BDS Myths & Facts

Refuting the Lies of the BDS Movement

In the past years, anti-Israel activists and anti-Semites have tried to delegitimize the State of Israel in that they tried to characterize Israel as an Apartheid State.

There is hope that this false comparison will smear the name of Israel and encourage actions similar to those taken against South Africa. This comparison is malicious and insults the South Africans who suffered under real apartheid.

Today in Israel, even though Jews are the majority, the Arab minority that lives in the State enjoy full and equal rights and are represented in every aspect of the market. Arabs are able to vote and are being represented in the Israeli Knesset. They work in high positions in the courts, the health system, the police and more.

Unlike Israel, in the discriminatory policies that existed in the apartheid era of South Africa, skin color determined every aspect of a citizen’s life. Black South Africans were not able to vote and were not considered citizens. Racists laws determined where they could live, work, which schools they could attend and which roads they could drive on. The South African government murdered blacks that protested these policies.

On the other hand, Israel allows freedom of travel, the right to protest, and freedom of speech. An example of this: some of the biggest critics of Israel are Arab Knesset members who are free to protest and criticize the government without fear of their rights being violated.

Even the author of the Goldstone Report, Richard Goldstone, who cannot be seen as pro-Israel ruled that:

“This is not apartheid that values the intentional separation of races as a value. In Israel, equal rights is the law, the goal, and the ideal.”

In the past years, anti-Israel activists and anti-Semites have tried to delegitimize the State of Israel in that they tried to characterize Israel as an Apartheid State. There is hope that this false comparison will smear the name of Israel and encourage actions similar to those taken against South Africa. This comparison is malicious and insults the South Africans who suffered under real apartheid. Today in Israel, even though Jews are the majority, the Arab minority that lives in the State enjoy full and equal rights and are represented in every aspect of the market. Arabs are able to vote and are being represented in the Israeli Knesset. They work in high positions in the courts, the health system, the police and more. Unlike Israel, in the discriminatory policies that existed in the apartheid era of South Africa, skin color determined every aspect of a citizen’s life. Black South Africans were not able to vote and were not considered citizens. Racists laws determined where they could live, work, which schools they could attend and which roads they could drive on. The South African government murdered blacks that protested these policies. On the other hand, Israel allows freedom of travel, the right to protest, and freedom of speech. An example of this: some of the biggest critics of Israel are Arab Knesset members who are free to protest and criticize the government without fear of their rights being violated. Even the author of the Goldstone Report, Richard Goldstone, who cannot be seen as pro-Israel ruled that:
“This is not apartheid that values the intentional separation of races as a value. In Israel, equal rights is the law, the goal, and the ideal”
The Palestinian conflict and terror against Jews in Israel began long before Israel took over the territories. Already in the 1940s, the Palestinian leadership collaborated with the Nazis against the Jews and acts of terror against Israel began long before the occupation (or liberation) of the territories in 1967. If the territories were the problem, how can we explain the fact that in 2005 Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip and since then tens of thousands of rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory?
The argument that Israel is committing genocide – a deliberate and systematic killing of a racial, national, political or cultural group that leads to a drastic decline in population – is inconsistent with the simple fact that in 1967, the Palestinian population numbered 955,000. By 2015, however, the Palestinian population had nearly quintupled to about 4.7 million. Therefore, either Israel is committing the worst genocide in history, or it is simply a blatant lie.
Only about 5% of the fence is actually a wall, while about 95% of it is a small fence which despite many lies, was not built to create separation on ethnic or religious grounds, but was intended to prevent the entry of terrorists into Israeli territory during and after the Second Intifada. This is an existential need, and every progressive country would have done the same in order to protect its citizens. A year before the fence was built, Israel suffered from 5,301 terrorist attacks and 451 casualties.
A year after the fence was built, there was a 30% drop in the number of attacks and the number of Israelis killed decreased by 90%. The day the Palestinian terror stops, the fence will disappear.

