A Knesset Committee Hearing


Antisemitism is in a troubling upsurge in America and Europe. If you are a student of history, you should realize the Antisemitism in pre-WWII USA and Europe that reached a zenith with Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany, appears to be history repeating itself in this present time.

 

Ari Bussel sent me a bit of editorial of the issue of Antisemitism and the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Ari found out that Israel’s version of Congress or Parliament – Knesset – had a Committee hearing on Antisemitism and BDS in America and Europe, exploring how such Jew-hatred affects Israel.

 

Ari notes the Committee met under the inspiration of the pro-Israel NGO known as Stand With Us.

 

JRH 11/7/17

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A Knesset Committee Hearing

[Antisemitism and BDS]

 

By Ari Bussel

Sent 11/5/2017 2:55 PM

 

Dear Friends,

 

The invitation by the Government Press Office to the Foreign Press Corps (please see below) sparked my interest:   hearing at the Israeli Parliament titled “Upsurge in Anti-Semitism in the US and Europe” at the initiative of Stand With Us.

 

SWU

 

Stand With Us is a 510(c)(3) educational organization that works tirelessly on US campuses and beyond to inform and educate the public about Israel, its past and present.  The organization was founded a decade and a half ago in Los Angeles, and the same people who founded it are still at the helm, dedicating their lives to being at the forefront of the Public Diplomacy Front on behalf of the Jewish People.

 

The organization has grown tremendously, it now has offices throughout the world and a very impressive annual budget.  Some of the major donors are based in Los Angeles, providing the necessary fertile ground on which action sprouts, grows and expands.  It is absolutely impressive.

 

In Israel the organization has presence on all university campuses, graduating hundreds of students from its programs every year, training them to be “soldiers on the front lines, ambassadors of the Jewish State of Israel.”

 

The organization’s current offices in Jerusalem host some 20,000 people a year, yielding them a street sign (close to YMCA):

 

Stand With Us Office Sign in Jerusalem

 

I have witnessed the work of Stand With Us first hand since its inception, and I could not resist going to Jerusalem for the hearing by the Knesset Immigration Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee.  SWU, Knesset, Jerusalem – an irresistible mix!

 

Ineffective Work

 

I wanted to know what will be presented, and more interestingly, what might be the reaction.  I remember having attended a similar hearing, same venue, same Committee, on 5/17/2011.  The subject matter was how does Israel and the Diaspora deal with the “Palestinian Narrative” about the formation of the modern State of Israel.  (The years passed, and the situation only deteriorated.  Thus, in the report card it is pointed out that Israel is failing in practice in its public diplomacy efforts.)

 

That meeting was chaired by Danny Danon, today Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.  I was astonished then to see a room full of experts in their respective fields, and yet not one person from the “Diaspora.”  And how does a country fight at the Public Diplomacy Front when not a single soldier from the front line is present to report and participate?  Think of General Headquarters, completely disconnected from what is happening on the ground.

 

Committee hearings are dangerous, for they provide a false sense of activity and reassurance, when in reality such crucial and existential subject matters cannot be addressed in a short period of time (usually a couple of hours at most).

 

BDS

 

Why is it important to know what is happening on the ground?  One could learn a bit about the spread of the “Palestinian Narrative” when, for instance, Bargouti, the “doctoral student from Apartheid University Tel Aviv” came to Los Angeles.  He is the founder of the single most successful movement of the 21st Century – other than Daesh (ISIS) – which is commonly known today as “BDS” (Boycott, Divest, Sanction Israel).

 

Echoes of the strength and success of this movement have even reached the Committee Hearing’s floor as the representative of one of the Government ministries informed all those present how successful its ministry’s cooperation and support of numerous organizations (none of which elects to be known by name) in defeating the BDS movement.

 

Fantastically and most encouragingly spoken, by a person who thus understands not in what the movement is all about.  Given that a ranking Deputy Minister (in charge, under the PM, of Foreign Affairs) repeats the same mantra, saying the obvious that the BDS efforts to harm Israel economically are unsuccessful, there is a basic misunderstanding in Israel about what the BDS movement is all about.

 

[Blog Editor: Ari doesn’t provide the name of the photo I presumed to “Deputy Minister (in charge, under the PM, of Foreign Affairs)”. I looked the Minister and I think the photo is of Tzipi Hotovely (Haaretz & Wikipedia). But I’m not certain. I am guessing if I am incorrect Ari will send an email pointing out my mistake.]

