How to Put BDS out of Business

Behind the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel (BDS) are a number of organizations connected to terrorism. Existing counterterror laws, as well as recent anti-BDS laws that have been passed by several American states and European countries, can thus be used to shut down these groups’ bank accounts, or prevent them from using services like PayPal. Benjamin Weinthal and Asaf Romirowsky explain:

[M]any BDS organizations are entwined with states and other entities that advance hate groups and terrorism at large. The Dallas-based bank Comerica said in May that it closed the account of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) due to a “business decision.” [But most likely] Texas’s Governor Greg Abbott’s ratification of an anti-BDS law in early May set the stage for the shutdown of the anti-Israel organization’s account. . . . As the Harvard jurist Alan Dershowitz [noted], IADL “was founded as a Communist front and supported financially by the Soviet Union. It is anti-democratic to its core and supportive of terrorism and repression.” . . .

The IADL is part and parcel of a dangerous, growing BDS cottage industry in the West. . . . The interplay between terrorism finance and BDS is perhaps best illustrated by BDS South Africa—the so-called “mothership” of the anti-Israel campaign. In 2015, Farid Esack—an Islamic theologian and head of BDS South Africa—held a series of fund-raisers with Leila Khaled, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) who participated in the 1969 hijacking of a TWA jet. The United States and the EU have classified the PFLP as a terrorist organization. . . .

The neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer has [also] long been a supporter of BDS. And the German neo-Nazi party Der Dritte Weg (The Third Way) raises funds for its BDS activities using PayPal. Members of the Der Dritte Weg can be seen on the website at the Hizballah propaganda museum in Mleeta, Lebanon.

Both legal tools and public pressure, write Weinthal and Ramirowsky, can and should be used to make it difficult for these groups to keep doing business.

Read more at National Interest

More about: American law, BDS, Israel & Zionism, neo-Nazis, PFLP, Terrorism

An Israeli Buffer Zone in the Gaza Strip Doesn’t Violate International Law

 The IDF announced on Thursday that it is safe for residents to return to some of the towns and villages near the Gaza Strip that have been abandoned since October 7. Yet on the same day, rocket sirens sounded in one of those communities, Kibbutz Mefalsim. To help ensure security in the area, Israel is considering the creation of a buffer zone within the Strip that would be closed to Palestinian civilians and buildings. The U.S. has indicated, however, that it would not look favorably on such a step.

Avraham Shalev explains why it’s necessary:

The creation of a security buffer along the Gaza-Israel border serves the purpose of destroying Hamas’s infrastructure and eliminating the threat to Israel. . . . Some Palestinian structures are practically on the border, and only several hundred yards away from Israeli communities such as Kfar Aza, Kerem Shalom, and Sderot. The Palestinian terrorists that carried out the murderous October 7 attacks crossed into Israel from many of these border-adjacent areas. Hamas officials have already vowed that “we will do this again and again. The al-Aqsa Flood [the October 7th massacre] is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth.”

In 2018 and 2019, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad organized mass marches towards the Israeli border with the goal of breaking into Israel. Billed by Palestinians as “the Great March of Return,” its name reveals its purpose—invasion. Although the marches were supposedly non-violent, they featured largescale attacks on Israeli forces as well as arson and damage to Israeli agriculture and civilian communities. Moreover, the October 7 massacre was made possible by Hamas’s prepositioning military hardware along the border under false cover of civilian activity. The security perimeter is intended to prevent a reprise of these events.

Shalev goes on to dismantle the arguments put forth about why international law prohibits Israel from creating the buffer zone. He notes:

By way of comparison, following the defeat of Nazi Germany, France occupied the Saar [River Valley] directly until 1947 and then indirectly until reintegration with Germany in 1957, and the Allied occupation of Berlin continued until the reunification of Germany in 1990. The Allies maintained their occupation long after the fall of the Nazi regime, due to the threat of Soviet invasion and conquest of West Berlin, and by extension Western Europe.

Read more at Kohelet

More about: Gaza Strip, Gaza War 2023, International Law, Israeli Security