Tuesday, January 26, 2021

  • Tuesday, January 26, 2021
  • Elder of Ziyon
  • ,
There was a Twitter spat between BDS supporters and Democratic Majority for Israel:



Many people responded to Hill and Omar pointing out quotes from BDS leaders that showed that they oppose the existence of the Jewish state altogether, and the claim that BDS has no position on the ultimate solution is specious since one basic tenet is to support "return" which would flood Israel with Arabs specifically to end it as a Jewish state.

I've also argued that BDS is antisemitic because the BDS movement targets only Jewish owned businesses in Israel and the territories, and ignores those owned by Israeli Arabs.

There is however one other fundamental reason BDS is antisemitic.

The BDSers love to pretend that the movement started in 2005 with a "call from Palestinian civil society."  Pro-Israel groups point out that BDS was a direct result of the antisemitic 2001 UN Conference against Racism, held in Durban.

But BDS comes directly from Arab boycotts of Jews that have been declared for over a hundred years.

The earliest I could find was from 1909 in Hebron, when Arabs there decided to boycott Jewish merchants, followed by another in 1914. The Hebron Jewish community had lived there continuously since Biblical times, so they could hardly be described as Zionist invaders. 

These anti-Jewish boycotts continued through the decades:
Boycotts of Jewish-owned businesses in Mandatory Palestine were organised by Arab leaders starting in 1922 in an attempt to damage the Jewish population of Palestine economically, especially during periods of communal strife between Jews and Arabs.[5] The original boycott forswore with any Jewish-owned business operating in Mandatory Palestine. Palestinian Arabs "who were found to have broken the boycott ... were physically attacked by their brethren and their merchandise damaged" when Palestinian Arabs rioted in Jerusalem in 1929.[6] Another, stricter boycott was imposed on Jewish businesses in following the riots that called on all of the Arabs in the region to abide by its terms. The Arab Executive Committee of the Syrian-Palestinian Congress called for a boycott of Jewish businesses in 1933 and in 1934, the Arab Labor Federation conducted a boycott as well as an organized picketing of Jewish businesses. In 1936, the Palestinian Arab leadership called on another boycott and threatened those who did not respect the boycott with violence
The 1945 Arab League boycott wasn't shy about saying that its targets were Jews. Its declaration stated, "Products of Palestinian Jews are to be considered undesirable in Arab countries."

Even after Israel was reborn, the Arab boycott was explicitly antisemitic. The Saudis and other Gulf Arabs, with their new oil wealth, were eager to use their economic power to boycott not only Israel but even US businesses owned by Jews. (Bnai Brith Messenger, 1956)


This explicitly antisemitic boycott continued through the 1970s (NYT, February 8, 1975)


Arab states were so eager to extend their boycott that they even started threatening any Arabs would would shop at high-end London stores owned by Jews:

Marks and Spencer department stores and Selfridges department store are undeterred by the news that they are to be picketed by patrols trying to enforce a boycott by Arabs because of their Jewish ownership and connections with Israel.

The Arab boycott conference meeting at Aleih, near Beirut, yesterday decided to keep a close watch on Arab visitors abroad. Observers of different Arab nationalities “who can discreetly spot their countrymen” will be posted in front of or inside “blacklisted” stores in Britain and other parts of Europe.
By the turn of the century, the idea of the boycott had already morphed into what looks like BDS nowadays. This 2002 Muslim News article (UK) bridges the antisemitic Arab boycott with the liberal language of BDS - three years before BDS was supposedly "launched." 

Even BDS adherents acknowledge that the movement is related to the previous Arab boycotts. This 169-page white paper hosted on the BDSMovement site goes through the history of Arab boycotts, carefully excising any mention of "Jews" as the target and pretending that the boycott began only after Israel's establishment.  

BDS did not sprout from out of nowhere. It came directly from this explicitly and proudly antisemitic background. Erasing the word "Jewish" from their literature doesn't make it any less antisemitic than it was in the 1920s, 1940s and 1970s. 








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