 

Let us recall, for a moment, the Mavi Marmara and the Turkish Terrorist Flotilla of Lies.  The organizers knew they are unlikely to break the blockade by Egypt and Israel over Gaza.  (Remember, the naval blockade was designed, inter alia, to prevent armament and experts from Iran to arrive en masse.)

 

But the calculation by the organizers – as reported by anti-terrorism expert Steve Emerson – was clear:  If Israel lets us through, we win, and if Israel tries to harm us, we win!

 

Likewise with the BDS movement – it is a win-win situation.  Economic warfare is just a byproduct.  If it happens, it is a bonus.  But this is not the intention of the BDS movement, that was designed to spread lies and deceit, repeat them often enough and create not only confusion but a parallel reality which the world will assume is truth, the whole truth and nothing by the truth.

 

It seems that Israelis have not yet internalized this threat.  For them, the BDS movement does not achieve its namesake (“Boycott, Divest, Sanction”) so it must be a failure (i.e. Israel has the upper hand).

 

* Israel is Apartheid (one needs not even know what is Apartheid, it sounds “evil” enough).  Note also the equal sign:  Israel is the equivalent of something horrible, something that sounds very bad and distasteful.

* Israeli soldiers are the New Nazis.

* Gaza is an open air ghetto, its people being slowly starved to death by Israel.

* Israel steals the water of the Palestinians.

* Israel waters cotton and banana plantations (notorious for their high consumption of water) with drinking water.

* Israeli settlers contaminate the environment by discharging waste in the open.

* Israelis harvest organs of young Palestinian males and throw the men then, still half alive, like garbage.

* Israeli soldiers do not rape Palestinian women, since they view them as sub-human.

* Israel has developed a super large cat, that targets only Muslim Arabs in East Jerusalem.

* Israel demolishes 24,000 houses (of Muslim Arabs) every year.

* The Settlements are the root-cause of all evil.

 

And it continues on and on, ad nauseam, to the point that we start believing all these blood libels and feel the urge to go and correct the wrongs by the Jews, rid the world of that problem once and for all and bring peace and tranquility and an end to all the world’s problems with a hand wave:  JUST ELIMINATE THE JEWS!  They are imperialists-colonialists-zionists – they must return to their countries of origin, for they stole and occupy a land that was never theirs.  They are pigs and apes!

 

This is the real threat of the BDS movement, that feeds from and thrives upon pure hatred, the ancient Anti-Semitism.  An endless supply of fuel to the chimneys, that one day soon will once again spew ashes into the air, night and day without rest.

 

Kristallnacht, 2017

 

Those who have not been exposed to the work on the ground may be alarmed or dismiss the entire description as “right wing extremism” (or, worse as Islamophobia!)  But it is sufficient to experience what is happening on college campuses in the USA, in inter-faith meetings and all other opportunities to realize how dangerous the situation, how it prepares the groundswell to action the likes of which the world has experienced some eight decades ago (79 years ago this Thursday and Friday).

 

We are told:  It is not Anti-Semitism, but legitimate criticism of the State, its government and policies.  Except, Israel is singled out, and as the allegations and lies sink in, it becomes permissible – even necessary – to act against the perpetrators, those bloody Israelis.  From that point, the jump into action is easy, and everything is then excusable, including murder and mayhem.  Jewish blood must be spilled to avenge all the wrongdoings by the Jews.

 

My parents survived the Holocaust.  They were young children and did not experience the 30s or Kristallnacht.  Remember how it all started:  First it was legitimate to burn books.  The leap from burning books to burning people was made without an effort and the chimneys did not stop spewing human dust. [Bold Text Blog Editor’s]

 

All that the BDS movement is doing (and achieving with great strides) is preparing the ground that anything that will happen to the Jews is both warranted and acceptable.  The Jews deserve the fate that is in store for them.  So was in the past; so in present time.

 

A Knesset Committee Hearing

 

I was intrigued this time around to hear what would be reported about the US – an area where I have some limited expertise – and in Europe.  Thus, full of energy and anticipation, I ascended unto Jerusalem.

 

The entire hearing is available on the Knesset website and the Knesset channel (http://main.knesset.gov.il/Activity/committees/Immigration/Pages/CommitteeTVarchive.aspx) [Blog Editor: If you speak English me, you’ll have to use some kind of translator for the Knesset.gov link], and the full transcript will be available (in Hebrew) in a few weeks’ time.  In my upcoming column (in print in Los Angeles this week), I point out the main impression of that entire morning:  The European ambassadors are taking the subject matter of fighting Anti-Semitism extremely seriously.  Each, in his turn, gave a brief overview of his government’s current actions and activities.  This was most impressive and reassuring.

