Israeli opposition politician Yair Lapid was at Ben-Gurion airport on Tuesday morning to distribute copies of a new booklet designed to help Israelis travelling abroad defend the actions of their government.
In particular, Lapid is keen for Israeli citizens to do their bit in the fight against the growing Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.
The booklet, titled ‘Israelis for Israel: How to fight against BDS lies?’, has been produced by Yesh Atid, the political party chaired by Lapid. Some 35 party activists accompanied their leader in his trip to the airport.
The Yesh Atid publication describes BDS as “an anti-semitic movement established by the global Jihad organizations.” In fact, the BDS call was issued by a broad cross-section of Palestinian civil society groups in 2005.
According to Arutz Sheva, the anti-BDS booklet “marks the culmination of an ongoing campaign Lapid has launched over the past several months against anti-Israel propaganda, including meetings with top officials and Jewish communities across the globe to discuss the issue.”
— Ben White (@benabyad) December 15, 2015
Below is the translation of the booklet by Ofer Neiman.
We are at war. The BDS movement for boycott divestment and sanctions is circulating an inconceivable amount of lies about us, fabricated photos and concocted testimonies. The goal – slandering Israel in the world, isolating us, causing us to turn into a hated and illegitimate state.
We must not abandon the field. Not everyone is an anti-Semite, not everyone is against us. But we simply need to explain our side.
If we conduct this struggle with determination and wisdom, we can win, but each and every one of us should enlist.
We are Israelis. And when our house is attacked, we come forward to protect it. It’s in our genes. There is no right wing here and there is no left wing. When facing the outside we are one.
You are now departing from Israel.
We have prepared a small booklet for you, and to counter everything being circulated, we have written the truth. We have not invented anything, it’s all information based on facts. With this booklet you can respond to every argument and reject any incitement.
In this war – we are all messengers.
May you travel safely and return safely.
BDS propaganda vs our truth
Argument 1: Members of the BDS movement are peaceful human rights activists.
Our truth: BDS is an anti-semitic movement established by the global Jihad organizations. Its activity has been recognized as an anti-semitic hate crime in France and in the US. Those standing behind it have clandestine ties to Hamas, in whose charter the call for total annihilation of the Jews occurs 12 times. In spite of the attempt to portray it as a nonviolent movement, the BDS movement has never condemned violence targeting Israelis or Jews.
Argument 2: The occupation is the root cause of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
Our truth: The conflict and terrorist actions by Palestinians against the Jews in Israel began long before Israel gained control of the Territories. As early as the 1940s the Palestinian leadership collaborated with the Nazis against the Jews, and terror actions against Israel began long before the Territories were occupied. If the Territories are the problem, how can these account for the fact that in the year 2005 Israel left the Gaza Strip down to the last [square] meter, and since then nearly 20,000 rockets have been launched at the civilian population.
Argument 3: The Jewish people have no right to a state in the territory of Israel.
Our truth: Our historical and national right to a state in Israel is based on a well-documented 3000 year-old connection. The right was recognized by the United Nations General Assembly on November 29 1947. Across the world there are 130 states with a Christian majority, 49 states with a Muslim majority, 3 with a Hindu majority, and only one Jewish state on land amounting to 1/800 of the size of the entire Arab world.
Argument 4: Israel does not recognize the right of the Palestinians to a state and is not interested in an agreement.
Our truth: Since the 1930s Palestinians have rejected no less than 5 proposals for a territorial agreement. As early as 1947 the Jewish community recognized the right of the Arabs to an independent state alongside Israel. The Arab side rejected this proposal and went to war. Twice – in the year 2000 and in the year 2006 – Israel offered them more than 90% of the Territories so that they could establish a state on these, and they refused. In the year 2005 Israel left Gaza, leaving behind 3000 greenhouses which had been owned by Jewish residents. Instead of giving these to the residents of Gaza, Hamas destroyed these greenhouses, and invested hundreds of millions of dollars of the aid money sent from states of the world to build tens of terror tunnels and rocket launching sites intended for carrying out terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens.
Argument 5: Israel is robbing the Palestinian economy.
Our truth: The Palestinian economy is slowed down due to corruption in the Palestinian Authority. There are countless examples of this, including a European Union report stating that economic corruption in the Palestinian Authority has led to the loss of aid worth 2 billion Euros just in the years 2008-2012. One example of many: documents leaked from the Palestinian Authority have proven that corruption still exists. In the summer of this year documents were leaked proving that an aide to Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] had asked the foreign minister of Bahrain for the sum of 4 million dollars to finance a private residential complex for private elements in the Palestinian Authority.
Argument 6: Israel is a racist state.
Our truth: Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and all its citizens – Jews, Muslims and Christians – enjoy equal rights. The party representing Israeli Arabs is the third largest party in the Israeli Knesset, with significant political power. Israeli law mandates appropriate representation for Israeli Arabs in senior positions in the public sector. Israeli Arabs serve as public officials in government ministries, as lawmakers in the Knesset, as officers in the IDF and as judges, including the Supreme Court.
Argument 7: Israel is an apartheid state with a separation fence.
Our truth: The security fence does not create separation on an ethnic or religious basis, its purpose is merely to prevent the infiltration of terrorist elements into Israel, it is an existential necessity and every state would have been compelled to take action for the security of its citizens, of any sector. Its objective is merely security-oriented. One year after the construction of the separation fence, a sharp decline of 30% in the number of terrorist attacks was recorded and the number of Israelis being killed decreased by 90%. On the day Palestinian terror comes to an end, the fence will be removed.
Argument 8: The BDS movement strives for the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel.
Our truth: The movement does not recognize Israel’s right to exist. The boycott movement speaks of a single state from the Jordan River to the sea – this is a code name for the elimination of all Jews from all areas in Israel, not just the West Bank. Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of the movement says: “the two-state idea was wrong in the first place. Ending Israeli control of the Territories is only a first stage on the road to fulfilling the vision of dismantling Israel.” He is an Israeli Arab and a resident of Akko, enjoying all that Israel has to offer. The fact that he is free attests to the power of the only democracy in the Middle East. The movement is not interested in a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel, but denies the very existence of Israel. It conceals this from its naïve supporters in the West.
Argument 9: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the root cause of the terror problem across the world.
Our truth: since Israel was founded, 67 years ago, 12 million Muslims have already been killed across the Arab world by other Muslim as part of religious conflicts which have nothing to do with Israel. The attempt to blame the Jews is a new manifestation of old anti-Semitism in which Jews are to blame for everything. The resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is desirable and most Israelis support it, but it will not resolve the Sunni-Shiite conflict, it will not destroy ISIS, and it will not stop Iran from funding terror. The attempt to blame terror on Israel provides terrorists with excuses and assists terror.