Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Barry Shaw: BDS. BUILDING A CAUSE AROUND A FRAUD.





BDS (The global movement for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions "BDS" against Israel) campaigns are not built on any solid foundation. They are built on a hypothesis, hypothesis being a proposed explanation based on limited evidence, or no evidence at all. It is used by BDS as their starting point and its lack of intellectual depth and honesty is draped in a mantle of emotional claims and sloganeering. No need to elaborate or produce facts or statistics. Emotional sloganeering is more effective in rousing support. 

Something hypothetic is based on an imagined situation rather than fact. Everything in the BDS toolbox is based on hypothetical arguments devoid of facts. You know the list. Israel is an apartheid state when it isn’t. Israel is conducting an intense blockage on Gaza when it isn’t. Israel is conducting ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians when the condition and the population numbers of Palestinians have improved. Israel is a racist state when it is the most multifaceted nation in the Middle East and Africa. 

They try to disguise the paucity of their argument in a form of tautology. They say and write the same simplistic things under different formats. They do this by attempting to recruit people in differing fields to declare their refusal to have any contact with their Israeli counterparts as if the message is being diffused globally but their statements are so shallow that they lapse into simplistic statements such as the one made by Professor Malcolm Levitt of Southampton University that made him look ridiculous. 

In 2013 he said, “Israel has a totally explicit policy of making life impossible for the non-Jewish population and I find it totally unacceptable.”

If, by Israel’s non-Jewish population, Levitt is referring to Israel’s Arab, Druze or Christians I challenge his foolish remark. These non-Jewish members of our community have it far better than their counterparts in much of the regions non-Jewish regimes.

In science and philosophy, Occam’s Razor, is the principle of accepting the simplest satisfactory explanation. Atheists sometimes use the theory of Occam’s Razor to prove that God is an unnecessary hypothesis in this physical world.

I would suggest that BDS is a perfect subject matter for Occam’s Razor. They take two sides of an argument, their own and any Israeli claim. They then chip away any Israeli fact or evidence that disproves their contrary and pre-conceived view. They then present their biased hypothesis as if the other side has no challenging argument, leaving them to present the simplest explanation for perceived Israeli action, or non-action in a deceptive manner. 

They take an alternative route to their own wrong conclusion by employing an illogical argument that proposes that, as the Palestinians seem weaker and poorer than the stronger and more prosperous Israel, the Palestinian condition must be a result of Israel oppressing and exploiting them. Known as a syllogism, a deductive conclusion reached by two or more assertive propositions, their assumption matches their desired aim, namely to point the finger of blame on to their intended target, the Jewish state. They can compound their conclusion by associating other false claims against Israel to their cause. 

What is lacking in their inherently false assumption is the possibility of another piece of the syllogistic puzzle, namely that the Palestinian condition is based on their repeated rejection of generous Israeli peace offers that would surely have improved their lot. 
This obvious hypothesis gets in the way of their prime obsession to blame Israel for all the ills of their tunnel-vision world. To accept this notion would expose the bankruptcy of their psychotic existence in which they have reveled on the high of bringing their ill-conceived views to a wider and receptive audience.

As such, BDS is an unnecessary and dishonest hypothesis.


Barry Shaw
Senior Associate for Public Diplomacy
Israel Institute for Strategic Studies
Author of ‘Fighting Hamas, BDS and Anti-Semitism’