Now that Israel has declared the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement an existential threat, along with all the countless other things that supposedly represent such a threat to that apartheid nation, US government officials have begun to act.
Some states have actually passed laws banning BDS. Since New York was not one of them, its Zionist governor, Andrew Cuomo, issued an executive order preventing the state from doing any business with businesses that support the movement.
Now, one is not to be blamed if this brings to mind the McCarthy era, in which people from all walks of life were accused of being Communist infiltrators. Lists were compiled, people were blackballed, careers and lives were ruined by a scurrilous US senator who saw the Communist ‘threat’ under every bed.
Mr Cuomo assures us that lists will be compiled of business that are thought to support BDS; those lists will be made public, and the accused will have ninety-days in which to convince the governor that they don’t oppose apartheid. They are assumed guilty of the crime of supporting human rights, and must somehow demonstrate that they do not.
Names of company executives will be gathered from company websites, and then Facebook will be searched, to see if these executives have ever supported BDS. If so, a pox on them! Constitutional protections of freedom of speech do not apply to those who support Palestinian human rights. The governor of New York has just said so.
With the reactionary right ready to nominate Donald Trump, of all people, the old axiom that politics makes strange bedfellows is once again proven true. Mr Trump did what he does best at the Apartheid Israel Political Affairs Committee (AIPAC) convention in Washington, D C in March of this year, when he made a spectacle of himself in front of that unholy group. He bowed and scraped with the best of them, but since he is, after all, The Donald, he somehow did it better than the rest.
But there he is now, in the Israeli bed with Hillary Clinton, Mr Cuomo, and most other US representatives, most of whom are bought and paid for by AIPAC.
Now, these august worthies will proclaim that the BDS movement is anti-Semitic. After all, they say, hands wringing in anguish, why do the BDS people say nothing about human rights abuses in other nations? Why do they only single out poor little Israel?
Let us look at an analogy, that may, perhaps, help clarify things for these confused souls. This writer donates money to the Heart Association. He does not donate to the American Cancer Society, Patients with Alzheimer’s, Victims of Landmines, etc. It is not because he does not consider these to be worthy causes. However, his means are limited, and he cannot donate to every worthy charity on the planet.
Perhaps Mr Cuomo believes that this writer (if the good governor were aware of this writer’s existence), cares nothing about cancer patients. He may think this writer is unmoved by the difficulties people suffer when they or a loved one has Alzheimer’s. Similarly, he may think this writer is anti-Semitic, due to his dedicated support of all things Palestinian, including the BDS movement. In all cases, the governor would be wrong in those beliefs.
Yet would this writer be wrong in thinking that the governor, with his eye on the White House, cares nothing for the suffering of Palestinians, looking instead at the deep pockets of the Israeli lobby? He thinks not; any reasonable person, looking honestly at the brutal oppression of the Palestinians, would not so quickly attempt to thwart every effort to assist them.
The media and those highly-regarded (for reasons that completely escape this writer) government officials, are quick to condemn any violent resistance on the part of the Palestinians, but overlook the extreme, constant violence to which they are subjected by the Israelis. And now, when a peaceful means of opposing the illegal and immoral occupation is growing, they seek to outlaw it.
This article has been excerpted from: ‘Apartheid, human rights and BDS’.