# 291- BDS by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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# 291- BDS

Helping others to understand Israel - and Israelis to understand others...
  • Joined Sep 2016
  • Published Books 409

April 9, 2016

[If this is too long, I’m sorry. So prepare 2 cups of coffee…].


No wasting time with anecdotes etc. This email has me in a mood which forces me to write about BDS.

How come?



Someone sent me a link to a speech by Michael Gove, UK politician, to some US literary organisation. It was another nice speech about the dangers of anti-semitism, with thanks to USA for still being a relatively open society (whatever that means).


More important for me this moment was that it linked me to the Oxford Union debate on the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) pitching Alan Dershowitz against Peter Tatchell.  It’s my 2nd time of watching, and it got me boiling. Factors (and these ‘pop up’ every couple of minutes nowadays) –



  • I just read a random UK ‘Times’ editorial – “Tyranny in Cairo”, highlighting some of the absolutely incredible political goings on in that military dictatorship. No wonder we’re begging for the return of Mubarak, Sadat, Nasser. Please come back; all is forgiven!! 

  • I’ve been reading of UK Labour Party’s pathetic defense of accusations of anti-semitism



  • Just went through security at Terminal 3 at Heathrow, and was reminded who started modern terrorism: the Palestinians. And if you have any argument about that, be careful; I am, in this particular case, emotionally involved. Aviva, my wife, was 10 seconds away from being their first victim.



  • It was her boss, Ami Shchori, Israel’s Agricultural attaché in London who died, seconds after she handed him the package from Holland. (Her last words to him: “I want the stamps on that package”. Last words she heard from him: “Ah yes, I’ve been waiting for this”).



  • Don’t you see/hear what’s happening in the Middle East? Isn’t it unbelievable that many are now dreaming wistfully of those peaceful days when the Shah, Mubarak (Sadat, Nasser), Hussein, Ghadafi and even Assad’s daddy were still in charge. And just about every one of this despots, yesterday’s and today’s, have tried to use the Palestinians as the excuse.


Read your history. Read how cultures have come and gone. Read how they have differed from each other. What’s happening today is that this new phenomenon, instant communication, is expecting everyone to suddenly ‘be on the same level playing field’, when, in fact, the hi-tech World is widening the gaps between peoples and cultures at a frightening rate.



Look at the migrant crisis. The politically correct is ready to open all doors and give every immigrant a warm hug. All very well. But if there are no serious, tough and gradual efforts to integrate the immigrants into the local community, then the clash of cultures will hit us in the face – just as it actually is.


When neutrals (let’s not call them left-wingers) continue to ask why ‘you two (Israelis and Palestinians) can’t get along with each other’, they’re forgetting that these two peoples, like so many in this World, are totally un-ready for cohabitation. No matchmaker would approve this marriage.


And the same goes for almost ALL the current migrants/refugees fleeing from their troubled countries. (No, I am NOT only focusing on Muslims, although there is already a clear history of Muslim immigrants being the first to refuse to assimilate into their host-society).


By the way, I love adding that, in today’s atmosphere, isn’t it incredibly ironic that perhaps the best Middle Eastern place for a Palestinian to live nowadays is, of course, Israel. And why? Because, albeit reluctantly, the two Israeli communities have been shoved together for nearly 70 years, like it or not, and have learnt to live with each other.


They attend many of the same learning institutes, work in the same offices and shop in the same malls. Yes, quite a few still live in ’their’ neighborhoods, but that’s normal in most societies.

Coffee break…..



Where was I? Oh yes, Peter Tatchell. I am sure he’s a nice guy to his friends, but his left-wing leaning has made him naïve to say the least, and a downright liar, to say just a little more.



  • He ignores the fact that The UN (yes, that apparently anti-Israel organisation) voted for the creation of 2 countries in 1947. Israel agreed; The Palestinians disagreed.

  • He ignores fact that Palestinians and their Arab neighbors defied the UN and attacked Israel on the day the State was – legally – declared. So much for democracy, decency and the validity of the UN.



  • Ditto – Israel won (and winning a ‘just’ war is also a factor)

  • Ditto – Give or take some thousand, there were equal numbers of refugees on both sides. The UNRWA was originally set up for both Israelis and Palestinians. The Israelis were settled within a year, releasing the UN from its official responsibility to settle them. The Palestinians? Well, you know that story.



  • Ditto – those occupied lands were then occupied by Egypt and Jordan. NOT Israel. Yet the PLO was established during that period.

  • Ditto – Dissatisfied with the status quo, even after the ’56 war, the Arabs tried again in 1967 – and lost again. Here’s a big culture difference: it seems that their tribal mentality made it impossible to even communicate with the victors. Israel tried to negotiate a withdrawal, resulting in the infamous 3 ‘Khartoum No’s’.



Oh that’s enough! I’m in the middle of another trip, where security has become such a factor. Today’s Intl NY Times has a feature on the design of the modern airports. The comfort of the traveller has taken a back seat. Security is dominant.

If terrorism is today’s ‘religion’, the Palestinians are the god.


I repeat – Peter Tatchell, who in his lifetime has taken on just about every cause (good for him, in some cases) should stay far away from the Middle East. He has no idea.

And the PS is that, despite Oxford University being one of the bedrocks of left-leaning folks, they voted against Tatchell’s argument FOR the BDS.

So decency lives to fight another day.


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