BDS Movement: We Can Boycott Israel, but You Can't Boycott Us

We will start this off with due credit to Air Marshal Sir Arthur Harris for the basic idea. "The enemies of Israel entered this conflict under the rather childish delusion they were going to boycott Israel, and nobody was going to boycott them. Presbyterian Church USA, American Friends Service Committee, Jewish Voice for Peace, and others like them have put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind and now they are going to reap the whirlwind."

The Presbyterian Church USA has not only embraced boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, it has bleated that "Legislation Penalizing Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) Undermines First Amendment Protections" and cites the Combating BDS Act which "…allows a state or local government to adopt and enforce measures to divest its assets from, prohibit investment of its assets in, or restrict contracting with: (1) an entity that engages in a commerce- or investment-related boycott, divestment, or sanctions activity targeting Israel; or (2) an entity that owns or controls, is owned or controlled by, or is under common ownership or control with such an entity." The legislation, in other words, allows state and local governments to do to entities in the BDS movement exactly what they do to Israel.

The First Amendment says, "Congress shall make no law …abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." This means only that Congress cannot make it a Federal crime to advocate the destruction of Israel, blood libel Israel by accusing it of "genocide" of the Palestinians, suggest that Jews go back to the ovens, call African-Americans the N word, call white people "potential humans" who have yet to evolve, or proclaim that God hates gay people.

The First Amendment does not require Federal, state, and local governments to do business with organizations that boycott Israel any more than it requires them to support Antifa, the Ku Klux Klan, Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam, and similarly repulsive organizations. It does not require them to give public funding to universities that provide the Students for Justice in Palestine with on-campus facilities and resources.

Marginalize and Boycott the BDSers, and 13909 Them

Only one organization in the BDS camp has been accused (in a civil suit, not a criminal charge) of providing material support to terrorists, and the plaintiffs have yet to prove their case. A handful have given verbal support to terroristic violence against Israelis. The rest (including all the organizations named above) do not endorse or condone Palestinian violence in any way, shape, or form. It can be argued, however, that BDS gives non-material and indirect support to the terrorists. Suppose, for example, that an organization had, in 1942, orchestrated a boycott of the United Kingdom but did not advocate violence or Nazism. Most people would conclude nonetheless that the organization was on the Nazi side and shun, marginalize, and boycott it.

The Anti-Defamation League, which is hardly a right-wing organization, says BDS  "…rejects Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state" and "is the most prominent effort to undermine Israel’s existence." Anti-Semitism, as opposed to just anti-Zionism, has been linked to the BDS movement. The UK's Lord Eric Pickles stated that “B.D.S. is anti-Semitic, and should be treated as such," in conjunction with Prime Minister Johnson's anti-BDS initiatives. Even Canada's Justin Trudeau has denounced BDS as anti-Semitic while BDS has also been depicted as racist.  "BDS is not just anti-Semitic, it is racist. Why? Because it singles out a nationality – Israelis – for differential and discriminatory treatment in the international arena."

Individual members of PCUSA, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, American Friends Service Committee, and other churches in the BDS movement, need to consider carefully whether other religious institutions would better meet their spiritual, social, and community needs. PCUSA is, for example, not the only Presbyterian organization in the United States and there are Protestant alternatives to ELCA as well. While it is not part of the BDS movement, the otherwise repulsive Westboro "God Hates Fags" Church is similarly far from the only Baptist church in the U.S.

