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Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Omar Barghouti's lies in HuffPo

In the Huffington Post, Omar Barghouti argues against an earlier article by Bernard-Henri Levy in order to justify the anti-Israel BDS movement.

It doesn't take very long before one sees that the truth is not exactly Barghouti's strong suit.
The fact is the BDS Call was launched by a great majority in Palestinian civil society on July 9, 2005, as a qualitatively new phase in the global struggle for Palestinian freedom, justice, and self-determination. More than 170 leading Palestinian political parties, trade union federations, women's unions, refugee rights groups, NGOs, and grassroots organizations called for a boycott against Israel until it fully complies with its obligations under international law.
Do the organizations behind the boycott really represent the majority of Palestinian society?

I found the list of organizations that signed on to BDS on the website he cited, and a good number of them are not based in "Palestine" but rather in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Europe and North America. As far as I can see, there is not a single political party on that list. And if all the 170 organizations signed on in 2005, as the website says, then that means that not too many have signed on since then!

The Palestinian Arab organizations that signed onto BDS are a motley crew of trade unions, highly anti-Israel organizations like "Al-Awda" which agitates to destroy Israel completely, and some pseudo-"human rights" organizations like Addameer which inflates the number of Arabs arrested by Israel by at least a factor of a hundred.

Apparently, lying comes naturally to all BDS supporters!

However, the Palestinian Authority does not support BDS. Most Palestinian Arabs consume Israeli goods. I daresay that one will be able to find plenty of Israeli products in the offices of most of the West Bank and Gaza organizations listed.

Not only that, but most Palestinian Arab trade unions don't support BDS! In fact, the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) is explicitly against BDS. (h/t Zach N)

The BDS movement tries to represent itself as being far larger than it is, but if you want a laugh, look at the "Achievements Calendar" on the BDS Movement website.

It is, as far as I can tell, completely empty!

He goes on:

"Rooted in a century-old history of civil, nonviolent resistance ..."

I always laugh when I see this claim made. The liars who say that the Palestinian Arab "resistance" movement was nonviolent usually point to the beginning of the 1936-9 riots, which started with a strike. Of course, that didn't last long, and by the time it was over there were thousands of casualties - most of them Arab, and many of them injured and killed by other Arabs - for not adhering to the strike!

Palestinian Arab terrorism has evolved since then, to airplane hijackings, suicide bombings and shooting rockets at women and children. All of which are supported, implicitly or explicitly, by many of these same "civil society" organizations listed.

Even today, when Palestinian Arabs talk about "non-violent resistance," they include throwing large rocks through the windshields of cars belonging to civilians who happen to pass by the wrong neighborhood.

[T]he BDS National Committee (BNC) [is] anchored in deep respect for international law and universal human rights...
The entire point of the BDS initiative is to deny and destroy the right of the Jewish nation to self-determination. That is its entire raison d'être. To say that is based on human rights is a very bad joke - yet this lie is one that is used repeatedly.

The BDS movement, being strictly rights-based, has consistently avoided taking any position regarding the one-state/two-states debate, emphasizing instead the three basic rights that need to be realized in any political solution. Ending the Israeli occupation that started in 1967 of all Arab territories, ending Israel's system of legalized and institutionalized discrimination against its own Palestinian citizens, and recognizing the UN-sanctioned rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes of origin are the three basic principles of the movement.
There is no UN-sanctioned right for the Palestinian Arabs to "return.' The 1949 UNGA Resolution 194 that they love to use has phraseology that limits this "right," it does not extend to the descendants, it was a General Assembly resolution with no legal weight, and it was roundly rejected by the Arab world anyway. It is simply a BDS and Palestinian Arab lie to take portions of one of its fifteen paragraphs as the holiest of holies while utterly disregarding the rest of the resolution.

Mr. Levy completely misrepresents my position on the matter. Citing a 2003 article of mine, he outlandishly claims that I endorse a "two-Palestines" solution....For more than 27 years, I've consistently and openly advocated a secular, democratic state in the entire area of historic Palestine.
Either way, the point of the BDS movement is to destroy the Jewish state. No two ways about that.

And when Barghouti says "historic Palestine" he is ignoring history and betraying the fact that the BDS movement is only interested in the portions of "historic Palestine" that happens to be controlled by Jews.After all, portions of Jordan were once considered "eastern Palestine" yet not one BDSer will ever insist that Jordan give up its portion of historic Palestine!
The BDS movement against Israel could not care less whether it is a Jewish, Muslim, Catholic or Hindu state; all that matters is that it is a colonial oppressor that persistently denies the Palestinian people their basic rights. Is this too difficult to understand?
If that was remotely the case, then the BDS movement would boycott every single Arab country - because every one of them has discriminatory laws to disallow Palestinian Arabs from becoming fully naturalized citizens of their states. Where are the boycotts of Lebanon? Saudi Arabia? Even Jordan has been systematically taking away Jordanian citizenship from their citizens of Palestinian origin.

Yet the BDS movement is silent on the matter.

The fact that they only call for sanctions against Israel indicates - actually, it proves - that anti-semitism is the root of the entire movement. Not that all of its members consciously realize it or not, but there can be no other explanation.