Secular, liberal and staunch defender of Israel: Belfast-born academic and writer Denis MacEoin sets out why he stands with Israel.
The Boycott Israel movement will always be ineffective among right-thinking people. This is because it is racist and unjust.
Israel is far from being the greatest offender in the world in human rights. Countries like Iran, China, North Korea, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and others have seriously bad human rights records. Yet the UN Human Rights Committee never condemns them but incessantly rebukes Israel.
Israel actually has a good record when it comes to rights for women, gay men and women, capital punishment, racial and religious minorities, free speech, and even the impeachment of former political leaders.
It arrests Jewish racists, it provides its Arab citizens with full voting rights and service in parliament or in courts (including the Supreme Court) as judges, Arab students take up 20% of places in universities, it uses Arabic as one of its two official languages. It has gay pride parades. It treats Palestinians in its hospitals and gives heart transplants to Palestinian children (through Save a Child’s Heart).
It sends aid teams to countries round the world after major disasters. It provides agricultural expertise throughout Africa.
It creates world-class medicines and medical instruments. It is, frankly, a more multicultural country than any of its neighbours in any direction.
Not one of Israel’s enemies can show anything even remotely resembling the human rights record of Israel. They are too busy persecuting Christians and Baha’is, Shi’is and Sunnis. They preach hate and incite or carry out violence against Israeli civilians.
So why on earth would anyone of fair mind and good heart boycott Israel and not those countries that promote violence and persecute and indulge in honour killings with impunity, and treat their women as second-class persons, and regard the killing of Jews with pride and celebration, and laud the exploits of mass murderers, and teach their children to kill?
Why do Boycotters never tell us the context within which Israelis actions must be set. I do not defend all the Israelis do, but I understand most of it. Israel is surrounded by vicious enemies who have trapped themselves in repeated refusals of peace, who seek the elimination of Israel (and make no secret of it), who use terrorism to further the aims of jihad, who are brazenly antisemitic in a fashion very close indeed to the antisemitism of the Nazis, who are wholly at odds with the democratic and human rights of the modern West, who have invaded (or tried to invade) Israel on 3 occasions and have come close to committing genocide on a people who inhabit their land rightfully under international law, and who have shown themselves to be wholly corrupt and incapable of governing their failed states.
The occupation of the West Bank is fully legal under UN resolution 242, and a majority of Israelis are only too eager to pull out of it entirely. But that can only happen when the Palestinians put life before death, make peace, recognize Israel, and renounce violence. When Israel pulled put of Gaza lock stock and barrel in 2005, Hamas took over and fires rockets into Israel almost every day.
Why don’t the Boycotters boycott Hamas?
Why can’t they see that Israel is fighting to survive against massive odds, that the rest of the Middle East is collapsing into greater and greater chaos, and that Israel is the only champion of democracy, human decency, dignity, and human rights in the region?
There has never been a more demented and hypocritical position than international anti-Israelism and the morally devoid “BDS” movement. If the Muslim states and jihadist movements ever destroy Israel, don’t worry, they will come for you next, and supporting BDS or pro-Palestinian rallies won’t save you from jihadi vengeance.