Boycotting the Wrong Country
Along with traditional terrorism and political recalcitrance, the Palestinian Arabs, their fellow Islamists, and a recognizable cadre of their sympathizers continually develop additional pressure tactics to erode the sovereignty of Israel.
As boycott, divest, and sanction (BDS) movements pop up on college campuses, within member states of the European Union (EU), and even certain denominational organizations, pro Israeli Jewish and Christian advocates throughout the world must be prepared to refute libelous accusations against Israel by espousing nonrevisionist, historical facts.
Point in hand: on May 3rd the Church of Scotland issued a disparaging manifesto entitled: "The Inheritance of Abraham?" Laughingly it decries Israel's biblical connection to the 'Promised Land.' It willfully denies thousands of years of well-documented Jewish connection not just to internationally recognized Israel but to Judea and Samaria (West Bank) as well. A connection far predating that of any other people.
Specifically, the church is of the opinion:
Zionism is not a national but a religious ideology, grounded in specific and unconditional biblical claims to the Land of Israel. The position of Zionism is that "God promises the land to the Israelites unconditionally.
The document further states that "Zionists think that Jewish people are serving God's special purpose." As such, "Christians should not be supporting exclusive or even privileged divine right" to any territory. "If Jesus is indeed the Yes to all God's promises, the promise to Abraham about land is fulfilled through the impact of Jesus, not by restoration of land to the Jewish people."
Talk about stirring up a hornet's nest. Jewish groups throughout England, Israel, and the United Staes were incredulous over such a hypocritically benevolent claim. One writer for the Jewish Daily Forward labeled the church's position as supersessionism; "the notion that the truth of the New Testament renders irrelevant the claims of the old."
The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities described the report as an: "ignorant and tendentious document masquerading as a theological statement."
Israel's Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Daniel Taub had this to say: the document "negates and belittles the deeply held Jewish attachment to the land of Israel in a way which is truly hurtful."
Hurtful? That's diplo-speak for what Morton Klein, the President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) correctly claims it to be. A "call for boycott and pressure upon Israel to stop Jews living in parts of the land of Israel." Pulling no punches, Klein goes on to say: "Jewish residence in Judea and Samaria poses no obstacle to a genuine peace with the Palestinians, should Palestinians be ever ready to conclude one. No peace can require a "judenrein" Palestinian state. A call for boycott is particularly lacking in justification when Palestinians raise their children to aspire to be suicide bombers and to wage a jihad to obliterate the state of Israel."
In recent days the Church has backpedaled somewhat by declaring that it refutes a culture of anti-Semitism and supports Israel's right to exist. However, nowhere in this refutation do they scrap this bigoted report or rescind their call for a boycott.
More bigotry? More slander? More boycotts? You won't have to travel too far. Just across the water from Scotland, Irish Foreign Minister, Eamon Gilmore announced Ireland will begin a policy of pressuring other EU nations to label items produced in Judea/Samaria (West Bank) as "settler" products.
Forgoing any ambiguity, Gilmore stressed the ultimate goal of this policy was "to encourage a boycott." Negotiations be damned. He's quoted saying: "Settlements on the West Bank are illegal and therefore the produce of those settlements should be treated as illegal throughout the European Union."
Unsurprisingly, support for this policy of singling out "settlement" goods followed a meeting of the "Elders." A sanctimonious group of decidedly anti-Israeli antagonists led by former President Jimmy Carter and ex-U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson. Without mentioning all of like mind, other "luminaries" comprising this cabal of Israel-bashers include Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and Kofi Annan.
Glaringly missing from both these accounts is: why such obsessive predilection to the Israeli/Palestinian Arab conflict in light of occupations of land by nations with absolutely no legitimate claim to the territories they occupy? To list just a few:
Kurds are a distinct ethnic group living in the Middle East for countless generations. Since the breakup of the Ottoman Empire large communities of these people live in Turkey, Iran, Northern Iraq, and Northern Syria. Particularly in Turkey, they are badly discriminated against and are forbidden to form advocacy groups, political parties, or even display any representation of their Kurdish culture. Has anyone heard about a boycott of Turkish products?
Likewise, since 1974, the Turks have also been occupying 36% of Northern Cyprus. Following their invasion about 80% of Greek Cypriots were displaced. Both the invasion and the subsequent declaration of independence by Turkish Cypriots lack international recognition. Yet till this day, the occupation of Cyprus continues and talk of Turkish removal from the island is unheard of. Still no boycotts, no sanctions, just business as usual.
Additionally, we can discuss similar circumstances in Tibet, West Papua New Guinea, Western Sahara, and others where the goods produced by the "occupiers" are not boycotted. They're just labeled as being produced by the occupier without a word from the Church of Scotland, the Irish, the EU, the BDS movement or least of all, the "Elders." Somehow these occupations brought on through wars of aggression do not weigh heavy on the consciousness of the world as does the question of Judea/Samaria and what's produced there.
Ironically, unlike the aforementioned, Israel came into repossession of its land through defensive wars not brought on by itself but perpetrated by the very people claiming so dearly to want it back.
The Arabs and their fellow propagandist supporters contemptuously disregard Israel's claim to these territories even though cities such as Hebron and Jerusalem have Jewish roots dating back over 3000 years and along with others contain Judaism's most holy sites; sites Jewish people were denied access to under Jordanian dominance from 1948-1967.
These are undeniable facts which friends and advocates of the Jewish state should be screaming from the roof tops. Every college, church, or governmental forum considering divesting from or sanctioning Israeli goods made in Judea/Samaria must be made aware that Jerusalem; not East, not West but all of Jerusalem has not only been the capital of the Jewish homeland from time immemorial but was constituted by a majority of Jews at the dawn of the 19th century when the first census was taken.
The geopolitical and academic cartel of Israeli opponents have been very successful employing the tactic of, if you tell a lie enough times it eventually sticks. Placing Israel in the same category as ruthless occupiers such as Turkey and China amongst others is just another manifestation of this stratagem. It's time long overdue that defenders of Israel not only champion her righteous positions but expose the hypocritical disingenuousness of her accusers.