On Monday evening, Israel's Independence Day, George Washington University's student association narrowly rejected a resolution calling on the university to divest its resources from the only democracy in the Middle East. This resolution exemplifies the bigoted and alarming trend of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which must be constantly combatted.
The motion called for GW to cut its financial interests from Boeing, General Electric, Caterpillar, and other firms that conduct business in Israel, which the resolution accuses of "the furthering of Palestinian suffering." The measure cited Boeing as the manufacturer of an attack helicopter used by the Israeli Defense Forces in Gaza, and accused Israel's government of demolishing Palestinian homes with Caterpillar bulldozers.
Like any country, Israel is far from perfect. It is one thing to criticize, it is another to demonize. BDS resolutions exemplify the latter. The activists that call for BDS do not call for boycotts of Syria, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Turkey, Iran, North Korea, and other countries which routinely violate human rights. For example, where is the outrage against Myanmar for its persecution of Rohingya Muslims?
Israel is the only Middle East nation where Arabs can have the same rights as Jewish-Israelis. For example, there is an Arab-Israeli on the nation's supreme court. It is the only Middle East nation with LGBTQ rights. It is the only Middle East nation with women's rights.
It is the only Middle East nation that treats Syrian refugees humanely. The Ziv Hospital in northern Israel has cared for almost 3,000 Syrians seeking treatment during Bashar al-Assad's near-six-year crusade against his citizens.
Altogether, it is the only progressive country in the Middle East.
If these activists really cared about Palestinians, they would speak out on how Hamas and the Palestinian Authority conduct terrorism against not only Israeli, but also their own, civilians. In Gaza, the U.S.-designated terrorist group Hamas, which control the area, uses civilians, especially children, as human shields. Moreover, Hamas uses hospitals, schools, and other civilian facilities to store weapons and other military equipment personnel.
BDS advocates claim the West Bank is "occupied" by Israel. U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 declares these territories as "land [which Israel seized from Jordan in the 1967 War] for peace [between Israel and the Palestinians]."
GW is not the only campus to partake in BDS hype. Last month, the student governments at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Tufts University passed this kind of anti-Israel initiative. These developments underscore the rise in campus anti-Semitism: the number of such incidents in higher education skyrocketed last year compared to 2015. According to the AMCHA Initiative, which monitors and combats anti-Semitism on college campuses, in just the first two-and-a-half months in 2017, there were over 30 incidents involving "anti-Jewish genocidal expression."
Finally, BDS resolutions are the antithesis of free expression, especially on college campuses. The five-plus hour debate this week that went into the wee hours demonstrated that discussion, not repercussion, is best toward solving issues like the Mideast conflict. Furthermore, the double standard and hypocrisy are nothing but immoral. To slightly paraphrase Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who spoke out against the 1975 resolution, which declared "Zionism is racism": GW did not "join the jackals."
Jackson Richman is a political science major at George Washington University and is a contributing writer for Red Alert Politics, American Action News, Campus Reform, and other outlets, and can be followed on Twitter at @jacksonrichman. Thinking of submitting an op-ed to the Washington Examiner? Be sure to read our guidelines on submissions.
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