The Left and the Boycott Israel Movement
In January 2005, an interesting event took place at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba, Israel. A 21-year-old Palestinian Arab woman named Wafa Ibrahim al-Bliss was admitted for severe burns suffered during a cooking accident at her home in the Gaza strip. Following extensive treatment she was returning for additional therapy in June of that year but was arrested by Israeli authorities at the Erez crossing point. As a token of her gratitude she was caught wearing no less than 10 kgs of explosives in her underwear.
According to a June 21, 2005 report in the Jerusalem Post she stated that she had been recruited by the Fatah Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, and added that she wanted to target as many children as possible.
This is what Israel is facing. Yet it gets no credit from sanctimonious hypocrites heading the various BDS movements both within and outside academia. Despite hundreds of suicide bombings over the past 30 years, and the immutable threat of others to come, 219,464 Palestinian Arab patients have received medical treatment in Israeli hospitals during 2012, 21,270 of them children.
One of these Arab "children" was a 15-year-old Palestinian Arab boy admitted to Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot for severe burns suffered last March due to injuries incurred when a rocket he was firing into Israel exploded.
Stretching irony to the limit, the brother-in law and sister of vehement Jew hater and prime minister of Hamas in Gaza, Ismail Haniyah, were also within this number. The husband was admitted to Belinson Hospital in Petach Tikva Israel for treatment of a serious heart condition. But the admission of Arab patients to Israel's finest hospitals and given free treatment is only half the story not given any press to.
This past May, Dr. Hanni Abadin, the Palestinian Arab Minister of Health, visited the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem and thanked the administration -- at any given time there are 60 medical personnel from his community being trained at the hospital.
Unfortunately, along with other acts of kindness and humanity far exceeding any other country made to fight incessant war, none of this has any sway or recognition from the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) cabal.
This past Monday the American Studies Association (ASA) voted to endorse a boycott of Israel. Sadly but unsurprisingly, several of the supporters were Jewish scholars. What's the reasoning behind this?
According to a statement issued by the ASA national council, the boycott was warranted due to U.S. military support for the Jewish State and violation of international law and U.N. resolutions. The bigotry and affectation of this group seems to know no bounds as they further charge:
"Israeli institutions of higher education are a party to state policies that violate human rights" and conclude: The boycott "represents a principle of solidarity with scholars and students deprived of their academic freedom."
That's quite an indictment, I guess nobody mentioned that to Dr. Aziz Darawshe, former head of emergency medicine at the Emek Medical Center in Afula, Israel. He was recently appointed director of emergency medicine at Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem. The hospital is one of Israel's finest, where 40% of the medical staff are comprised of Arabs.
According to Dr. Darawshe, "The integration of Arabs into the medical field has been impressive in this country." He goes on to say: "Since the establishment of the State of Israel, this has been so in hospitals and health funds and in Education Ministry institutions."
None of this is of any consequence to leftist "academics" in Europe, America, or in Israel itself. It interferes with their biased narrative that Israel is the bad guy surrounded by people of goodwill. Caroline Glick, in a recent article published in the Jerusalem Post titled, "The Left Against Zion" makes some poignant points:
Referring to members of the aforementioned ASA, she correctly states. "They represent doctorate holders who chose to devote their careers to disciplines predicated not on scholarship, but on political activism cloaked in academic regalia...." Rejecting Israel's right to exist has become part of the Left's dogma. It is part of the catechism which holds a negative view of the Jewish state and is a condition for membership in their ideological camp.
There is an initiative called AMCHA, spearheaded by two California educators; Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a lecturer at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and Leila Beckwith, Professor Emeritus, University California. It's a non-profit organization dedicated to investigating, documenting, educating about, and combating anti-Semitism at institutions of higher education in America.
They both find a frightening parallel to today's anti-Israel/anti-Semitic BDS movement and that of Nazi Germany in the 1930s when Jewish scholars were expelled and forbidden to publish or partake in German Universities. Both Benjamin and Beckwith make a compelling argument:
Academic boycotts of Israeli academic institutions and scholars, like virtually all anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns within the last several years, have been established in response to the Palestinian political call to join the BDS movement against Israel. That call was issued in 2005 by a coalition of Palestinian organizations that include the terrorist organizations Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Its purpose is to facilitate the elimination of the Jewish state.
In 2011, President Obama appointed Hannah Rosenthal as Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. As a former member of the far-left organization, "Americans for Peace" and an adviser to the fringe group, "J Street," many people rolled their eyes at her appointment. However, we were happily surprised. On April 2nd of that year she gave a speech at: "Indiana University Institute for the Study of Anti-Semitism."
Rosenthal aptly pointed out that traditional anti-Semitism: Jews killings children to steal their organs; defacing property; desecration of cemeteries; blood libels; and even complicity in the 9/11 attack are still alive and doing well. As many of us know, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is still a number-one seller in most countries throughout the Islamic world. But she held no punches recognizing a form of anti-Semitism that's relatively new to North American campuses. She stated:
"If all Jews are held responsible for the decisions of the sovereign State of Israel, when governments call upon and intimidate their Jewish communities to condemn Israeli actions, when academics from Israel are boycotted, this is not objecting to a policy, this is anti-Semitism."
If not outright anti-Semitism, what else could it be? As if more proof were needed, a company called Maplecroft is the world's leading global research and strategic forecasting company. They do risk analysis for human rights violations on a yearly basis. For 2013, they listed the following 10 countries chronologically as the most egregious violators of human rights:
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Where is the unctuous outcry from the ASA toward these countries whose main religion and mindset is inescapable?
As we approach March and the absurdly blasphemous "Apartheid Week" libel aimed at Israel, will the venom of leftist professors and their student dupes be aimed at Saudi Arabia, which refuses to fly Jews on their airlines? Will Egypt continue to get a free pass for its unrelenting persecution of Coptic Christians, who are now leaving the country in droves? What about their cause célèbre, the Palestinians -- can we now expect campus demonstrations against the PLO for their truly apartheid-style admonition that a Palestinian state must be Judenrein (free of Jews)?
The BDS movement, the darling of the Left, whether conducted by academia, international corporations, or nations themselves, is no different than the discriminatory, double standard anti-Semitic policies Jews have suffered for millennia. It should be exposed and fought against for exactly what it is.