Your Voice | Fact checking BDS claims


An alumni and senior software engineer at HUP responds to a letter signed by professors around the U.S., Canada




Recently, The Daily Pennsylvanian published a letter signed by faculty from different institutions (“BDS a ‘tool’ to challenge racial inequality,” 02/09/2012). Let’s fact check a typical sentence in that letter.

1) The letter draws an analogy between the situation of the Palestinians and the former apartheid in South Africa even though Jews and Arabs live in the same cities and have equal rights including the right to vote. The real apartheid is in the Palestinian Authority and Hamas controlled areas where it is too dangerous for Jews to live and Palestinians living in refugee camps have not been resettled because they are a useful pawn in the propaganda war against Israel. Palestinian leaders have said that a future Palestinian state would be Judenrein. Where is the BDS outcry against Palestinian apartheid?

2) The authors claim that “BDS challenges dispossession.” The British created Jordan out of three quarters of the Jewish National Home as a reward for Hashemite help during World War I. One half of the remaining area was cut out by the United Nations to give to the Palestinian Arabs some of whose leaders such as Zuheir Mohsen, have admitted that there is no difference between Jordanians and Palestinians. Where is the BDS outcry against the dispossession of the Jews?

3) “BDS challenges racial inequality.” First of all, the Arabs are not a different race. There are Jews and Muslims of all races. Israelis rescued Ethiopians from their Muslim oppressors and flew them to Israel. Why don’t these authors condemn the slavery that still exists in Arab countries?

4) “BDS is against genocidal violence.” Has anyone noticed that although Israel is constantly being accused of genocide that the Muslim population of Israel keeps increasing? Has anyone noticed that the Christian population in the Palestinian-controlled areas is decreasing due to oppression by Palestinians? Why isn’t BDS raising awareness about the oppression of Christians in Arab countries? Where is BDS’s concern for the Christian refugees from Palestine?

BDS is not promoting dialogue in fact a previous DP article reported instances in which it silenced opposing viewpoints. BDS conferences invert reality and slander Israel. They plant seeds of hate which along with other propaganda festivals have born fruit at other American universities and made them a hostile environment for Jewish students. This is one reason Jewish students and staffs are so concerned about such conferences and why we protest so strongly.

Gamaliel Isaac is a 1997 Ph.D. graduate and senior software engineer at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

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