Guardian

The Guardian’s moment of clarity on Israel’s refusal to allow Tlaib/Omar entry.


By Richard Millett

As expected The Guardian published two full blown rants over the weekend concerning Israel’s refusal to allow congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib to enter Israel due to their public support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS).

The Guardian’s editorial called barring their entry “a bad day for Israel, and a worse one for the US” while Emma Goldberg called it a ploy “to quiet anti-occupation activism”.

So far, so Guardian.

However, a piece by Oliver Holmes explaining why Tlaib had rejected Israel’s humanitarian offer to visit her grandmother had a moment of unexpected clarity when Holmes writes:

“The BDS movement seeks to end the Israeli occupation in the Palestinian territories and discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel, who account for almost a fifth of the population. It also demands that Israel allow several million Palestinian refugees and their families to return to their homes.

Israel argues the movement is antisemitic and seeks to dismantle Israel as a Jewish state by reducing its Jewish majority.” (emphasis added)

It’s rare to see Israel’s argument laid out in any news article let alone in The Guardian. Holmes shows that Israel’s refusal to allow Tlaib and Omar entry isn’t simply “to quiet anti-occupation activism”.

While it is valid for Tlaib and Omar to discuss how to end the so-called “occupation” and how to end any discrimination in Israel, not just that related to Israeli-Arabs, the BDS Movement’s demand that “Israel allow several million Palestinian refugees and their families to return to their homes” is the reason why Israelis and diaspora Jews should feel reassured that Tlaib and Omar have been barred entry to Israel.

This so-called Palestinian right of return would “dismantle Israel as a Jewish state” by reducing Jews to a minority in Israel. Jews worldwide would be plunged back into a pre-Holocaust situation of having nowhere to escape to should the need arise again. (This point is irrespective of the fact that most Palestinains have never lived in Israel and, therefore, have no “right of return” anyway.)

As you can see from the BDS website, below, the Movement would like 7.25 million Palestinians to enter Israel:

This demand speaks volumes for the BDS Movement’s real concerns. It isn’t a concern for Palestinians because, on the premise that Israelis would resist removal of their Jewish national self-determination, there would be bloodshed on both sides.

At its core the BDS Movement seeks the annihilation of Israel, so there really is nothing for Israel to discuss with Tlaib and Omar except the size of the coffins Israelis and Palestinians should be buried in. The Guardian should point this out to its readers more emphatically so they get the full picture.

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3 replies »

  1. What needs to be pointed out repeatedly and emphatically is that the BDS movement is based on lies and distortions. Your point about the “right of return” arising out of a non-binding multi-pronged UN resolution unanimously rejected by the Arab states, is just one of several. There is no such general principle in international law. If it were, then UNHCR would have the same definition for “refugee” as UNRWA (one making the status inheritable over the generations) and would look to repatriate rather than resettle – as that last option would violate the “refugee’s” right.

    Only once was there a “right of return” enshrined by legally binding international agreement. And it should come as no surprise that, like it or not, this was a right given by the League of Nations exclusively to the Jewish people in the Mandate for Palestine of 1922.

    If BDS were truly concerned with Palestinian rights, it would be supporting them regardless of the identity of their persecutors. Of course, that never happens and so their legal apartheid continues in Lebanon, their wholesale murder and displacement continues in Syria and their general discrimination continues in much if not all of the Arab world unremarked and unlamented by these self-proclaimed social justice warriors. The lone focus is Israel and the standard to which it is held applies uniquely to it. No wonder the German Parliament recently declared BDS to be an antisemitic organization. Given that country’s past, they should know whereof they speak.

    Recently, we have seen what one can only hope is the beginning of a shift in reporting which should eventually culminate in the accurate description of BDS’ true goal, one which its founders have never shied away from articulating: the end of Jewish self-determination in the region. For example, The NY Times is in this transitional phase and rather than describing simply BDS as a non-violent group seeking to end the “Occupation”, it now cites that as “among its goals”. While I hate to reach for this particular analogy, I will for effect given the potential annihilationist endgame: this partial statement would be like describing highway building as “among the goals” of the Nazi party. It may be technically accurate but it remains profoundly misleading.

    To me, the real question arising from the post-WWI territorial settlement of the former Middle East holdings of the Ottoman Empire in which 99.75% of the lands are today ruled by Arabs, the immediately preceding imperial conquerors, should not be “why do the Jewish people get their own state?” but “why don’t any of the region’s other indigenous people get theirs?” Viewed in that light, BDS is just a weapon, crafted to appeal to credulous and ill-informed Westerners, to restore the Arab settler-colonialist imperial project and victimize the conquered yet again.

  2. “This demand speaks volumes for the BDS Movement’s real concerns.”
    Yes, Richard. It’s the same demand the Arabs have been making since Israel’s independence, i.e., that it cease to exist at all and be and Arab/Muslim dominated state by any name really but Israel.

    “This point [“right of return”] is irrespective of the fact that most Palestinains have never lived in Israel and, therefore, have no “right of return” anyway.”
    We can add to that that their ancestors claimed Palestine was but a Zionist scheme.
    When you strip it down to its essence, it again becomes Arabs wanting the only small strip of non-Arab land that exists there to be Arab.
    Holmes et al constantly tell us of “Palestinian land” whereas Israel at least concedes that this land which it probably has the better legal claim to is disputed. This again illustrates the conquering Koranic maximalist mind set of the Pal Arabs blindly supported by their Western leftish friends juxtaposed to the fairer compromising nature of Israel which wants peace.