in response to Robert Fulford: Rise of the anti-BDS movement, National Post, April 15, 2016
Robert Fulford advocates that jobs should trump human rights and international law for Palestinians; a proposition that lacks moral credibility. He lifts up SodaStream as a victim of BDS yet ignores the reality they operated in an illegal settlement and did not have a good reputation as a fair employer toward Palestinians.
He paints a picture that makes it seem that campuses are about to blow up with race riots against pro-Israel students. The odds on this happening are similar to building a wall running along the Canada/US border.
Fear mongering and labelling BDS supporters as anti-Semites are tactics aimed at distracting attention away from Israel’s grievous violations of the 4th Geneva Convention and of Palestinian human rights.
Last week, Israeli cabinet minister, Yisrael Katz called on Israel to engage in “targeted civil eliminations” of BDS leaders and especially BDS founder Omar Bargoutti. There were also heightened death threats against Imad Abu Shamsiyeh, a Palestinian, who filmed the Israeli extrajudicial execution of Abed al-Fatah al-Sharif in Hebron. This lead to Amnesty International releasing a statement entitled: “Israeli Government must cease intimidation of human rights defenders, protect them from attacks”.
BDS arose out of the reality that politicians have failed to end the 49 year occupation of Palestine. Supporters believe Israel has the right to exist and there needs to be a fair and just peace for Palestinians and Israelis alike.
Perhaps, Mr. Fulford should spend time in Palestine to see the oppression Palestinians experience daily.
Rev. Steve Berube
Co-chair: United Network for a Just Peace in Palestine and Israel.