Anti-Israeli boycotts are anti-Semitic

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Anti-Israeli boycotts are anti-Semitic

The excuses peddled by many of the organisations and groups that boycott Israel are nothing but a cloak with which to disguise their entrenched anti-Semitic views, says Tamir Wertzberger.

“…The neighbourhood bully just lives to survive

He’s criticized and condemned for being alive

He’s not supposed to fight back, he’s supposed to have thick skin

He’s supposed to lay down and die when his door is kicked in

He’s the neighbourhood bully

The neighbourhood bully been driven out of every land

He’s wandered the earth an exiled man

Seen his family scattered, his people hounded and torn

He’s always on trial for just being born

He’s the neighbourhood bully…”

This song, ‘neighbourhood bully’, was written by 2016 Literature Nobel Prize laureate Bob Dylan in 1983, about the state of Israel and its struggle against its enemies.

Growing up we learnt at school that bullying or boycotting someone is considered violence and deeply wrong, and that we must be a more accepting and tolerant society, but what happens when we are talking about entire countries on an international level? Is boycott a legitimate tool to put pressure on some governments, as BDS (Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement) and other anti-Israeli organisations claim, or is it just another way of demonizing and hurting specific groups, with racial motivations?

To answer that question first, we need to ask – what is the aim?

History is full of examples of sanctions from the international community towards one state, but these sanctions were always directed towards a non-democratic state, and always turned only against that country’s regime, not the citizens themselves.

So, if you ask the boycott Israel movements and activists what they are trying to achieve they will of course tell you that they are trying “to stop the Israeli occupation”. If this is what they are asking for, for what they see as a human rights violation to stop, why are they calling to boycott every corner of Israel and every Israeli, and why do they threaten Jews in general, wherever on earth they may be?

The answer is very simple – none of the boycott Israel movements and organisations believe in the “two state solution” or in any other solution that involves the existence of a Jewish state. They simply want to see the state of Israel disappear, and their strategy is to present Israel – a democratic state – and all the Israeli citizens and generally Jewish people as the most evil creation on earth, because only the most evil country or people in the world wouldn’t deserve the right to exist. And if you don’t have the right to exist, nobody will care how many suicide bombers or rockets hit you. They use the worst terminologies from the worst regimes in the history of humanity, such as “apartheid”, “fascists” or even “ethnic cleansing” and “holocaust” and apply them to Israel, without any connection to facts and truth.

These movements and organisations calling to boycott Israel represent nothing less than pure anti-Semitism and hatred, and we must always remember that even the holocaust under the Nazi regime started with a boycott on Jews in 1933. Boycott is violence; boycotting Israel is Anti-Semitism.

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  • Tamir Wertzberger
    Tamir Wertzberger
    Tamir Wertzberger is a reserves captain and intelligence officer in the Israeli army and International Relations Coordinator in the Likud party. He is also a Vice-Chairman of the International Young Democrat Union and a Vice-Chairman of the European Young Conservatives. Currently studying for a BA in political science and the middle east, he lives in a village in the north of Israel and has over 6 years experience in Israeli advocacy and diplomacy and the struggle against Anti-Semitism.
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