PCUSA and others say the First Amendment gives them the right to BDS Israel. It also entitles the rest of us who regard terrorism, whether against Jewish children at Ma'alot, Americans and guests of the United States in the Twin Towers on 9/11, U.S. Marines in Beirut, Britons on 7/7, French people in Paris, Danish and Norwegian hikers in Morocco, Hindus in Mumbai, LGBT people in Iran, and peaceful Muslims in Egypt, as evil as Nazism and a cancer to be eradicated from the face of the earth, to marginalize and boycott PCUSA, ELCA, AFSC, JVP, and all organizations like them. Sir Arthur Harris was right: sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

"To 13909 somebody" means to submit this form to try to get their 501(c)(3) tax exemption revoked. "We don't like them" or "we don't agree with them" is not a reason the IRS will or even should consider. Illegal activities, which include nonviolent but unlawful civil disobedience or disruption, are reasons. Unlawful civil disobedience by a member of the organization on his or her own does not count, but illegal activity orchestrated by the organization does. It is vital, when filing a Form 13909, to be entirely truthful and supply objective evidence of the violation such as a news article from a reputable source or, even better, the organization's own web page that brags about organizing and getting arrested for civil disobedience.

Expel Them From the United States

This is the United States and not some outhouse country where it is legally and socially acceptable to shout down and physically intimidate people with whom we disagree whether the speaker is pro-Israel, pro-Palestinian, pro-choice, pro-life, pro-Trump, or pro-Democrat. International students who illegally disrupt on-campus events (as opposed to lawfully protest them) need to leave and take their uncivilized behavior with them. The Department of State can "prudentially revoke" a visa based on arrest for a crime. The usual context is drunk driving but other alleged crimes, including misdemeanors, also can apparently qualify for a prudential revocation (not legal advice). Law enforcement agencies should therefore report relevant arrests to DHS via Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The elders of PCUSA may have convinced themselves, and believe honestly, that Israel is a colonialist apartheid nation or whatever, and PCUSA and like-minded organizations should therefore undermine the only free nation in the Middle East with legal protections and social acceptance for the same LGBT people and women PCUSA claims to support. We believe similarly that all BDS participants are aiding, albeit through indirect and lawful (non-material) means, terrorists who intend to destroy Israel, and that an organization that aids the enemy should be treated as an enemy through whatever nonviolent and lawful means (Combating BDS Act, boycotts, and Form 13909) are available. The BDS camp can exercise its beliefs, and we will exercise ours.

Civis Americanus is the pen name of an American Thinker contributor who remembers the lessons of history and wants to ensure that our country never needs to learn those lessons again the hard way.

We will start this off with due credit to Air Marshal Sir Arthur Harris for the basic idea. "The enemies of Israel entered this conflict under the rather childish delusion they were going to boycott Israel, and nobody was going to boycott them. Presbyterian Church USA, American Friends Service Committee, Jewish Voice for Peace, and others like them have put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind and now they are going to reap the whirlwind."

The Presbyterian Church USA has not only embraced boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel, it has bleated that "Legislation Penalizing Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) Undermines First Amendment Protections" and cites the Combating BDS Act which "…allows a state or local government to adopt and enforce measures to divest its assets from, prohibit investment of its assets in, or restrict contracting with: (1) an entity that engages in a commerce- or investment-related boycott, divestment, or sanctions activity targeting Israel; or (2) an entity that owns or controls, is owned or controlled by, or is under common ownership or control with such an entity." The legislation, in other words, allows state and local governments to do to entities in the BDS movement exactly what they do to Israel.

The First Amendment says, "Congress shall make no law …abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." This means only that Congress cannot make it a Federal crime to advocate the destruction of Israel, blood libel Israel by accusing it of "genocide" of the Palestinians, suggest that Jews go back to the ovens, call African-Americans the N word, call white people "potential humans" who have yet to evolve, or proclaim that God hates gay people.

The First Amendment does not require Federal, state, and local governments to do business with organizations that boycott Israel any more than it requires them to support Antifa, the Ku Klux Klan, Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam, and similarly repulsive organizations. It does not require them to give public funding to universities that provide the Students for Justice in Palestine with on-campus facilities and resources.

Marginalize and Boycott the BDSers, and 13909 Them

Only one organization in the BDS camp has been accused (in a civil suit, not a criminal charge) of providing material support to terrorists, and the plaintiffs have yet to prove their case. A handful have given verbal support to terroristic violence against Israelis. The rest (including all the organizations named above) do not endorse or condone Palestinian violence in any way, shape, or form. It can be argued, however, that BDS gives non-material and indirect support to the terrorists. Suppose, for example, that an organization had, in 1942, orchestrated a boycott of the United Kingdom but did not advocate violence or Nazism. Most people would conclude nonetheless that the organization was on the Nazi side and shun, marginalize, and boycott it.

