemblyman Alan Maisel
Adding to the irony is that Brooklyn College is famous for graduating some of the most famous Jews in American life, while Brooklyn was once -- and still is, to a lesser extent -- a heavily Jewish borough. Brooklyn is the veritable womb of the Jewish experience in America. How odd that its college should host a forum which is hostile to Israel?! It must be the final insult.
Recent UN votes have shown that the USA is the only real world power left which supports Israel. If American opinion is changed, then Israel will be all alone and the strangulation will start.
Of course, Jewish and Zionist groups will fight. They will fight hard! Wouldn't you?
While I am a free speech purist, and would not intefere with the forum, I feel obliged to speak up.
Assemblymen Hikind's and Maisel's methods may be wrong, but their motives are right. This is not about Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. This is not about the settlements, or giving equal rights to Palestinians. This is about the extermination of Israel.
The BDS movement refuses to limit its goal. It would be honorable if all they did was call for Israel to extend civil rights to Palestinians -- and I might support that -- but BDS groups allow one-staters who call for the demise of Israel. Anyone can join.
During the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, no serious movement for the eradication of America was entertained, except by some lunatics. The goal was simply to enfranchise the black community fairly. Those who advocated the demise of America, like the Nation of Islam with its separatism, were relegated to the lunatic fringe.
The BDS movement will not state its limits; and it makes frightening alliances.
It is not enough for BDS organizers to declare they oppose anti-Semitism; they must also oppose the destruction of Israel. Then, and only then, can a legitimate discussion of Palestinian civil rights be addressed. Until they make such a declaration, which would probably gut half or more of their support, they should not be given the respectability they seek.
At the core, this is about destroying Israel, piece by piece. The supporters of BDS may not see it that way -- though I suspect more realize it than are willing to admit it -- but that does not negate the ugly reality.
What is being ignored, and here Assemblyman Maisel is right, is that there is a real potential for a Holocaust here. The Holocaust metaphor is overused; but in this case, it is appropriate. BDS is about destroying Israel by economic strangulation.
I am not like Newt Gingrich who denied Palestinian nationality. People have a right to define themselves -- and there is evidence that a Palestinian identity existed long before the PLO Covenant of 1964. However, a Palestinian nation would mean the destruction of Israel; and that is unacceptable.
Israel and Palestine are like conjoined Siamese twins, who share a vital organ (Jerusalem); but the organ is strong enough to only support one life. The twins have to be separated, and one will die.
If Israel lives, Palestine must die. If Palestine lives, Israel will die. If they are not separated, both will die.
This is the ugly truth. Compromise is impossible. Everyone with half a brain knows this. Much of the BDS movement -- not all of it -- is veiled anti-Semitism. The rest is fueled by a leftist ideology which is devoid of thought.
I suspect many of the BDS supporters know it. Certainly Assemblymen Hikind and Maisel know it, which is why they are fighting the BDS forum so fiercely.
The supporters of Palestine have to ask themselves, if they be honest, is the demise of the world's only Jewish state acceptable to prevent the demise of Palestinian nationality when there are dozens of other Arab states? No one is advocating the erasure of individuals; but there is only room for one nation in that small space.
Two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time. They cannot both exist. It is that simple; Physics 101. Israel or Palestine? To advocate for Palestine is to advocate for the destruction of Israel... and vice-versa.
No one is saying this is fair. Life is not fair.
No one can deny that Israel can be brutal to Arabs in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank); but I am not willing to see Israel destroyed over it. Neither can anyone deny that the Palestinians have spawned generations of psychopathic violence in defense of a culture that is barbaric.
My solution is for Israel to buy out willing Palestinian youth with generous packages of money and papers so they can immigrate to South America, which has a history of assimilating and converting Arabs. Others have expressed similar views.
Those Arabs who remain should be slowly enfranchised, given the vote, and equal access to building permits, upon demonstration of some facility in the Hebrew language at a sixth grade level, which used to be the standard for voting in New York State, albeit in English. Even if Judean and Samarian Arabs were enfranchised, Israel would still be 2/3rds Jewish; and that is assuming none would take the buyout offer.
What Messrs. Hikind and Maisel should have done is mobilize a grand forum at Madison Square Garden like the Jewish community did in the 1930s to reassert their case. There is no reason they cannot do it still.
In the future, what should be done is to mobilize tens of thousands of pro-Israel supporters outside each BDS forum meeting to let all attendees know that the destruction of Israel is not acceptable.
Free speech would not be hurt if the attendees had to walk through phalanxes of Israeli flags and supporters to get to their auditorium.
Messrs. Hikind and Maisel are right to expose the fraud of the BDS movement. Their fury is appropriate. Only their methods need honing.
It is to be hoped that in the future Messrs. Hikind and Maisel will respond more fiercely, but more appropriately: In the future, if the BDS movement ever schedules a conference at Queens College, which I am sure will be next.
Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who is not Jewish, Latin, or Arab. He runs a website, http://latinarabia.com/where he discusses the subculture of Arabs in Latin America. He wishes his Spanish were better.