Why BDS activist Malia Bouattia couldn’t answer Jon Snow’s question on Israel boycott

One of the reasons given by the British government for plans to ban regional boycotts against Israel (BDS) is that such actions specifically targeting the only Jewish state stokes antisemitism in the UK – a fear shared by the overwhelming majority of Jewish Britons.  Indeed, examples abound testifying to the toxic impact of BDS on the lives of non-Israeli Jews.

Moreover, in addition to the real-world antisemitic impact of BDS, many note the glaring moral double standards involved in boycotting Israel, in a manner which evokes the double standards employed against Jews during the long history of antisemitism.  Many ask why the world’s only Jewish majority country (and the one with the best human rights record in the region) is singled out by activists, while the truly odious totalitarian regimes around the world are spared such opprobrium.

Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow alluded to this very point in a question he posed to pro-boycott activist, and NUS Black Students’ Officer, Malia Bouattia, in a segment which focused on the government’s new anti-boycott measures.  

Here’s the clip.

If Bouattia appeared a bit tongue-tied when asked whether she’s willing to consider boycotting the Muslim state of Saudi Arabia, it may be because she’s previously expressed views on the broader subject which would have been impossible to justify to Channel 4 viewers, and which undercuts the moral justification of BDS.  

Specifically, in 2014, Bouattia remarkably argued againstNUS motion to boycott the barbaric jihadists of ISIS, arguing on her Facebook page that such a measure would fuel Islamophobia and serve to demonize Muslims. (Following the row over her remarks about ISIS, she was challenged on this inconsistency by Vice News and gave a similarly muddled and evasive reply.)

So, to recap, Bouattia fears that a boycott of the Muslim terror group ISIS would fuel Islamophobia, yet is apparently breezily unconcerned with the fears of British Jews that boycotts narrowly targeting the progressive democratic Jewish state would incite antisemitism.

87 replies »

  1. She may be on TV just because she is eye-candy with a bad hairdresser (Jon Snow fired newsreader Samira Ahmed for having scruffy hair), but she is a totally incoherent insult to Palywood and UK TV viewers.

    • It’s not a matter of intelligence, since almost all the people involved in the BDS have no real clue about why they are boycotting Israel and Jewish products. The leaders of the movement are Arabs who are merely continuing their fifth column war against Israel, and will put out any media spin they can – lies or partial truths – to keep the fires burning under their blind followers. By keeping their followers brainwashed and blinded to the truth, they have an army of drones to work with. Funding for the BDS organization comes from where, mostly? Arab interests.

      • And it’s so easy to persuade the innocents – ie those who know nothing about the situation – to get involved. Our enemies are experts at it. So until we create wider knowledge of the reality of the situation in the ME, until we start challenging the lies and propaganda of our enemies – reminding the world why Israel is in the West Bank, telling them about the Jordan Israel Treaty and the terms and conditions of the Oslo Accords which allow Israel to build in Area C just as the Palestinians have the right to build in Area A etc etc etc – the rot will continue. The BDS campaign is not about adversely affecting Israel’s economy; it’s about encouraging innocent civilians to take part in a war against Israel with no threat to their safety or comfort. It’s really quite easy to play your part by not buying Israeli dates or Jaffa oranges and feel good about it because you’ve been led to believe that this is helping achieve justice for the poor wee Palestinians,

        And how are our communal leaders fighting back? What resources is the community devoting to fight this battle? Answers on a Post-It note, please.

      • Many BDS people are nothing more than ignorant, arrogant, racist left-wing, western colonists who want to impose their supposedly superior views on the rest of the world. These people are vile and harm society, in the UK they are the sort of people who elected the current Labour leader.

      • By what stretch of imagination could that woman be called “eye candy” you want real eye candy go to any beach in Israel…..

        • She looks similar to many of the women on the beach in Tel Aviv who are of Mizrahi origin before they were made into Israelis.

      • Let me answer the question that perplexes you. The BDS campaign is a Palestinian led one since 2005, and one which people globally are free to support. Boycotting Saudi Arabia for their human rights abuses has not yet happened. As there is no call from civil society within that country, then there is not a boycott campaign against it to support. Sometimes people start their own campaign, but in the case of BDS against Israel it is not a British – Spanish – French, etc. led one but a Palestinian led one.

        John Snow referred to ‘over 60 boycotts’ active at present and then asked why she was supporting one against Israel. If she was there supporting a boycott against China it is very unlikely that he would have asked, ‘and why are you picking on China, why don’t you boycott Israel instead?’

        Merely a tactic.

  2. I think she made the right tactical response in order to support her cause, even though she struggled. It diverted attention away from the question that shows her hypocrisy.

    • The application of double standards. That article, written by you, is a tiresome excuse for demonizing Israel.

        • Yes it’s tiresome Gabriel. You apply fallacious argument to a very serious issue. To put it in context: If someone uses a knife on someone. It’s a criminal offence. Surgeons use knives on people. Ergo, all surgeons are criminals.

          That’s how your article reads to me. I have used an absurd example of what fallacious means.