 

For a preview of the column, please visit:

 

http://www.news1.co.il/Archive/0026-D-123967-00.html

 

[Blog Editor: at this Ari has several photos of his visit to the Knesset Committee in Jerusalem. I am only including the photos presented with a caption.]

 

The Austrian Ambassador, Martin Weiss, previously the Consul General in LA

 

The German Ambassador, Dr. Clemens von Goetze

 

The UK and French (L to R) representatives

 

MK Dr. Anat Berko

 

Committee Chair, MK Dr. Avraham Neguise

(In this Apartheid country, there is no differentiation in the skin color of a person; there are Muslim members of the Supreme Court and Arab members of the Knesset; there are Arab doctors and nurses and professors; minorities are protected and enjoy equal rights only in one place in the entire Middle East and the African continent!)

 

MK Dr. Nachman Shai (L) with the European Ambassadors of Germany, Austria and the EU

 

European Action –

Never to Forget

 

We know that seven decades after the end of WWII, the world has started to forget, to doubt and to raise questions.  A day will come, not so distant, when my parents’ generation will no longer be here – the last Survivors of the Holocaust.  A young person will ask his smart gadget “tell me what was the Holocaust,” and the answer will be “A sovereign country convened a scientific conference that concluded it was just a Zionist lie to cause the world to acquiesce to the Jews stealing and occupying a land not theirs.”  This conference, apparently was then followed by an international competition of cartoons, all belittling and countering the notion of a “holocaust.”

 

There will be no more Survivors.  There will only be doubts.

 

Thus, standing steadfast and resolute with utter determination is crucial, for otherwise we will succumb to the same notion that “maybe there was no Holocaust” and “maybe it was not really what we are taught” and “maybe there is more hype than reality” in all those stories, for “it cannot be….”

 

It is quite amazing to see countries like Germany, Austria, France, Great Britain and the European Union taking relentless action, safeguarding the lessons of the Holocaust.  Alas, it is exactly Germany, under Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been a steadfast, true friend of Israel.

 

Noticeably Absent

 

There are those, both during the Committee Hearing and afterwards in the media, who tried to politicize and sensationalize the absence of the US Ambassador.

 

The US neither slumbers nor sleeps in its activities against racism and bigotry of all kinds, and specifically against Anti-Semitism.  Actions talk louder than words, and the US Ambassador may have felt there is no need to defend or even present what is so obvious back at home.

 

Or maybe the Ambassador could not have shown up to a meeting initiated by a NGO in the USA, lest he be seen as promoting the organization.

 

Whatever the reason, given the presence of his fellow Ambassadors, I felt Ambassador Friedman’s presence would have added and brought balance, since the USA continues to be at the forefront of fighting Anti-Semitism and protecting civil liberties.

 

Instead, his absence created an opportunity to, once again, attack our President, what has turned to a national pastime since President Trump’s election to the highest office of the land.

 

The Right of Return Home

 

Interestingly, during the hearing (luckily after most of the Ambassadors have left), there was some finger pointing whose essence:  It is their governments’ responsibility to protect their Jewish citizens.  The contrast between the Jewish organizations and the representatives of the different Government Ministries and the European representative was striking.  The latter took a few minutes each to give a list of actions being carried out.  It was a report of doing.  It was a very focused, no-nonsense, most-serious approach to a heavy burden carried.  All the while, the Israelis and Jewish participants engaged in a game one may call “passing the Buck.”

 

The message should have been clear:  There is ONE Jewish homeland, it is called Israel.  Since its rebirth seventy years ago, Israel has absorbed Jewish immigrants from all over the world:

 

* Hundreds of thousands who were expelled from the Arab countries who refused to recognize the rebirth of the Jewish State.  

 

* The remnants of the ashes of the Holocaust.  

 

* Later the massive immigration from the former Soviet Union.  

 

* And the Ethiopian immigration.  

 

* They were then followed by the Jews of Venezuela (but they stopped in Miami and in Spain and did not arrive en masse to Israel), and

 

* The Jews of France who fled France for fear of their lives (one can hear so many people speaking French in Israel, and there are entire cities where the French bought condos for a rainy day).

 

Jewish refugees and immigrants alike were all absorbed.  They all assimilated.  They are all one – “Israelis.”

 

By law, every Jewish person can come home to Israel.  It is the shelter and the homeland.  One country in the entire world that is a Jewish state and the only homeland of the Jewish people.

 

Looking Forward

 

Once, eight decades ago, there was no Israel, just a dream and a yearning to go back, to revive the ancient land.

