I’ve been aware of the BDS Movement against Israel for at least 10 years. What I didn’t realize was how few Americans knew about BDS, so I started asking a few weeks ago, and not one person I asked was aware of the BDS Movement.
So ….. BDS stands for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. It is an international Palestinian-led movement that calls for the Boycott of Israeli businesses and education. It is a movement that began in 2005 and is gaining momentum on many US college campuses.
There is a direct correlation between the BDS events on college campuses and anti-Semitic actions and hate-speech. As a result of thousands of college professors endorsing BDS, students and faculty have lost funding and research opportunities. Thirty-eight schools have approved BDS resolutions. Fifty-four schools have rejected such resolutions. Only five have endorsed BDS resolutions at least two times condemning Israel: Michigan Dearborn, UC San Diego, UC Riverside, UC Davis and UC Berkley.
In Israel, farms are burned, recently by incendiary kites sent across the Palestinian border into Israeli farm country at the time of harvest to burn down their crops. This has been devastating to local craftsmen of cheeses, honey, jewelry, etc.
In various locations, BDS harasses shop owners to close and move; Israeli products are pulled from shelves and thrown away or burned. There are name brands that BDS supporters want us to ban: Sabra Hummus, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot is Israeli), iPhone, Skype, iPads, MacBook, Microsoft XP. Pampers, Victoria Secret (textile factories in the West Bank), Volvo (providing equipment to bulldoze Palestinian homes and buses to transport Palestinian inmates), Intel (who has invested $10 billion in Israel and its plants where its processors are found in 80% of the world’s computers) The list goes on ad infinitum.
As I had written in a previous article (The Playground), “. . . humanitarian aid given by the Israelis to Gaza residents. Anywhere from 850 to 6,000 truckloads of food, construction materials, cooking gas, and medical supplies enter Gaza. At the same time, Israel allows up to 100 truckloads per month of strawberries, bell peppers, and flowers to be exported from Gaza to Israel to help the Gaza economy, and 250 to 1,500 Gaza residents are allowed into Israel for medical help or to accompany a patient. A program of 500 Israeli volunteers meet the Gaza patients and their family member at the Erez Crossing to escort them safely to the hospitals. This provides a measure of protection and assurance to the Palestinians.”
What is really sad is that as the Palestinian-led BDS movement wants to hurt Israel, it is in fact hurting Palestinians in Israel. The businesses that are targeted in Israel have employed large numbers of Palestinians at a higher rate than they can get by working in Palestine. These jobs also created more tax revenue for the Palestinian Authority. They are hurting their own cause by continuing the BDS Movement. ■
— Loraine Joy is a small business owner and Arbuckle resident. Contact Loraine at firstname.lastname@example.org.