Thursday, February 28, 2013

NY Daily News Fisks BDS Advocate Omar Barghouti

On Monday, The NY Daily News gave BDS advocate Omar Barghouti an opportunity: The BDS movement explained -- Why I've boycotted Israel, and then turned around and analyzed How the boycott, divestment, sanctions movement distorts the reality in Israel

The Daily News notes that Barghouti's goal of using boycotts, divestment and sanctions to undermine Israel’s moral legitimacy is but a short term goal, hiding the ultimate goal of destroying the Jewish state of Israel.

Omar Barghouti

The examination of the falsehoods expressed in his op-ed centers around 4 misrepresentations:

  • Falsehood: Israel has vindictively crippled the Palestinians by imprisoning them behind a wall.

    Truth: Israel built the wall to stop Palestinian bombers. In the three years before the barrier went up, 73 suicide attacks killed 293 people and wounded more than 1,900 in Israel. In the decade that followed, the wall drove bombings into the single digits per year by making it hard for attackers to enter Israel.

  • Falsehood: Israel has further crippled the Palestinians by maintaining an “illegal” naval blockade on Palestinian ports.

    Truth: Israel has stopped ships from landing to prevent Palestinians from importing weapons.
    In 2011, a UN report concluded: “The naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.”

  • Falsehood: The U.S. State Department hammered Israel for broad “institutional, legal and societal discrimination” against Arab citizens.

    Truth: After conducting an annual review of the human rights records of countries around the globe, the department in 2010 found that all Israelis enjoy freedom of speech and assembly, fully exercise their democratic rights, are guided by an impartial judiciary and ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.

    At the same time, the “institutional, legal and societal discrimination” cited by Barghouti stems partly from the exclusive control that Orthodox rabbis have over family matters of Jews, such as marriages and divorces.

    State also dinged Israel with a finding that an Arab minority receives fewer services from the government than the Jewish majority and generally does not enjoy the career advantages that flow from service in the Israeli military.

  • Falsehood: Barghouti pulled the inflammatory quote from a two-year-old report.

    Truth: He ignored the department’s latest document, which found that “The most significant human rights issues during the year were terrorist attacks against civilians” by Palestinians.

    Reviewing human rights as measured out by the Palestinian leadership, State also concluded: “The three most egregious human rights violations across the occupied territories were arbitrary arrest and associated torture and abuse, often with impunity and particularly against security or political prisoners, by multiple actors in the region; restrictions on civil liberties; and the inability of residents of the Gaza Strip under Hamas to choose or hold to account their own government.”
Read the whole thing.

Of course, another falsehood is the very fact that while promoting boycotts of Israel -- including of Israeli institutions -- Barghouti himself is a student at Israel's Tel Aviv University.

The ultimate lie of BDS itself is possibly best summarized by Yair Rosenberg who writes that BDS opposes a two-state solution, but you wouldn’t know it from the media:
Indeed, Omar Barghouti, one of the Brooklyn BDS panelists, is on record [4:21 in video] saying that an end to occupation and settlement would not end the call for BDS, that he opposes the two-state solution, and that the right of return is the movement’s “foremost demand.” As he put it in 2001, Israel “was Palestine, and there is no reason why it should not be renamed Palestine.”
It is this actual goal of the BDS movement -- the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel -- which is left unaddressed by much of the media, as it hides behind the issue of free speech to gain a larger audience.

Hat tip: Middle East Media Sampler

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