When “liberal Zionists” slam BDS, you know moral compass is lost

What a sad sight. After months and months of the Australian Murdoch press, major political parties and the Zionist establishment shamefully suggesting that activists who back BDS against Israel are akin to Nazis, a supposedly “liberal Zionist” group, The Australian Jewish Democratic Society (AJDS), releases a statement today and makes exactly the same comparison.

If evidence was needed of the moral bankruptcy of liberal Zionism – desperately holding onto the racist dream of a Jewish state – and the collapse of understanding the difference between right and wrong and wishing to be still accepted by the Jewish mainstream, this is it.

No wonder liberal Zionists globally are (largely) so uncomfortable with BDS; it forces them to face the truth of having backed Israel for many years and believed the delusion of a two-state solution while apartheid bubbled away in the occupied territories.

Here’s the AJDS in its all dirty glory:

The AJDS deplores some of the recent Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions (BDS) protests such as those targetting the Israeli-owned Max Brenner store in Melbourne and the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra’s prom concert in London. The tactic of angry confrontation used by the protesters is antithetical to anyone concerned about finding a just solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

The protests are run by people from doctrinaire ultra-left organisations whose disruptive, angry and aggressive tactics give no dignity to the cause of justice for the people of Palestine. Their tactics also serve to interfere in good-faith efforts between people from the Jewish, Muslim and Palestinian communities to conduct their causes in a civil and respectful manner, given the difficulty of trying to build positive relationships.

Despite protestations to the contrary, the tactic of blockades and chanting is all too resonant with anti-Jewish activities in Europe during the 1930s. It can only be concluded from their actions that they deliberately wish to cause distress to Jews (in their parlance, Zionists).

They see this as a form of political retribution that is due because of the pain experienced by colonized or exiled Palestinians. We believe this to be a totally wrong tactic because Jews as much as Palestinians are key to change and conflict resolution. A supporter of Palestinian rights might better seek to engage Jews without stereotyping their affiliation or politics, rather than alienating them.

In addition, the use by local BDS protesters of slogans such as, “from the river to the sea, Palestine shall be free” – captured on video – also demonstrates that they have attached themselves to the most radical and uncompromising position possible, one that rejects UN resolutions adopted over the years. This is despite the fact that the BDS movement claims not to advocate a particular case for future political relations.

It is interesting that Australians for Palestine – which takes an uncompromising view on BDS – does not support these tactics and has said that “Actions aimed at disrupting businesses, aggravating customers or challenging police authority are detrimental to our aims”.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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