Don’t believe the Guardian. BDS is neither progressive nor non-violent

We recently posted about a motion passed by the executive council of the National Union of Students (the confederation of 600 students’ unions in the UK) to boycott Israel – one which, quite remarkably, followed a decision by the NUS last year to reject a motion condemning ISIS. Though it has almost no practical impact on the state, the anti-Israel vote comes amidst a broader recognition by commentators, pro-Israel activists and Israeli politicians of the unique strategic challenges posed by the BDS movement.

The Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent Peter Beaumont published a piece yesterday focusing on BDS and recent comments by Prime Minister Netanyahu calling out the movement for its hypocrisy and malevolence (Israel brands Palestinian-led boycott movement a ‘strategic threat’, June 3).

In a manner similar to the Guardian’s whitewashing of the extremist student group Students for Justice in Palestine that we commented on recently, Beaumont wants his readers to believe that the BDS Movement is a benign, “non-violent”, progressive, grassroots human-rights movement.

The non-violent grassroots [BDS] movement, founded with the support of dozens of Palestinian organisations, is modelled on South African anti-apartheid campaigns and calls for an end to the occupation, equality for Palestinian citizens of Israel, and a resolution for Palestinian refugees of 1948.

Israeli critics point to the call for a right to return and the opposition of some leaders of the movement to a two-state solution – which they describe as a “mistake” – as evidence that BDS is antisemitic.

The latest rhetoric was immediately condemned by [Omar] Barghouti, who dismissed the recent moves as a “panic-driven, racist and patently propagandistic Israeli attack on the movement”.

He told the Guardian: “Placing a non-violent human rights movement that seeks freedom, justice and equality on par with the so-called Iranian ‘nuclear capacity’ as a ‘first-rate strategic threat’ – as Israeli president Reuven Rivlin announced a few days ago or as the new minister of strategic affairs and public security in the far-right Israeli government Gilad Erdan tweeted on his first day on the job – reflects Israel’s failure in hindering the fast growth of BDS.

“It also betrays Israel’s inherent inability to face such popular, anti-racist, human rights-based and nonviolent challenges to its regime of oppression.”

First, leaders of the BDS Movement such as Barghouti, a student at Tel Aviv University and founding member of the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI), contrary to Beaumont’s claim, have indeed advocated for violence.

Here are two quotes:

“[Palestinians have a right to] resistance by any means, including armed resistance. [Jews] aren’t indigenous just because you say you are….[Jews] are not a people…the UN’s principle of the right to self-determination applies only to colonized people who want to acquire their rights. ”

Omar Barghouti


“International law does give people under occupation the right to resist in any way, including armed resistance.” Omar Barghouti (4:08)

Additionally, what Beaumont describes as the opposition, by “some leaders” of the movement, such as Barghouti, to a two-state solution is, in more plain language, the opposition to the continued existence of a Jewish state within any borders.

Here are a few quotes from Barghouti on his solution to the ‘Zionist problem’.

Going back to the two-state solution, besides having passed its expiry date, it was never a moral solution to start with.We are witnessing the rapid demise of Zionism, and nothing can be done to save it, for Zionism is intent on killing itself. I, for one, support euthanasia.“ -Omar Bargouti


“Good riddance! The two-state solution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is finally dead. But someone has to issue an official death certificate before the rotting corpse is given a proper burial and we can all move on and explore the more just, moral and therefore enduring alternative for peaceful coexistence between Jews and Arabs in Mandate Palestine: the one-state solution.” -Omar Bargouti


“(The one state solution means) a unitary state, where, by definition, Jews will be a minority.” -Omar Bargouti


“I am completely and categorically against bi-nationalism because it assumes that there are two nations with equal moral claims to the land.” -Omar Bargouti


“A Jewish state in Palestine in any shape or form cannot but contravene the basic rights of the indigenous Palestinian population and perpetuate a system of racial discrimination that ought to be opposed categorically….Definitely, most definitely we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine. No Palestinian, rational Palestinian, not a sell-out Palestinian, will ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine.” Omar Barghouti [5:50]

So, quite clearly, Barghouti does NOT oppose violence and stands firmly against any solution to the conflict other than the complete end of Jewish sovereignty in their ancestral homeland.

