In perhaps one of the most audacious misuses of “journalism,” noted anti-Semite Max Blumenthal (son of Hillary BFF Sidney Blumenthal) has published a 4-part series on how Israel and the Jewish lobby in the United States is attempting to shut down college debate. For a liberal to comment on shutting down college free speech takes some nerve in this day of feel-good, Leftist-backed college speech codes. For Blumenthal to make such assertions is akin to Yassir Arafat delivering a sermon in a synagogue. After all, he once penned a book that the liberal press labeled as “required reading for the Hamas Book-of-the-Month Club,” if such existed.
First, a little background. In 2005, mainly at the instigation of European left wing organizations sympathetic to Palestinians the so called Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement was formed. It is designed to put economic pressure on Israel to cease West Bank settlements and “occupation” by exerting pressure on companies and governments that do business in Israel. They have achieved some successes, mostly among European governments. They have forced the closure of an Israeli cosmetics store in several countries and are targeting more. They have infiltrated academic organizations and some have ceased cultural and academic exchanges with Israel. In the United States, there have been some student government resolutions demanding their college divest from Israeli companies although these are largely for-show, non-binding resolutions on college administrators.
The source of funds for the movement is a who’s who of radical Palestinian and Muslim organizations. Hamas funnels money to the Muslim Brotherhood who then funnels money to college campus organizations, mainly the Muslim Student Association. If not directly, money from the Muslim Brotherhood goes to the World Social Forum, then onto campuses and trade unions. The Palestinian Authority- the Fatah faction- also funnels money to the campaign through the Council of National Islamic Forces in Palestine. The PLFP- a terrorist organization- funds the Union of Agricultural Workers and Union of Health Workers. These funds then find their way to anti-Zionist Jewish organizations, Christian churches and far Left international organizations. In short, the entire BDS movement is a foreign-funded effort designed to influence American foreign policy by exerting influence on economic actors in Israel.
And their goals are not peace or a two-state solution, but the elimination of Israel. That is the preferred mode of dealing with the problem. Currently, the BDS movement is not really concerned with the short-term goals, but their long-term goal is to characterize and instill the belief that Israel is an apartheid state.
The crux of the Blumenthal series of articles is to “expose” the Right wing backlash against the BDS movement. To do this, he stretches the “evidence” to come a conclusion he wishes. He characterizes the campus BDS movement as a group of concerned human rights activists fighting for the plight of Palestinians in the West Bank and elsewhere. They are, in fact, dupes of known terrorist organizations. To make the alleged connection to Right wing American groups, he holds out a website called the Canary Mission. In fact, that website is not connected at all to any particular group or individual. Because it is not a 501(c)(3) organization, he assumes a nefarious purpose behind it and nefarious conservative, anti-Muslim voices.
In fact, he cannot prove anything beyond his assumptions. Juxtapose these “facts” against the actual facts we know about funding for the BDS movement and one can tell that Blumenthal is fitting his facts to a narrative he desires. While it is true that big political donors like Sheldon Adelson have supported groups critical of the BDS movement, so have several major Democratic donors that show up on Hillary Clinton’s list of donors.
What most annoys Blumenthal and other apologists for Islamic terrorism is the fact that someone is now fighting back using the methods they devised against them. Muslim student organizations across the country have engaged in a program of faulty information disguised as “education” of the masses. Today, it is trendy to be an outspoken critic of Israel and to be an advocate of the “poor, displaced Palestinian Muslims.”
There are a few facts they conveniently leave out of the discussion. First, Judaism in the region may not pre-date Palestinians (they are an ethnic, not religious group), but it certainly pre-dates Islam by many centuries. If any of the three major religions has a claim to Israel (including the occupied territories) it is the Jews. Second, assuming there was a Palestinian state, they have proven to the world that they cannot govern themselves. Their limited “test country” in Gaza is one of the most poverty-ridden areas in the world. That poverty is not caused by Israel, but by ineptness of the Palestinian Authority. That is because, third, it has to share power with a terrorist organization backed by Iran- Hamas. If you have to share power with a terrorist organization which vows the destruction of Israel backed by a country that vows the same, you have no right having your own state.
Fourth, although there may be the indignity of not having your own country and of having your forefathers being displaced generations ago, life is likely still better under Israeli occupation than under Hamas rule. While there may be trouble getting through Israeli checkpoints, that is a necessary evil to ensure terrorists are not getting through. And why are Palestinians moving through checkpoints? For jobs!! You don’t see too many Palestinians crossing into Gaza looking for jobs. And fifth, to the victor belongs the spoils. In this case, the spoils is a necessary barrier between the terrorist state of Gaza and Israel-proper.
This writer has no doubt that conservative or even anti-Palestinian donors in the United States and Israel are funding the backlash against the BDS movement. And while one cannot ignore the fact of some racist and even threatening Twitter or Facebook messages have appeared against BDS adherents, let us not portray the BDS movement as some pious movement. Any Internet-based grassroots movement will attract the oddball person and the Canary Mission and BDS websites are no different. To assert that this a concerted effort by the pro-Israel lobby to engage in a program of threats to shutdown college debate on the issue is seriously misguided. Since at least 2006, these pro-Palestinian campus groups have had free reign with nary a word against them. They have held the monopoly on speech for over 10 years. Now they cry because they are not the sole voice in the wilderness. Welcome to the real world.