This is an incredibly well-written and well-argued article about the issue of boycotting Israel.
From the Facebook page of Knesset Member Yair Lapid, head of the Centre-Left Yesh Atid party. (Originally published in Icelandic, in Visir and Frettabladid)
Yair Lapid: The Hypocrisy of Boycott (September 19, 2015):
As you know by now, the Reykjavik City Council decided this week to boycott products from Israel. All products. From all of Israel.
I have a few questions:
Does the boycott include products made by Israel’s Arab minority which is 20% of the population?
Does the boycott include the 14 Arab Israeli parliamentarians who sit beside me in Israel’s parliament?
Does the boycott include Israeli factories which employ tens of thousands of Palestinians for whom this is the only opportunity to provide for their children?
Does the boycott include Israeli hospitals at which tens of thousands of Palestinians are treated every year?
Does the boycott include produce made by the 71% of Israeli’s who, according to the latest survey, support a two state solution and the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel?
Wait, don’t go yet, I’ve got a few more:
Among the products being boycotted is Copaxone, for MS sufferers, included?
Does the boycott include “Tulip” wine which is made by people with special needs and those who suffer from autism?
And what about the books of Israeli Nobel Prize Laureate in literature, Shai Agnon?
Does the boycott include Microsoft Office, cellphone cameras, Google – all of which contain elements invented or produced in Israel?
If the answer to all these questions is “yes” then I’ll move aside and wish you all an enjoyable life until the sadly unavoidable heart attack (sorry but pacemakers are also an Israeli invention). The other option is that someone at Reykjavik City Council didn’t think the issue through.
If they had then why stop at Israel? One of the best kept secrets about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that it is one of the smallest conflicts in the Middle East. In fact, there is no correlation between its actual size and the media coverage it receives.
Since the end of Israel’s War of Independence, 67 years ago, around 12,000 Palestinians have lost their lives in this conflict. A large proportion of those were terrorists, suicide bombers, terror tunnel diggers from various global jihadist organizations.
With that we can’t ignore the fact that in those years there were a few thousand innocents who lost their lives. I believe that’s terrible. It keeps me awake at night, like most Israelis. With that the simple fact is – and it’s easy to check – that in 67 years less innocent Palestinians were killed than in one week (!) in Syria. In fact, in that same period around 12 million people were killed in the Arab world. A simple calculation shows that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict caused 0.01% of the numbers killed in conflicts in the Islamic world.
An interesting question then is what is the position of Reykjavik City Council about the Islamic world? Do they boycott it also? All of it?
But of course this isn’t a discussion about statistics, it is about morals. Israel is a vibrant democracy fighting for its existence in tough circumstances. Our major sin, in the eyes of the world and the Reykjavik City Council, is that we are winning that war.
Yes, in this conflict more Palestinians are killed than Israelis. Why? Because we have a better army and we have the Iron Dome system which protects our cities from rockets. If our military lays down its weapons and we disarm Iron Dome, we’d be murdered within 24 hours.
So Israel will continue to defend itself, and will continue doing all it can to avoid civilian casualties.
At the same time, we will continue to search for the path to peace with the Palestinians. Twice, in the year 2000 and in the year 2008, Israel offered them over 90% of the land so they could build a state for themselves. Both times they refused.
The boycott industry is not new. It is a vast industry of media and public relations organized by Islamist groups funded by Qatar and Iran. Their purpose is not the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel but a Palestinian state on the ashes of Israel.
They know that message won’t be acceptable to liberal Europe. So they decided – as has been exposed time and again – to sell the naïve Europeans humanitarian values of freedom and solidarity which they don’t believe for even one second.
Hamas has no intention of creating a Palestinian democracy but a dark theocracy in which homosexuals are hanged from telephone poles, women aren’t allowed to leave their homes and Christians and Jews are murdered for being Christians and Jews. Are those values acceptable to the Reykjavik City Council? If not then that’s strange, because they voted in favor of them.