          Your madricha story has a context and it stays in that context. Antisemitism and racism denigrates nations collectively. So please understand that splitting hairs will only result in split hairs. Nothing more (or less).

            • So-called “double standards?” Have you ever heard of a city called Amristar, Gabriel? It’s in India. There has never been anything equivalent in Israel. Unlike the Palestinians, there were neither weapons, nor human shields on the part of the murdered, Dyer was lauded for “correct actions” and to this day the UK has never issued an apology or made any sort of reparations. Then again, the Brits allow themselves that leniency.

            • Also, a more recent example which is therefore more prevalent in collective memory: did the British really need to firebomb all of Dresden? For that matter, were rockets being fired from German UN-run schools into British towns?

              • Michael, the four main raids on Dresden were between 13th and 15th February 1945 carried out by 722 Bombers of the RAF and 527 Bombers of the USAAF. There were a further three raids, two on 2nd March 1945 and another on 17th April 1945 these were carried out by the USAAF only.

                As the UN did not come into existence until 24th October 1945 there no UN-run schools n Germany at the time.

                Were rockets being fired into British towns? Yes they were.
                The V1 raids started in June 1944 and the V2 raids started in September 1944.
                Was the ‘genius’ behind these deadly rockets hung? No, Von Braun was given a job by our American allies creating their own rockets/space programme.

    • The point which is completely ignored in Gabriel Webber’s article is the double standards argument is not used to justify Israeli policy but to expose the underlying premise of the BDS etc.
      One day it would be nice to read an article or hear him actually supporting Israel and not just read that he is ‘proud to support Israel’.
      Sure doesn’t look like it from here as I’m yet to read anything positive about Israel from him.

    • Israel is no more perfect than any other nation but whatever misdeeds it is guilty of, it is at it’s core a Western-style democracy that gives equal rights to all. How many other Arab countries can you say that about…so the double standard argument is not tiresome when you consider the BDS movement aims to demonize Israel while doing nothing to protest the actions of the terrorists who constantly attack her, the surrounding regimes that do nothing to help the Palestinians, and so on.

      Is it ignorance, hypocrisy or something else?

  3. Stupid ignorant woman. However what do Saudi Arabia or any other Arab country produce that could be boycotted?! Need to remove all Israeli inventions from these states and hypocrites like her and then see how they
    will get on

  4. A question is put, and suddenly she feels she’s ” on trial”!!! Did we get an answer to the question to boycott Saudi or Russia? Of course not, but we did get a lot of ” blah blah”, which reveals a complete lack of commitment to protesting against genuine suffering and exposes the lack of any integrity to opposing human suffering of others and certainly Jews.

    Well spotted and revealing

  5. Saying “it’s not about boycotts, it’s about the *right* to boycott” is like saying “it’s not about discrimination, it’s about the *right* to discriminate”. Those arguments are always made by privileged people who want to discriminate against the oppressed, like shopkeepers who don’t want to serve black or gay customers.

    And, Gabriel, you may be tired of the “double standards” argument, but I assure you that the people treated with a double standard – like Jews, and like the aforementioned blacks and gays – are infinitely more tired of it. A double standard is oppressive in itself. The stop&searches directed by New York police against black teenagers would still be oppressive even if every search were justified, simply because of the racially oppressive nature of double standards directed against blacks. The same goes for double standards directed against Jews and Israel.

    • “The stop&searches directed by New York police against black teenagers would still be oppressive even if every search were justified” –
      what utter nonsense.

  6. Your 1st para is very good indeed. Unfortunately, your 2nd one ridicules itself and is dangerous. If every search was justified, that’s justification in itself. e.g. If every person leaving the Bataclan was not searched bec of fear of potential Islamophobia, how ludicrous, insane and dangerous would that be? (Unless you mean that the NY police searches serve an ulterior motive (eg repression) – then I understand.

  7. BDS Israel? How? Would the boycoteers will not buy Israel high-technology products in various areas of life and will go 50 yeras back?
    If some hater wants to Boycott Israel I’ll be more than happy to help him. Israel haters shouldn’t enjoy her products & innovation such as these, the few:

    But even if some states will give up Israel enterprenour creation and will boycott Israel, first people to be harmly effected will be the Arab Palestinians thjemselves. Because they sell and import goods through Israel, and if that will be effected the economic clash will hit first and in massive way their weak economy. In that case mass waves of Arab immigrants will join the route into Europe for searching a better live for them and their families. In that case it’s not so threatening to Israel if the BDS project will succeed.

  8. If all the Jews moved from the EU/UK who would then foot the bill for these bead beats extravagant social benefits…These unwashed and unemployed dead beats pay no taxes, milk the system spend most of their bitching about something…They detest anyone who is better off than them……Let them stew in their own fetid juices….

  9. She is only showing how stupid she is, give her suport to a group that she does not understand at all…………

  10. No one does a better job in inflaming Islamophobia (whatever the hell that means} than the Muslims themselves,They do an excellent job all on their own…They don’t need our help…