Activists who target Israel with boycotts do so because they have a “vision of a world without Israel,” renowned Israeli author Yossi Klein Halevi wrote in an op-ed Wednesday in The Los Angeles Times.
Yossi Klein Halevi, a National Jewish Book Award winner for his nonfiction book Like Dreamers, denounced the anti-Israel boycott movement (commonly known as BDS) as “immoral and a threat to peace.” The immorality stems from their claim that the blame for the lack of peace between Israel and the Palestinians should be placed solely on Israel, despite “the repeated rejection by Palestinian leaders of peace plans presented over the decades.” The movement is also immoral because it absolves the Palestinians for running education systems that denies Israel’s right to exist.
The BDS movement’s push for the Palestinian “right of return” seeks to “destroy Jewish sovereignty” by overwhelming the Jewish state with Arab refugees, Klein Halevi wrote. The activists who promote these ideas make no pretense of supporting a two-state solution, but rather “would press on until Israel was erased from the map,” even if Israel made every single concession demanded by the Palestinians.
At the heart of the BDS movement’s ideology is the belief that Israel is “an illegitimate, colonialist state,” transplanted from Europe into the heart of the Middle East. But that belief denies 4,000 years of Jewish history in the land now known as Israel. Another factor ignored by the BDS movement is that the majority of Israeli Jews have roots that go back not to Europe, but to other Middle Eastern lands from which they were expelled when the state of Israel was founded.
Klein Halevi pointed out that the BDS movement has made little real headway in isolating Israel economically—in fact, foreign investment in Israel has nearly tripled since the beginning of the campaign. But the threat of BDS is that it “creates an atmosphere in which Israel is solely to blame for the failure of peace between Jews and Arabs, and it negates the very idea of a nation-state for the Jewish people.” Consequently, “the movement to criminalize Israel is itself a crime.”
BDS doesn’t seek to solve anything but to delegitimize, and ultimately destroy, Israel, Klein Halevi concluded, meaning that “it is the BDS movement that must be exposed and ostracized for its bigotry and hatred.”
Tower editor David Hazony profiled Klein Halevi in Of Utopian Dreamers and the Israeli Spirit, published in the October 2013 issue of The Tower Magazine. Former member of Knesset Einat Wilf reviewed Like Dreamers for the magazine in The Search for a Single Zionist Story, published in April 2014.
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Source: United with Israel