Understanding the BDS

  • Feldman
We live in world where less and less makes sense. A world where millions unite against the murder of 12 but hardly notice of the slaughter of 2000 the very same weekend. A world where permission to build housing within the legal borders of a country ignites anger and hatred but the daily culling of close to 300 Syrians is hardly noticed by the press.
by HOWARD FELDMAN | Jan 14, 2015

A world where the president of the largest democracy in the world forgets to attend a rally against terrorism, but remembers to remind us that we should not be Islamophobic. A world , where those who “cry foul” are most often from countries with no free press, no democracy with no respect for the the rights of women and gays and people of other religions.

A world, where in the interest of “freedom”, the BDS movement chooses as their mascot, a murder-weapon-toting terrorist in a “Che Guevare” pose. Where a instrument of death is clutched as though it is a bouquet of roses. A world where at a time where we are reeling against brutality and death, the BDS openly glorifies the AK-47 and extols the virtue of someone who has hijacked a plane. This is our world and it leaves me perplexed.

The decision by the BDS to bring Leila Khaled to South Africa, in order to raise money for their cause, is baffling, bizarre and completely perplexing. That they try and justify the decision with the use of contorted mental acrobatics by comparing her to Nelson Mandela in that he was a “freedom fighter” is downright offensive to his memory. And illogical.

Osama bin Laden would claim the same thing as he directed planes into the Twin Towers - he too had a cause which was to free the world from American interference, as does Boko Haram who are fighting for the “freedom” to introduce sharia law in Nigeria.

This is not freedom at all, but oppression and murder. And the BDS has chosen this as its symbol. Not so smart.

My attempt to get hold of Mohammed Desai, leader of this perplexing band, has to date been unsuccessful. I keep thinking that I must be missing something, that given a conversation with him, all would make sense, because surely, surely, he could not be glorifying terrorism.

Not knowingly. Not if he understood the sensitivity and the hurt and the pain caused by terrorism. Not when the world stands on the brink of chaos as a result of these vile acts. Surely, not even they would sink to that.

We know that his troupe have been caught red faced time and time again with their anti-Semitic pants down (so to speak), but why on earth would they so openly flaunt their racism? It simply makes no sense unless we re see it as an act of desperation by an increasingly irrelevant and marginalised body.

The terrorist that they intend brining to South Africa, will destabilise and divide. No good will come out of it - for anyone in this country, for the Middle East or for the fight against terror.

They will be teaching their children that as long as you find some kind of “justification” for terror and barbarism, then this is acceptable.

But sadly, even though it would be best to ignore the ill-advised publicity stunt, as Jews and as South Africans and as citizens of a turbulent world, we have the responsibility to protest this - legally, because that is how it is done.



  1. 8 steve marks 14 Jan
    Bravo Howard
  2. 7 Choni 14 Jan
    Surely Jewish leaders meeting with the leaders of the biggest Jew killers since Hitler -

    Blah blah, blah - sorry Choni, you have made this exact same point to exactly the same people many times ver the past month. It is getting tired and duly expunged. You have already well over-used your harasing rights for the day  -ED

  3. 6 Saul Jassinowsky 15 Jan
    Howard, they are already teaching that any justification for terror is valid. Refer to Iqbal Jassat's comments on Friday in The Star. Too late in this case...
  4. 5 nat cheiman 15 Jan
    BDS are racist and anti semites. Its not difficult to fathom where they are at.
    I don't think anyone takes them seriously except for a few of their own kind.
    Desai probably needs a good klap to bring him to his senses.
  5. 4 Myron Robinson 15 Jan
    Howard, Desai will never debate you in an open Forum. He uses his friendly "Jews" for that. The BDS are morally & politically bankrupt. Why not ask Zapiro where his cartoon is vis-a-vis Charlie Hebdo. I once had a lot of respect for him however he has now shown his true colours. Any cartoonist/Newspaper Editor worth his/her salt should reproduce that publication of Photographs in its entirety. Freedom of speech only applies when Jews/Israelis are at the end of the ridicule.
  6. 3 Jonni 16 Jan
    Haganah and Irgun were FREEDOM fighters , Leila Khaled and her lackies are terrorists.
    Perhaps the world will one day wake up to this distinction.
  7. 2 nat cheiman 18 Jan
    Europe has partially woken up. It will be interesting to see how BDS fares with attendance figures. Meantime, back at the ranch, I bet Desai is laughing all the way to the bank.You know, radicals get funded and they spend a lot on themselves. Look at the ex VC of Rhodes. Huge discrepencies in the books of a/c at Rhodes. He got his tochas kicked and is probably somewhere in Kazakstan or maybe on the fringes of Mongolia for his sins. Anyway, back to that radical Desai. I have always wondered why he never appears in public. Probably because he thinks he will be lynched. But a bright lad. He's worked out that BDS is more profitable than his dad's business so nu!!!! Who can blame him.
  8. 1 Judith Yacov 21 Jan
    I have to take issue with the BDS movement that is more involved with raising money to fund its activities than their actual mission.  They focus on petty things like boycotting Soda Stream, putting over 600 Palestinians working in an area that has been agreed on for Israel in the land swaps of an eventual agreement.  As long as Israeli start-up ventures have a market, they will not succeed in divesting.  Now, as for boycotting the really important stuff, somehow, even bringing Leila Khaled out of the mothballs of history for an airing, isn't going to stop people from using their Intel-run computers, finding their way on WAYZ, getting themselves checked on MRI's and CAT scans, taking drugs that focus on growths rather than indiscriminately destroy cells, making paraplegics mobile with electronic limb control and a plethora of other Israeli initiated ventures.  Why not accept Israel's presence and get down to real negotiations.?  Palestinian youths would benefit from education that is hate-free and gives them vocational training to be productive and prosper and Israel would benefit from good relations with her neighbors and the resolution of an old family feud.  Why bring up yet a fourth generation of refugees?  Why use funds for infrastructure and education on building tunnels instead of schools, on turning young people into militiamen, who will be unemployed in peacetime and frustrated because they don't have a profession?  This corner of the world could really be a light unto the nations.


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