Tuesday, June 24, 2014

BDS v. George Soros

I am one of many people disgusted with the ongoing Israeli settlement of the West Bank and with the failure — should I say, nonexistence? — of a viable peace process with any chance of culminating in a two-state solution. Some, with similar feelings, look to BDS for redress. Here's another reason why I can't and won't.

I've just learned that in late May George Soros bought stock in SodaStream. Maybe Scarlett Johansson made him do it; could be Soros, wizened investor that he is, finds her, down to her stock tips, utterly irresistible. Or maybe Soros had political motives, and thought SodaStream, though founded on West Bank land, provides a living wage and decent working conditions for hundreds of Palestinians. Or maybe it was all about the bottom line and Soros conceiving of SodaStream as a moneymaker.

I don't know the mind of George Soros. I do know that he has done an awful lot of good in the world — on behalf of human rights in what was then the Soviet Union; against the militarism of G. W. Bush and his bunch; and, when it comes to the Middle East, on behalf, lately, of Bedouins being kicked off their land in favor of an Israeli village to be built.

If we must have billionaires, would that there were quite a few more like George Soros.

As for BDS, I won't pretend to be a fan.

The response of Omar Barghouti, the Palestinian founder of the movement, to the Pope's visit to Israel this past spring, put an end to whatever confusion I might have wished to entertain about BDS. To reprise: Pope Francis, besides meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, in a clear show of support for Palestinian desires for a state of their own, also visited the grave of Theodore Herzl, in what was, for the Papacy, given its abysmal record with regard to anti-Semitism, a belated but welcome expression of sympathy for a Jewish State.

The visit to the grave of Herzl drove BDS founder Barghouti around the bend. He called it, among other things, "a nauseating, offensive act".

So I shouldn't have been surprised at the response of BDS to George Soros investing in SodaStream. And yet I was.

BDS has come up with the term "aidcott" for what it proposes to do to Soros and all his dreadful works. What is an aidcott? To the degree I get it, I think it's meant as a directive to shun George Soros. Take no money from him, no matter how the laudable the uses to which that money might be put.

In other words, George Soros is evil

If you believe that, throw in with BDS. If you believe the visit by Pope Francis to the grave of Theodore Herzl was "a nauseating, offensive act", BDS is just the thing for you.

I'm in a difficult place. I have always opposed Israeli settlements on the West Bank, on the grounds that they are not only, patently, bad for Palestinians but ultimately, also, for Jews.

I don't have a solution.

Still, I would say to people who feel as I do and turn to BDS out of frustration, that they are making a mistake: beware BDS; it is no a solution.

1 comment:

  1. Well, if you never went to a Presbyterian Church, you might announce that you never have and never will.