BDS: No dissent allowed
BDS EVENT AT UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON EXPOSES ANTI-FREE SPEECH VALUES
The anti-Israel BDS movement has established a significant presence on many United States college campuses. As the true goal of the movement (the destruction of the Jewish state) is unappealing to most ethically grounded college students, the presenters must obscure the motives of BDS by speaking and disseminating information in a hermetically sealed environment. The most common characteristic of any BDS “educational” event is the lack of an alternative perspective. Not only are the panelists always single minded, but questions from the audience that challenge the facts or morality of the movement are quite often simply ignored.
At a BDS event at the University of Washington on January 30th, 2014 titled “East Jerusalem, Occupation and Resistance” a student challenged the one sided nature of the event he had just experienced. The student who identified himself as sympathetic to the BDS movement criticized the speaker, Wael Elasady and co-presenter Maya Rotem for not responding to the more challenging questions from the audience. (One of the students had asked why the BDS movement opposes programs designed to create understanding and remove stereotypes between Palestinians and Israelis, the question was ignored).
The concerned UW student went on to share with Elasady and Rotem his concern regarding the unwillingness of BDS organizers and speakers to openly debate their positions with opponents of the anti-Israel movement. Elasady succinctly responded to the student that he is open to debate, even with an “Israeli-Jew“, “as long as their starting point is actual justice and resistance to the occupation and Apartheid. That is where we have to start from“.
When Elasady refers to “resistance to the occupation” he is speaking of war against Israel. The stated BDS practice of only engaging with those who embrace the BDS premise that labels Israel a criminal “Apartheid” state makes any debate pointless. What exactly is it that they would be debating?
The mission of these anti-Israel radicals can only prosper in an environment where true debate is forbidden. As with most such things, the light of honesty and truth would have them scurrying back to the dark places from whence they came.