Additionally, what so many far-left journalists like Beaumont don’t tell their readers is that Jews, who fully understand the painful lessons learned by thousands of years of statelessness, powerlessness and victimhood would ferociously resist efforts to strip them of their hard-fought national rights.

Any attempt to impose a one-state solution on Israel, where Jews would become a minority in an Arab majority state, is, in reality, a recipe for war and unimaginable violence.

Don’t believe the Guardian. BDS, at its core, is not a Palestinian “human rights campaign” in the traditional sense of the term. It is a politically regressive, ideologically extreme movement which seeks a violent final solution to the Jewish problem in the Middle East. 

11 replies »

  1. We know how this movie ends. Anything with talk of solutions generally ends badly for the Jews.

  2. I wouldn’t believe Der Guardian if it claimed that day follows night.
    And Bargouti is one of the worst bigots and hypocrites on the planet. No wonder, then, that Der Guardian staff have ‘excited’ dreams about him.

  3. If Israel was the repressive regime that Beaumont portrays he wouldn’t be able to carp his propaganda based in Jerusalem.

    • These imbeciles are incapable of grasping this incompatibility. They don’t have enough brain cells.

    BDS is BS. Expose Barghouti.
    September 29, 2013

    Omar Barghouti, the Qatari-born, Egyptian-raised Jordanian citizen and founder of the anti-Israel BDS (“Boycott Divestment Sanctions”) movement, likes to lie and claim that BDS is about fighting “oppression”.

    He likes to lie that slandering Israel, the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, is somehow helping “human rights”. He likes to hide the fact that Israeli Arabs and Palestinians under Israel have far more rights than he will ever have in Qatar, Egypt or Jordan – or any Arab state. But sometimes, he exposes his real agenda:

    “We oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine…
    No Palestinian… who is not a sell out… will ever accept a Jewish state in ‘Palestine.’” – BDS Founder, Omar Barghouti

    BDS’ goal is to destroy the indigenous Jewish right to self determination. It is about destroying the democratic rights of all the Arabs, Jews and other ethnicity that today enjoy Israel’s democracy.

    BDS’ goal is to destroy Israel and replace it with another Arab state, and to make Jews as “safe” as the Christians being exterminated in Egypt and Syria and Gaza – the “One State” final solution.

    Paul McCartney: They Threatened to Kill Me if I Played in Israel
    Artists who perform in Israel aren’t just worried about selling tickets, but about their safety, as they are targeted by BDS groups.
    By David Lev
    First Publish: 7/10/2013

    When rock legend Paul McCartney came to Israel in 2008, he was, at least to some extent, taking his life in his hands. Not because of Israel’s sometimes precarious security situation, but because he was threatened by BDS (boycott, divest, and sanction) anti-Israel groups. “I got death threats, but I’m coming anyway,” the singer was quoted as saying by Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs researcher Adam Shay.

    “I got explicit death threats, but I have no intention of surrendering. I refuse to cancel my performances in Israel,” Shay quoted McCartney as saying.

    The former Beatle is not alone.

    Dozens of other artists who schedule dates in Israel are lobbied, bullied, threatened, and even attacked at concerts by anti-Israel groups who are bent on isolating Israel culturally, as well as economically. Many artists, said Shay, claimed that their web sites have been attacked by hackers right before theirIsraeli concerts.

    Alicia Keys, who recently played a concert here last week, supplies the latest example of intimidation faced by artists who play Israel. Several of her fellow singers – notably Elvis Costello and Roger Waters – urged her to cancel, calling Israel an “apartheid state,” and Keys’ Facebook page was littered with condemnations of her on the day of the concert. Costello himself cancelled a concert in Israel in 2010, as did Carlos Santana, after being hectored by anti-Israel groups. Other notables who have cancelled planned concerts in Israel are Jon Bon Jovi, the Yardbirds, Joe Lynn Turner, and the Pixies. Spanish singer Paco Ibanez went one better, telling a French newspaper that he is boycotting the Hebrew language, which he can speak, for political reasons.

    But despite the pressure and threats, there are many artists who continue to play Israel. In the past month, rock bands Deep Purple and the Pet Shop Boys have held concerts in Israel, and American artist Rihanna is scheduled to take her second tour here in October. And of course, there was Madonna.

