The National Review Online editors railed against “the world’s organized hostility to Israel” in a scathing editorial published on Tuesday after Presbyterian Church (USA) voted at the weekend to divest from three companies that do business with Israel.
With the vote by PC (USA), “thus does a major American church join the worldwide BDS movement. (‘BDS’ stands for ‘boycott, divestment, and sanctions’ — against one country, Israel.)”
The editors said that if “Israel did not exist, the United Nations might not have much to do. Last year the General Assembly adopted 25 resolutions against particular countries. Twenty-one of those resolutions were against Israel; the other four were against Syria, Iran, North Korea, and Burma. Not since the apartheid regime in South Africa has a country been so stigmatized by the world. And foes of Israel, of course, promote the lie that Israel is an ‘apartheid state.’”
They listed some of the higher profile and odd attempts to punish Israel in the public domain, including scientist Stephen Hawking joining an academic boycott of Israel, but travelling to Iran and China, and the West Dunbartonshire Council, in Scotland, forbidding local libraries to carry books printed in Israel.
They said, “One consequence of anti-Israel boycotts is that they harm Arabs. They do so by perpetuating two myths, related. The first is that the Arab–Israeli conflict is Israel’s fault, instead of the fault of people who refuse to coexist. The second is that the Arabs’ lamentable condition is Israel’s fault, instead of the fault of people who refuse to reform, liberalize, or democratize.”
“Mainly, the boycotts serve the delegitimization of Israel, and the dehumanization of Israelis. They call into question Israel’s right to exist. They make Israel a pariah state. They soften Israel up for . . . Well, Iran and other enemies of Israel have pledged to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.”
The National Review Online said, “These boycotts and other protests are not ‘freebies’ — rebukes of a nation that is going to be fine no matter what. They are not mere acts of political correctness. They undermine a country whose very existence is threatened every day. The Presbyterian Church USA has now joined a nasty and growing mob.”
Online, commenter Winston said: ”The Presbyterian Church has endorsed anti-Semitism. No point window dressing it. They singled out one nation in all the world to attack. They did through double standards, distortion and demonization. Sorry Presbyterian Church apologists, but you cannot stigmatize Israel without stigmatizing Jews in general. And it is also an empty-headed gesture, fueling not to dialogue but extremism. But at least David Duke is happy. He was a vocal champion of this ‘not anti-Semitic’ action.”