The Cat is Out of the BagSunday 21/06/2020

The Gaza Voice, a recorded podcast released on May 21st 2020 contains Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) co-founder Omar Barghouti saying, “If the refugees return to their homes [in Israel] as the BDS movement calls for, if we bring an end to Israel’s apartheid regime and if we end the occupation on lands occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem, what will be left of the Zionist regime? That’s the question. Meaning, what will the two states be based on?”[1]

The organization claims to advocate for Israeli political reform and the improvement of Palestinian human rights, not the elimination of the State of Israel. But Barghouti hints here at exactly that. He reveals what could be the underlying intentions of BDS’s three official goals. [2]

We interpret Barghouti’s statement as the following: if BDS successfully achieves the goals it built its platform on, Israel will no longer exist. To answer Barghouti’s rhetorical question, not much will be left of the “Zionist regime”. Answering the three objectives essentially erases what Israel has built over the past 72 years, which includes its normalized relations with the neighboring Arab countries. This contradicts Barghouti’s reference to “two states”, as in having a two state solution.  Barghouti understands this, as he reveals in this segment of the twenty-minute podcast.

It should be noted this rhetoric isn’t a shocking revelation. Barghouti has previously stated that Jews cannot have their own state in Palestine. [3] However, what is important about this recent quote is that it reminds the listener of the movement to disrespect the right to self-determination and ultimately delegitimize the state of Israel. The argument that BDS is less impactful toward Israel than it claims to be is irrelevant here; [4] the focus is on the fact that Barghouti continues to preach an unrealistic and undesirable approach when facing a country that has already solidified, built itself up, and is now thriving.

Why unrealistic and undesirable? The organization, with Barghouti as one of its international representatives, goes further than confronting politics and human rights. It questions the existence of a legitimate state and hints at its eventual downfall. It’s dangerous territory to cross into, and it’s something that individual supporters and affiliated groups (NGOs and others) of BDS should understand.

Barghouti continues by saying, “There won’t be any Zionist State like the one we are talking about (present day Israel)… and the Palestinian minority will become a Palestinian majority in the state that today is called Israel.”

Well, what would it mean if Israel did not exist? What would we lose? To name a few basic things: the lack of a Jewish home which was deemed necessary by the United Nations after an extensive history of persecution and incontestable anti-Semitism that is prevalent until this day. It would mean losing the “Start-Up Nation”; the loss of a greenhouse constantly bearing the fruit of an incredible number of innovations and developments that benefit the whole world. It would mean the loss of a home not only for Jews, but for Christians, Druze, and other Arab populations as well.

Thank you Barghouti for revealing that BDS’s end goal is to eliminate Israel.


[1] https://soundcloud.com/user-742784347/bds

[2] https://bdsmovement.net/call

[3] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/27/world/middleeast/bds-israel-boycott-antisemitic.html

[4] https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2018/01/26/how-much-does-bds-threaten-israels-economy/

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