Stop Burying the Truth About BDS: Avi Benlolo

March 11, 2019


Anti-BDS laws are more than just an effort to "punish a passive act" as CBC's Neil Macdonald says. Over 22 US States have courageously passed anti-BDS laws to punish terrorism, defend democracy and combat antisemitism.

What is wrong with standing up for what is moral and ethical? Since when did the West stop defending its allies who also practice freedom and democracy? When did we become agents of ideological campaigns led by terrorist groups?

Macdonald opines, "It's all an attempt to combat a strategy chosen by Palestinian leaders and their supporters roughly 13 years ago. After decades of being told by Israel and the West to abandon armed struggle and choose a non-violent path to oppose Israel's occupation and settlements, the Palestinians and their allies decided to do just that: they founded the so-called BDS movement, standing for boycott, divest and sanction, using economic levers to pressure Israel."

But the Palestinian Authority has not abandoned terrorism. Just last week, its unelected prime minister Hamdallah tweeted that PA money will first go to pay "martyrs" and prisoners and then toward paying normal state salaries. In other words, Palestinians who murder and maim Israelis are rewarded before those who are actually building up civil society – like educators and police officers.

A society that is flipped upside down by venerating terrorists and putting them at the front of the line has nothing in common with the values we should be upholding in Canada. So why should we be defending their propaganda campaigns as if they hold some high ethical value?  

It's clear Palestinians have not abandoned their terrorism against the Jewish State and in fact utilize the BDS campaign to double down on their terror by gaining legitimacy internationally. And Hamas – a mafia-like Islamic group which dictates Gaza – has not stopped sending rockets into Israel, even increasing rocket fire in the last few days.

Thus, BDS is a cover for a violent regime that is itself divided into two terrorist states (Palestinian Authority and Hamas). Like Canada, Israel is imperfect. But also like Canada, Israel is a free and democratic nation. So Canadians should be asking themselves, why should we be interested in boycotting a country which shares our values?

In the case of BDS, one simply has to ask, why do those who campaign for Israel's destruction not seem to complain about Syria and its murderous regime which has killed 500,000 people? Why do they not complain about the murder of Coptic Christians in Egypt or about gender apartheid in Saudi Arabia? Or about the genocidal regime of Iran?

The answer is simple. Stop burying the truth about the Palestinians and their boycott campaign against Israel. It's unfair and hypocritical.

Avi Benlolo
President & CEO
Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies

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