The Anti-Defamation League, which is hardly a right-wing organization, says BDS  "…rejects Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state" and "is the most prominent effort to undermine Israel’s existence." Anti-Semitism, as opposed to just anti-Zionism, has been linked to the BDS movement. The UK's Lord Eric Pickles stated that “B.D.S. is anti-Semitic, and should be treated as such," in conjunction with Prime Minister Johnson's anti-BDS initiatives. Even Canada's Justin Trudeau has denounced BDS as anti-Semitic while BDS has also been depicted as racist.  "BDS is not just anti-Semitic, it is racist. Why? Because it singles out a nationality – Israelis – for differential and discriminatory treatment in the international arena."

Individual members of PCUSA, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, American Friends Service Committee, and other churches in the BDS movement, need to consider carefully whether other religious institutions would better meet their spiritual, social, and community needs. PCUSA is, for example, not the only Presbyterian organization in the United States and there are Protestant alternatives to ELCA as well. While it is not part of the BDS movement, the otherwise repulsive Westboro "God Hates Fags" Church is similarly far from the only Baptist church in the U.S.

PCUSA and others say the First Amendment gives them the right to BDS Israel. It also entitles the rest of us who regard terrorism, whether against Jewish children at Ma'alot, Americans and guests of the United States in the Twin Towers on 9/11, U.S. Marines in Beirut, Britons on 7/7, French people in Paris, Danish and Norwegian hikers in Morocco, Hindus in Mumbai, LGBT people in Iran, and peaceful Muslims in Egypt, as evil as Nazism and a cancer to be eradicated from the face of the earth, to marginalize and boycott PCUSA, ELCA, AFSC, JVP, and all organizations like them. Sir Arthur Harris was right: sow the wind, reap the whirlwind.

"To 13909 somebody" means to submit this form to try to get their 501(c)(3) tax exemption revoked. "We don't like them" or "we don't agree with them" is not a reason the IRS will or even should consider. Illegal activities, which include nonviolent but unlawful civil disobedience or disruption, are reasons. Unlawful civil disobedience by a member of the organization on his or her own does not count, but illegal activity orchestrated by the organization does. It is vital, when filing a Form 13909, to be entirely truthful and supply objective evidence of the violation such as a news article from a reputable source or, even better, the organization's own web page that brags about organizing and getting arrested for civil disobedience.

Expel Them From the United States

This is the United States and not some outhouse country where it is legally and socially acceptable to shout down and physically intimidate people with whom we disagree whether the speaker is pro-Israel, pro-Palestinian, pro-choice, pro-life, pro-Trump, or pro-Democrat. International students who illegally disrupt on-campus events (as opposed to lawfully protest them) need to leave and take their uncivilized behavior with them. The Department of State can "prudentially revoke" a visa based on arrest for a crime. The usual context is drunk driving but other alleged crimes, including misdemeanors, also can apparently qualify for a prudential revocation (not legal advice). Law enforcement agencies should therefore report relevant arrests to DHS via Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The elders of PCUSA may have convinced themselves, and believe honestly, that Israel is a colonialist apartheid nation or whatever, and PCUSA and like-minded organizations should therefore undermine the only free nation in the Middle East with legal protections and social acceptance for the same LGBT people and women PCUSA claims to support. We believe similarly that all BDS participants are aiding, albeit through indirect and lawful (non-material) means, terrorists who intend to destroy Israel, and that an organization that aids the enemy should be treated as an enemy through whatever nonviolent and lawful means (Combating BDS Act, boycotts, and Form 13909) are available. The BDS camp can exercise its beliefs, and we will exercise ours.

Civis Americanus is the pen name of an American Thinker contributor who remembers the lessons of history and wants to ensure that our country never needs to learn those lessons again the hard way.