AVRAHAM: How Democrats And The BDS Movement Are Creating Misery For Palestinians

Photo by Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call

The Dangerous Liaison: The Inside Story of the US-Israeli Covert Relationship, “supposedly a history of the secret ties between Israel and the United States, is largely dedicated to Israel-bashing for its own sake,” wrote The New York Times. “Its first message is that, win or lose, smart or dumb, right or wrong, suave or boorish, Israelis are a menace. The second is that the Israeli-American connection is somewhere behind just about everything that ails us.”

The co-author of Dangerous Liaison is the Democratic nominee for Virginia’s 5th Congressional District, Leslie Cockburn. While her book leaves little doubt about this candidate’s anti-Semitic proclivities, what’s more alarming is that Cockburn’s views represent an anti-Israel trend pervading the Democratic Party.

In recent days, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel has become increasingly mainstream among a certain element of the Democratic Party. Candidate Rashida Tlaib (Michigan-D) says she will vote against US military assistance to Israel. Candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York-D) is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, which supports the BDS movement. And candidate Ilhan Omar (Minnesota-D) thinks Israel is an apartheid state, an accusation frequently advanced by BDS activists.

The BDS movement opposes international cooperation with Israel until the descendants of Palestinian refugees are granted a “right of return” and Israel ends its “occupation,” according to the movement’s website. In other words, they support boycotting the Jewish state until it ceases to exist.

Ironically, the greatest beneficiaries of Jewish-Arab cooperation are the Palestinians themselves. On a daily basis, Palestinians who work inside the Jewish communities of Judea/Samaria (West Bank) are paid higher salaries than Palestinians working within the Palestinian Authority. Whenever an Israeli company moves out of Judea/Samaria under pressure by BDS activists, the first ones to suffer are the Palestinian workers who lose their jobs.

The Palestinian Authority provides livable salaries only to terrorists and corrupt officials on their payroll. Palestinian teachers, doctors, scientists, engineers, electrical workers, factory workers, construction workers, farmers, etc. working for the PA lag far behind their colleagues who work with Israelis. Furthermore, there is no compensation for Palestinian workers who lose their jobs as a result of BDS.

So does the BDS movement really care about the welfare of the average Palestinian? According to Palestinian human rights activist Bassem Eid, they view Palestinian workers’ loss of income as mere collateral damage over the short term, in the interest of the long-term goal of the destruction of Israel.

But numerous Israeli Arabs and Palestinians denounce BDS, seeking to cooperate with Israel so they can have a better life. You would be amazed at how many Arabs are benefiting from the Israeli educational system. Israeli universities offer Arabs an education at an academic level they are unable to obtain elsewhere in the Middle East. Curiously, BDS founder Omar Barghouti exhorts Arabs to settle for an inferior education in the name of the BDS movement, even though he himself attended and received higher-education degrees from Tel Aviv University. The definition of hypocrisy.

Yet this movement – completely out of touch with reality – is gaining traction in the Democratic Party. The time has come for Democrats to rethink their loyalty to those advocating the boycott of Israel. Do you really care about bettering the lives of Palestinians or are they your excuse to delegitimize the Jewish state?

Rachel Avraham is a fellow at the Haym Salomon Center and is the author of “Women and Jihad: Debating Palestinian Female Suicide Bombings in the American, Israeli and Arab media.”

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