1) End its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 –
let’s not even go back to how Israel obtained these lands, let’s just remember that in 2005, with great anguish, all of Gaza was returned to Arab control and instead of building a thriving society, the infrastructure left to them was dismantled and huge amounts of funds provided to them were used to wage war on Israel rather than assist their people;
2) Dismantle the Wall –
this security wall, which in most places is a fence not a wall, has reduced terrorism and suicide bombers inside Israel by estimates of 90% ;
3) Recognize the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality –
Arab-Israelis already have full rights as they are citizens. Since 1948, the founding of the State of Israel, every Knesset has had Arab and Druze members. All Knesset transactions are translated into Arabic and members of the Knesset may address the body in Arabic which is an official language of the country. Arabs are allowed to observe their own day of rest and holidays rather than follow the Jewish calendar for work purposes, an option we don’t even have in the United States. Arab-Palestinians are not citizens and therefore not entitled to full rights anymore than non citizens of any country; and
4) Respect, protect and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in the UN Resolution 194-
Aside from the lack of quid-pro-quo, i.e., Jews returning to Arab lands in which they had lived for 2000 years, the return of second, third and fourth generations would change the demographic of Israel from a Jewish state to another Arab state.
Hence, the problem with BDS is that there is no recognition of the reality on the ground, and there is no call for equity between the parties, i.e., for the Palestinians to uphold their part of the agreement. A contract requires two sides to negotiate and two sides to act. Where is the call for Palestinian fulfillment of obligations such as recognition of the right of the State of Israel to exist as a Jewish state?
What is our job given the latest assault on Israel? 1) Listen to the media hype. Be mindful of language, something we’ve talked about often in our discussions on Tanakh. What is the bias behind the words? Are the people launching mortars and rockets on one side patriots but on the other side depicted as evil and inappropriate? Is the land ‘Palestine’, ‘Israel’, ‘occupied territories’ or ‘illegal settlements’? Check the source. Do they still quote from Blackstone when Blackstone himself has repudiated the report? Do they continue to bring up the Jenin canard which has been disproven? I recently was on a website that spoke about how Israel was trying to drive a wedge between the Christians and the Muslims who had “been on the same side of history since theirs days in the Crusades”. Revisionist history is a big clue that you can dismiss the message and most likely the messenger.
The PCUSA used a ‘study guide’ developed and promoted by virulently anti-Jewish and anti-Israel church agencies called “Zionism Unsettled.” With very little digging, the pro-Palestinian bent of their materials could be obtained from the website for the BDS movement. Therein one finds, “Israel’s on-going actions are designed to terrorise Palestinians and constitute collective punishment. Military violence, collective punishment and the deliberate targeting of civilians are endemic to Israel’s decades old system of occupation, colonisation and apartheid.” - http://www.bdsmovement.net/2014/israel-must-be-held-accountable-for-its-collective-punishment-of-palestinians, 7.7.14
Israel is more cautious than any military about targeting only those in its site and not family members or innocent neighbors. A major difficulty is that Hamas uses human shields and places their weaponry in civilian areas. Of course, accidents happen, but the IDF goes out of its way to warn people when a building will be attacked or brought down so they can evacuate. In stark contrast, Hamas seeks maximum damage by targeting civilian areas.
Therefore, when Jews used terrorist torture tactics against Muhammad Abu-Khdeir, they lost their moral center and their ability to tout the Israeli code of war which is so far and above any other fighting code. Even under threat of a third Intifada, with 300 rockets firing down on six million civilians, the most populous cities in Israel set as the targets, Israel continued to drive 130 trucks daily across the borders to provide humanitarian aid to the people in Gaza and to transfer funds for electricity, fuel and water into the region lobbing these shells at her. She does this knowing that Hamas will utilize this aid to subsidize their continued fighting against Israel.
As for the apartheid lie, I already debunked it in my answer to full rights. As if that were not sufficient, in Israel Arab women have the same status as Arab men. In how many Arab states can that be said? Arabs, Jews, Christians, Druze, go to school together, shop in the same stores, eat in the same restaurants, work side by side, ride the same buses and are treated in the same hospitals. Whoever uses this term does not know the meaning of the word or degrades the experience of true apartheid.
When the media shows the two sides as comparable or worse, Israel as the oppressor, it is up to us to put the record straight. We need to be Israel’s ambassadors. Israel is not perfect, I have plenty of complaints, but she is not an apartheid state. She is a democracy and she is the only state where Jews can seek refuge. For American Jews, Israel is our other home.
BDS is a bad decision. It may strain relationships here and it is not going to help solve the Israel-Palestinian situation.