Boycott this!

By Beryl Wajsman on December 14, 2014

So, Concordia’s students have voted in favor of supporting an academic and investment boycott against Israel. The so-called BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions – movement.  ”So what?” you might say. Isn’t this the annual hypocritical regurgitation of the so-called “progressives?” Yes it is. And as always, it requires a response.

A response not because those involved don’t realize their own complicity in lies, but for those who are not so politically involved and may actually think there is legitimacy to this act. A response not to rewrite history, but to remind those involved that the demonization of the Jews is not new and is aligned with the darkest forces of human history. 

These students seek to boycott Israel- the only democracy from the borders of India to the Atlantic coast of the middle rim of this small planet - above all other nations because of its “occupation” of parts of the Palestinian Authority, according to the words of its own resolution. Yet they make no mention that international legal norms allow for occupation by a nation that has been the victim of unprovoked aggression as Israel was that led to the occupation in the first place. 

These students would make their fellows think that this is some kind of crime against humanity when it is not even a crime against law. Yet these same students are silent on the Chinese dictatorship’s total abridgment of human rights and its harvesting of organs of Falun Gong practitioners; numerous Arab states subjugation of women through state sanctioned violence; Iranian and Syrian ethnicide against their minorities; the Sudanese genocide in Darfur; North Korea’s murderous tyranny and Cuba’s continued imprisonment of its people. 

The pro-boycott movement refuses to talk about the fact that Arabs inside Israel have complete civil rights including the recognition of Arabic as an official language. There are Arab judges, diplomats and some 15 members of Parliament including several representing parties dedicated to the break-up of the State of Israel. Jews still cannot get visas to most Arab countries. And these “progressives” never acknowledge that Israel is the only society in the world where more than half the population is affiliated with unions. In most of the Middle East, union leaders are routinely harassed, beaten up and sometimes killed.

The boycotters will not tell you that Israel unilaterally pulled out of Gaza only to face more than 10,000 rocket attacks from Hamas. They will not tell you that Israel has done the same in much of the West Bank, even aiding the Palestinian Authority with 150,000 weapons for its militia and police, which Chairman Abbas has refused to use against Hamas even as Hamas slaughtered his own Fatah followers. No, the boycotters will not tell you of Israel’s constant attempt to strengthen the Palestinians so that Israeli forces can leave knowing there is a strong partner for peace in place.

The boycotters will not tell you that Palestinians living on the West Bank have enshrined in law many of the same equity rights as Israeli citizens. Yes, there are cases where rights of Palestinians have been abrogated by individual Israeli officials. But these are exceptions not the rule and are dealt with sternly by Israeli authorities. The reality is that Israel has extended full medical, educational and social services to the Palestinian population. The infant mortality rate is the lowest in the Arab world, and life expectancy the highest, almost at a par with Israel’s. The rate of those finishing high school in the Palestinian Authority is the highest among Arab societies in the Middle East. Some 30% of the student body of Hebrew University is Palestinian. And Israeli aid to Palestinian universities has resulted in Palestinians having the highest percentage of college graduates of any Arab society. 

These boycotters want Concordia to sever economic and academic ties with Israel. But one wonders if they are prepared to give up the Israeli products and inventions that make the boycotters’ self-indulgent lives possible. Well BDS supporters, we have a message for you: boycott this!

The cell phone was developed in Israel by Israelis working in the Israeli branch of Motorola. Most of the Windows NT and XP operating systems were developed by Microsoft-Israel. The Pentium microprocessor was made in Israel. Voice mail technology was developed in Israel. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. So our suggestion is that these "progressives" first cause themselves a little discomfort and refrain from using all these instruments that allow them to disseminate their disinformation and propaganda. But no, that would be too inconvenient for them. They want their cake and have someone else bake it. 

For the sake of the credibility of Quebec's true progressives, it is time to hear this message out in the open, clearly proclaimed and candidly defended. “We do not acknowledge, we will not abide by, and we will never acquiesce in this infamous act.” In Quebec today, let us resolve not to remain passive when we see the bodyguards of lies on the march.


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Beryl P. Wajsman

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