By now, many of you may have already read a pair of stories that shed some interesting light on the current state of the supposedly unstoppable BDS “movement.”
First off, this piece highlights that since 2010, when the Palestinian Authority passed a law (alright, a decree) barring Palestinians from working inside Jewish communities within the disputed territories, the number of Palestinian workers taking jobs within those dread “settlements” has dramatically increased by more than 20%.
A second piece describes how private Palestinian investors now invest nearly twice as much in Israel as they do in their own nescient “nation.”
Now if the BDSers amongst us don’t simply follow their usual M.O. of ignoring facts that inconveniently don’t fit their pre-conceptions and prejudices, I expect both of these stories will be interpreted as yet more proof of Israel’s guilt (of enslaving Palestinian laborers by hiring them vs. impoverishing them by not hiring them).
Admittedly, I’m speculating that the boycotters will continue to use any fact and its’ opposite to condemn the Jewish state, so any boycott and divestment supporters out there are free to pipe in and correct me. But while we wait, there are some interesting alternative interpretation to these stories that might inform those of us who dwell in a place known as reality.
First, the obvious takeaway from these two tales is that despite what people do with their mouths, it’s what they do with the money that demonstrates their true beliefs. And here is one more example of people who condemn the Jewish state in public while funneling their dollars into it in private (similar to Europe which now invests more venture capital in Israel than it does in any single European country). Similarly, Palestinian laborers seem much more interested in putting in a hard day’s work at an Israeli venture (even one run by E-V-I-L “Settlers”) than in being ripped off and exploited by their own Palestinian brethren.
A more intriguing take on these numbers has to do with the notion of civil society. After all, the BDS movement’s primary claim to legitimacy is that it represents the will of the Palestinian people, with the 2005 “Palestinian Civil Society Calls for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Against Israel” declaration held up as the reason why alleged “human rights activists” abroad focus on Israel to the exclusion of nearly every other human rights issue on the planet.
When BDS groups in the US and Europe approach a university, a church or even a food co-op insisting that everyone get on board the boycotter’s Israel=Apartheid bandwagon, they rarely if ever do so in their own name. Rather, they claim (again and again) that they are humbly following the will of the Palestinian people who have declared their commitment to BDS via documents like the aforementioned Civil Society declaration, and insisting that others do the same.
But as has already been noted, this alleged call by Civil Society was really a call by a group of civil organizations, with violent political groups such as Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine taking the lead and less influential groups like the Palestinian Dentists Association following behind. So does the 2005 BDS declaration truly represent the will of the Palestinian people or is it simply the will of a bunch of militant and/or coerced leaders of a hundred-odd organizations? Are we required to take Omar Barghouti’s word for it when he claims to speak for the Palestinian masses, or do we have other data to work form?
Well we do, in fact, have other data consider. For example, there are the Arab citizens of Israel terrified that the land they live on might be traded in a peace deal, requiring them to live under the benevolent dictatorship of the Palestinian Authority (or the not-so benevolent dictatorship of Hamas). We’ve got denizens of the Palestinian Authority doing whatever they can to get into Israel for healthcare, for jobs, even for citizenship (despite being told that the “Zionist entity” exists for the sole purpose of murdering them and swiping their kidneys).
And now we’ve got Palestinian workers and investors putting their money where the mouth isn’t and doubling down on Israeli investments and Israeli employers. And, as the BDS “movement” itself never tires of telling us, Investment = Political Support (which is why they advocate tirelessly, if unsuccessfully for Divestment which they claim equals an end to such political support).
So by the very math used by the BDSers themselves, Palestinian support for the Jewish state is on the increase. Keep this in mind the next time Omar Barghouti or Jewish Voice for Peace or this or that BDS organization shows up at your door insisting you do what they say because they and they alone speak for the Palestinian people.