 

Today, there is Israel.  She has the Israel DEFENSE Forces.  She is a member of the family of nations, and she will do all it takes to protect her people, wherever they are.

 

Things are very different, yet they are so similar.  The same trends.  The same undercurrents.  The same blood libels.  The same ancient hatred.

 

Israel needs to focus and prepare.  There will be new waves of immigration, people fleeing due to the rise of Anti-Semitism.  This is Israel’s responsibility, not the EU’s, the USA’s or that of any other foreign entity.

 

All the rest must pay close attention, for maybe we have not learned some lessons of the past:  History tends to repeat itself.  What is effective against the Jews, is also effective against others – Christians, various minorities and, yes, even Muslims (in the hand of Muslims).  When we do not stand up and take action when someone else is being targeted, we may find ourselves being targeted without anyone standing up to protect and defend us!

 

(Below you will find an article about Christian persecution in Muslim countries – “We are going to burn you alive.”)

 

The Committee Hearing took place just before the 100 year mark of the Balfour Declaration and a week before the 79th anniversary of Kristallnacht.  Let us remember, and let us not sit idle as evil, once again, is rearing its ugly head in preparation for the blood it can only smell!

 

Tonight, Sunday, 11/5/2017, Israel’s tenth President Rivlin met with leaders of Spain’s Jewish community and here are some of his remarks, most pertinent to the discussion carried herein.

 

President Rivlin: “We must not surrender to anti-Semitism, we must fight it. I am pleased that the Spanish government is taking steps in legislation and enforcement against this ugly phenomenon. We must not be ashamed of or hide our identity. We will fight these challenges together.”

 

“We love and respect every Jew, wherever they are, but you will be welcome always should you choose to come to your home in the State of Israel.”

 

“The State of Israel today operates an extensive network to combat anti-Semitism disguised as the delegitimization of Israel, to fight hatred of Jews disguised as a criticism of Israeli Government policy: these bodies are at your disposal, they are also here for you.”

 

“We are brothers, let us stand together.”

 

“We are together in the war against anti-Semitism, and today we are stronger than ever.”  The President went on to note that the campaign to boycott and impose sanctions on Israel was, “an expression of anti-Semitism”.

 

 

So let us give thanks that there is Israel – for the Jewish People and for the entire world, and may we all say

 

SHALOM!

 

Always,

 

Ari Bussel
bussel@me.com 

 

Below:

 

1) Invitation for the Hearing

 

2) “Trump Administration Takes Firm Stance against Anti-Semitism” by Ari Lieberman

 

3) “We are going to burn you alive” by Raymond Ibrahim

 

4) “Turks, Arabs Welcomed the Balfour Declaration” by Prof. Efraim Karsh

 

5) “The Balfour Declaration at 100 and how it redefined Indigenous people” by Prof. Judea Pearl (the father of Daniel Pearl z”l)

 

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Knesset to Hold Discussion on Upsurge in Anti-Semitism in the US and Europe

(Communicated by the Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee Spokesman)

 

The Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee will, on Monday, 30 October 2017, at 10:00, in the Knesset Negev Hall, at the initiative of StandWithUs, hold a discussion on the upsurge of anti-Semitism in the US and Europe. The committee will – inter alia – hear new testimony on recent incidents on US college campuses, from students who have specially come for this meeting. European ambassadors will also discuss the actions of their respective governments in combatting anti-Semitism.

 

Attending the discussion will be the ambassadors from the EU, Germany and Austria, and representatives from the UK, France and Russia, as well as representatives from various government ministries, relevant NGOs and Jewish community organizations.

 

The discussion will be broadcast live on the Knesset Channel.

 

The meeting is open to coverage upon prior coordination with Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee Spokesman Yigal Amitai at 050-6238671 or yigala@knesset.gov.il.

 

#

[Blog Editor: At this point Ari included several other articles relating to the Trump Administration and Antisemitism by Ari Lieberman; the Gatestone Institute on Muslim persecution of Christians by Raymond Ibrahim; a Middle East Quarterly relating to the Balfour Declaration; an article from the Jewish Journal by Judea Pearl also on the Balfour Declaration; a load of source links; and Palestine Solidarity Campaign smearing the Holocaust and the Balfour Declaration from “RichardMillet’s Blog”. All are worthy of a cross post. I am going to share some but I’m not sure if all or a few chosen.]

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Edited by John R. Houk

Content enclosed by brackets are by the Editor.

