By Ron Jager
As we have all watched in disbelief over the past few weeks, we keep wondering when President Obama will wake up and understand the ramifications of his strategic concessions. We wonder when Obama will put aside his seemingly childish eagerness for obscure negotiations. When will he put aside his hunger for diplomatic success, and respond forcibly? I even imagine at times that he will pull a fast one and turn the cards on America’s adversaries—but to no avail.
President Obama, the “reset” president, a dropout from the school of hard knocks, has been exposed by President Putin, the proud commander-in-chief of Russia’s military forces, who has shown us all that resistance is not part of Obama’s repertoire, and that Obama will most likely finish out his second presidential term as a hopeless neophyte.
Sadly, it doesn’t end there. During Obama’s watch, we have seen the dramatic rise of the systematic campaign known to most as the BDS movement (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) directed against Israel. Its overall goal is to drive a wedge between the Jewish state and its principal allies. The BDS campaign brings together a loose coalition of Palestinian support groups, left-wing American and European academics and intellectuals, veterans of the shrunken Israeli peace movement, and others who just hate Jews and along the way dislike Israel. Their Israel is the only obstacle to peace in the Middle East, a strategic liability rather than an ally, an unjust, inhumane country filled with repugnant and offensive people.
Exclusively within the United States is the energetic campaign mounted by Jewish critics of Israel who make every effort to kosherize the key themes of the global BDS campaign in order to mainstream their agenda into the left wing of the Democratic Party, the party of the neophyte president. These Jewish critics of Israel are not simply secular and non-Zionist, they are anti-Zionist and, by extension, anti-Israel, denying the manifest expression of 2,000 years of Zionism.
Prior to Obama’s presidency, the BDS movement limited itself to the disputed territories, Judea and Samaria. But over the past six years, as if on cue from the neophyte president, and in response to Obama’s policy decisions to retrench American power abroad, anti-Democratic, anti-West, and jihadi Islamic forces have quickly moved in and filled the power vacuum. As a result, the BDS movement has systematically expanded its campaign against all of Israel, denying even the basic idea that the Jewish has a serious, honest, and historic claim to sovereignty over the land of Israel.
They effectively deny any right of Israel to define itself as the homeland of the Jewish nation. The movement to boycott Israel has cloaked itself in the language of human rights to distract us from its true goal, that Israel cease to be a Jewish state. This strategy is similar to President Putin’s justification for the invasion of Georgia, located near southern Russia, and the Ukraine, located near western Russia, by Russian military forces. In the case of Russia, as well as in the case of the BDS movement, the use of human-rights rhetoric has only distracted from the true goals of the actors.
Both Russia and the BDS movement enjoy the support of the radical Left, who have an ongoing romance with militant Islam as well as with former Communist totalitarian nations. Just as the Left was drawn to the Communist killing machines of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and Castro, so too it is now attracted to radical Islam. Both the radical Left and radical Islam possess a profound hatred for Western culture, for a capitalist economic structure that recognizes individual achievement, and for the Judeo-Christian heritage of the United States. They also despise Israel as the very embodiment of Western morality. They also are the major funders of the global coalition to boycott Israel and spread BDS throughout America.
In the same manner that President Obama’s lack of firm U.S. action has provided a silent acquiescence for a further Russian expansion in post-Soviet satellite states, BDS movements are expected to score additional successes in the coming year. Israel and those supporters of Israel who understand the danger of the BDS movement must unite and demand that all BDS organizations and their supporters be excluded from being a part of any mainstream Jewish communal activities. BDS means to isolate Israel and therefore shrink her commercial and intellectual intercourse. BDS supports anti-Semitism, advocating the “full” right of return of Palestinian Arab refugees, which would mean an end to Jewish Israel. Their one-sided condemnation of ’48 is a rejection of our democratic Zionism and of democratic Israel.
We must reject and condemn the performers, funders, and investors who say they won’t perform, fund, or invest in Israel. We must expose them for what they are and call them delegitimizers and anti-Semites. They should not be given a stage and they are unwelcome in our communal tent. Let’s get the message across to America’s neophyte president that his war of rhetoric rather than war of action has elevated the BDS movement way beyond its actual size and influence. v
Ron Jager is a 25-year veteran of the Israel Defense Forces, where he served as a field mental-health officer and as commander of the central psychiatric military clinic for reserve soldiers at Tel-Hashomer. Since retiring from active duty in 2005, he has been providing consultancy services to NGOs, implementing psychological trauma treatment programs in Israel. Ron currently serves as a strategic advisor to the Chief Foreign Envoy of Judea and Samaria. To contact him, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ronjager.com.