Our historical and national right to the State of Israel is based on a 3,000-year connection – we are the original indigenous of this land! This right was recognized by the General Assembly of the United Nations on November 29, 1947. Moreover, our international legal rights rely on the Balfour Declaration in 1917, which was officially and legally accepted and recognized by the League of Nations in the San-Remo Conference in 1920. There are 130 countries in the world with a Christian majority, 49 with a Muslim majority, 3 with a Hindu majority and only one Jewish state on an area representing 1/800 of the size of the entire Arab world.

If Israel had allowed the full right of return of the Palestinian refugees, their return would have forced Israel to take care of a population that is endangering its security and stability and would have transformed the State of Israel from a Jewish democracy into a Palestinian tyranny. Even the UN High Commission for Refugees, which is the UN body that deals with the vast majority of refugee issues in the world, does not demand the full right of return from Israel.

The State of Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East where all its citizens – Jews, Muslims and Christians – enjoy equal rights. The party representing Israeli Arabs, (“Hareshima Hameshutefet”) is the third largest in the Knesset, and therefore, constitutes a great political force. The Israeli law requires fair representation of Israeli Arabs in senior positions in the public sector. Israeli Arabs hold public positions in various government ministries, as legislators in the Knesset, as officers in the IDF, and as judges, including in the Supreme Court.
Although Israel regrets every innocent’s life that was taken as a result of the conflict, Israel’s role as a state, like any other state, is to protect its citizens. Unlike the organization that controls Gaza, Hamas, which is defined as a terrorist organization all over the world, Israel takes extreme measures, more than any other country in history, in order to protect innocent people. Hamas uses Gazans as human shields, places them near rocket launchers and weapons storage, and forces them to build terrorist tunnels intended to carry out attacks against Jews. Therefore, the blame should not fall on a democratic state that values the value of life, but on the terrorist organization whose sole purpose is the destruction of the State of Israel.
Zionism is a national liberation movement, and the idea behind it is that Jews deserve the right to self-determination in a country of their own, in the homeland of their forefathers – Israel.
Just as the French people deserve France or the Chinese, China. That is what brought the Jews back to Israel in the first place. Since the beginning of the 19th century, and especially in Eastern Europe and the Arab countries, many Jews were persecuted for being Jews. Therefore, they decided to immigrate to Israel. An Austrian-Jewish journalist named Theodore Herzl turned to the Ottoman Empire for permission to allocate part of historic Israel’s territory to the Jews, thus fulfilling the vision of Zionism. In 1917, as part of the Balfour Declaration – “National Home for the Jewish People”, this request was accepted. In 1922, it was approved by the League of Nations. Every piece of land where Jews were settled was purchased and paid for by law, and until the establishment of the state in 1948, no single Arab was expelled from his land.
There is no Israeli blockade on Gaza. First of all Gaza does not only share a border with Israel, it also shares one with Egypt. There is a 13 kilometer border between Gaza and Egypt. No, Israel does not control the area from Rafiach to Gaza. This path is mostly used by people travelling to Egypt and returning from Egypt to the rest of the world. More importantly, every shipment is allowed to enter Gaza from Israel except for weapons and a short list of items terrorists can use for their activities. Hamas, a terror organization that controls the Strip continues to commit terror acts and sticks to its stance that it will not recognize Israel’s right to exist. They are those that are responsible for the limitations which were set in place to protect the citizens of Israel from the continued terror attacks of Hamas.
Every year, millions of Muslims enter the site of the Temple Mount uninterfied while Jews and Christians are able to visit only during designated times. The Temple Mount is the holiest site for Jews around the world, it is the site where King Solomon built the holy temple 3,000 years ago. Despite this fact, in practice, Muslims are the only ones allowed to pray at the site. The ones that are trying to change the status quo are in fact the Palestinians. They use violent tactics to keep Jews and even Christians from being able to visit the site the is holy to all three religions.