Fighting for the oppressed demonstrates kindness, integrity, and compassion. It is rewarding, but most importantly it is a crucial civic duty. When given an opportunity to help, many people would take a break in their self-absorbed lives to be a part of that fight for change. However, the important question one must ask is whether or not we are fighting for the right thing. In today’s day and age, we see much more people on the far ends of the political spectrum. Putting aside many atrocities of the far right, I am taking the time to acknowledge the far left. The modern Liberal and Democratic parties emphasize social equality and equal opportunity. They support voting rights and minority rights, including LGBT rights along with many others. With all the evolving changes in our society for the greater good, we have unfortunately seen some negative aspects as well — specifically the rise of anti-Semitism. The far left has reintegrated anti-Semitism into society by hiding behind supposed “human rights”. More specifically, I should say by hiding behind the BDS movement — a movement that supports boycotts, divestments, and economic sanctions against Israel.
In today’s society, it is very tough for people to be public anti-Semites, for the main reason that that kind of ideology fortunately went out of fashion with the destruction of the Third Reich. It’s unfashionable to hate Jews simply on a religious basis. However, it has become fashionable to hate Jews using the excuse of their statehood, nationality, and willingness to defend their borders — all of what the BDS movement stands by. For those reasons, it becomes apparent that anti-Zionism is indeed cut from the same cloth as anti-Semitism. It is the anti-Semitism of our modern day constructed under the premise of fighting for the oppressed — the Palestinians.
Over the last few years, we have seen that university campuses have been the primary targets of the BDS movement. There are repeated votes for the adoption of the movement all around the world. Where many votes for the motion fail, a handful still pass. The main reason for this is because we, as nurturing, caring human beings are constantly learning to fight for what is right, fight for those who cannot fight for themselves, stand up for the underdog, and help the oppressed. Our initial instinct is to do what is right, and when people all around you are painting Israel out to be this big, bad wolf who oppresses Palestinians, well people who don’t have any further knowledge of the matter go ahead and vote for BDS. So, the people who made it fashionable to be anti-Zionists are collecting more and more people on this basis and in turn fostering anti-Semitism.
Moving along, it is extremely important to understand what is actually happening. To compare Israel to apartheid South Africa as BDS does, immensely distorts reality and belittles the inconceivable struggles of those who suffered during the South African apartheid. As currently seen in Israel, Palestinians can vote, be elected to government, and serve on the Supreme Court. In addition, Arab doctors work alongside Jewish doctors in Israeli hospitals. All of this would be unthinkable in South Africa under apartheid. To say that Israel has no faults would be wrong as all countries do, but it is nothing like South Africa before 1994.
It is important to acknowledge the oppression and suffering of Palestinians and it is important to criticize and question government policies. Nonetheless, the main question that has to be acknowledged is who is the main contributor of this suffering? The blame is always completely and entirely placed upon Israel, but what about Hamas? What about the terrorist group that is in control of the entire Gaza Strip? Hamas uses their civilians as human shields. They use their money and resources for missiles and weapons and abandon their citizens well-being. Meanwhile, Israel has even treated Palestinian terrorists in their own hospitals. A Palestinian terrorist once rammed into a whole crowd of people in Jerusalem, killing a 3-month-old baby. He was shot in order to be stopped and then treated for his wounds inside an Israeli hospital. So, for those who argue the treatment of the Palestinians by Israelis is unfair, think twice. Perhaps address all the Palestinian terrorist groups that cause this situation to be so increasingly terrible.
So, if you think that voting in favor of the BDS movement is accomplishing anything other than reintegrating anti-Semitism into society, you are mistaken. If you want to make a difference and be a part of real change, then acknowledge the real oppressors, Hamas. Help stop a terrorist group from dictating over Palestinian families, robbing them of their basic freedoms. Help stop a terrorist group from endlessly attacking innocent Palestinians and Israelis. Finally, help stop a terrorist group from teaching Palestinian children that to be a hero you have to kill a Jew.
The last point that will be made to prove the illegitimacy and absurdness of the BDS movement is the following: Israel is the only democracy in the entire Middle East. To demonize and delegitimize the one single democracy in an area surrounded by dictatorships and terrorist organizations should be the first red flag.