    Many of these artists, Shay said, decided to perform in Israel despite the threats. “When singer Moby was interviewed on Army Radio shortly before he performed in Israel, he said that the intensity of the attacks against him before he came to Israel made him suspect that this wasn’t an objective movement that was concerned with people’s welfare, but with something dark and dubious.” Unfortunately, though, “most artists just don’t want to deal with it. It’s much easier for them to release a statement that they won’t be appearing in Israel ‘for reasons of conscience’ rather than to say their lives are being threatened and they’re frightened.”

  6. Some specifics proving Palestinian Arabs not indigenous
    The Muslim Colonists: Forgotten Facts about the Arab-Israeli Conflict
    by Ezequiel Doiny
    August 15, 2014

    The Yazidi in Iraq and the Christian Copts in Egypt are not “occupiers” or “settlers;” neither are the Jews in Israel. They are both victims of a common enemy that seems to want a Middle East free of non-Muslims.

    The current Palestinian narrative is that all Muslims in Palestine are natives and all Jews are settlers. This narrative is false. There has been a small but almost continuous Jewish presence in Palestine since the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome two thousand years ago, and, as we will see, most of the Muslims living in Palestine when the state of Israel was declared in 1948 were Muslim colonists from other parts of the Ottoman Empire who had been resettled and living in Palestine for fewer than 60 years.

    There are two important historical events usually overlooked in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

    One is the use that Muslim rulers made of the jizya (a discriminatory tax imposed only on non-Muslims, to “protect” them from being killed or having their property destroyed) to reduce the quantity of Jews living in Palestine before the British Mandate was instituted in 1922. The second were the incentives by the Ottoman government to relocate displaced Muslim populations from other parts of the Ottoman Empire in Palestine.

    Until the late 1800s entire ancient Jewish communities had to flee Palestine to escape the brutality of Muslim authorities. As Egyptian historian Bat Ye’or writes in her book, The Dhimmi:

    “The Jizya was paid in a humiliating public ceremony in which the non-Muslim while paying was struck in the head. If these taxes were not paid women and children were reduced to slavery, men were imprisoned and tortured until a ransom was paid for them. The Jewish communities in many cities under Muslim Rule was ruined for such demands. This custom of legalized financial abuses and extortion shattered the indigenous pre-Arab populations almost totally eliminating what remained of its peasantry… In 1849 the Jews of Tiberias envisaged exile because of the brutality, exactions, and injustice of the Muslim authorities. In addition to ordinary taxes, an Arab Sheik that ruled Hebron demanded that Jews pay an extra five thousand piastres annually for the protections of their lives and property. The Sheik threatened to attack and expel them from Hebron if it was not paid.”

    The Muslim rulers not only kept the number of Jews low through discriminatory taxes, they also increased the Muslim population by providing incentives for Muslim colonists to settle in the area. Incentives included free land, 12 years exemption from taxes and exemption from military service.

    Bat Ye’or continues:

    “By the early 1800s the Arab population in Palestine was very little (just 246,000) it was in the late 1800s and early 1900s that most Muslim Colonists settled in Palestine because of incentives by the Ottoman Government to resettle displaced Muslim populations because of events such as the Austro-Hungarian Occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Crimean War and World War 1. Those events created a great quantity of Muslim Refugees that were resettled somewhere else in the Ottoman Empire… In 1878 an Ottoman law granted lands in Palestine to Muslim colonists. Muslim colonists from Crimea and the Balkans settled in Anatolia, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine.”

    Justin McCarthy, a professor of history at the University of Louisville, writing in his Annotated Map, “Forced Migration and Mortality in the Ottoman Empire,” also notes that there were about five million Muslims displaced due to the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Crimean War, Balkan wars, the Turkish war of independence and World War I.

    Sergio DellaPergola, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in his paper “Demography in Israel/Palestine: Trends, Prospects and Policy Implications,” provides estimates of the population of Palestine in different periods. As the demographic data below shows, most Muslims living in Palestine in 1948 when the State of Israel was created had been living there for fewer than 60 years:

    1890: Arab Population 432,000

    1947: Arab Population 1,181,000

    Growth in Arab population from 1890 to 1947: 800,000

    The Yazidi in Iraq and the Christian Copts in Egypt are not “settlers” and “occupiers;” neither are the Jews in Israel. They are victims of a common enemy that seems to want a Middle East free of non-Muslims.