 

© Ari Bussel

 

Ari Bussel Bio via Saybrex International

 

Ari Bussel is Vice President of Operations at Saybrex International, a privately held family business specializing in the distribution of fine wines and spirits. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company and has held various positions in the company since 1993.

 

Prior to joining Saybrex, Mr. Bussel served as First Lieutenant in the Center for Systems Analysis at General Headquarters of the Israel Defense Forces, where he led the implementation of the Logistics War Doctrine in the Computerized Wargame Program.

 

Mr. Bussel is involved in a variety of philanthropic and civic activities. Mr. Bussel completed the Team Beverly Hills Leadership Program and served on the Environmental Sustainability Topic Committee of the City of Beverly Hills. He was a member of the Steering Committees of former Beverly Hills Mayor MeraLee Goldman and the current Beverly Hills City Treasurer, the Hon. Eliot Finkel. Mr. Bussel also completed and participated in the Community Emergency Response Training Program of the City of Beverly Hills as well as the Crisis Response Team of the Maple Counseling Center.

 

Mr. Bussel was among the founding members and served on the boards of Gen. Shimon Erem’s Israel Christian Nexus, the Western Region of Friends of Israel Firefighters and the Israel Institute for Alternative Energy Advancement. He completed the Salvin Leadership Program of the Anti-Defamation League.

 

Mr. Bussel writes regularly. For the past decade, his weekly columns appeared in print in Israel Jewish Life, Shalom LA, Muslim World Today and Israeli Week. Mr. Bussel’s articles appear on numerous websites, including Canada Free Press, Free Republic, NewsBlaze, SlantRight and OpEdNews. He is a member of the Los Angeles Press Club.

 

 

Mr. Bussel received a Master of Science in Operations Research from Stanford … READ THE REST 

 

The new government’s war on BDS


Is the global Antisemitism snowballing in the Western World’s democratic nations grown so bad that tiny Israel is becoming diplomatically isolated?

JRH 6/6/15

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The new government’s war on BDS

By CAROLINE B. GLICK

06/04/2015

Jerusalem Post

The flagship of the diplomatic war against Israel is the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government is less than a month old, but it’s already apparent that it is different from its predecessors. And if it continues on its current diplomatic trajectory, it may do something that its six predecessors failed to accomplish. Netanyahu’s new government may improve Israel’s position internationally.

The stakes are high. Over the years, Israel has largely concentrated its efforts on developing the tools to contend with its military challenges. But as we have seen over the past decade and a half, Israel’s capacity to fight and defeat its enemies is not limited principally by the IDF’s war-fighting capabilities.

Israel’s ability to defend itself and its citizens is constrained first and foremost by its shrinking capacity to defend itself diplomatically. Its enemies in the diplomatic arena have met with great success in their use of diplomatic condemnation and intimidation to force Israel to limit its military operations to the point where it is incapable of defeating its enemies outright.

The flagship of the diplomatic war against Israel is the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.

Participants in the movement propagate and disseminate the libelous claim that Israel’s use of force in self-defense is inherently immoral and illegal. Over the years BDS activists’ assaults on Israel’s right to exist have become ever more shrill and radical. So, too, whereas just a few years ago their operations tended to be concentrated around military confrontations, today they are everyday occurrences. And their demands become greater and more openly anti-Semitic from week to week and day to day.

Consider the events of the past seven days alone.

Late last week Israel fended off a major international effort led by Palestinian Authority Soccer Federation chairman and former terrorist chief Jibril Rajoub to expel it from the Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Not only is Rajoub a man with blood on his hands. The Fatah luminary is admired by the Israeli far-Left while also being a favorite of Qatar, the chief state sponsor of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

Rajoub is sympathetically inclined toward enabling Hamas in Gaza to expand its presence in Judea and Samaria.

Before the government had a chance to sigh in relief that FIFA was settled, Britain’s National Union of Students voted to join the BDS movement. This means that the anti-Israel demonstrations and assaults that take place several times a week at Britain’s universities will now take place under the NUS banner.

Also Wednesday, the French telecom giant Orange’s CEO Stéphane Richard told reporters in Cairo that he wishes to cut off his contract with Israel’s Partner telecommunications company, one of Israel’s largest cellular telephone services providers.

Richard was apparently coerced into making his statement by the Egyptian BDS movement which has threatened to boycott Orange’s subsidiary in Egypt due to its contract with Partner.

Tuesday it was reported that last month the Dutch government issued a travel advisory to its citizens traveling in Israel. In an act of anti-Jewish inversion now common in the Western discourse about Israel and its enemies, the Dutch government warned that Jews in Judea and Samaria constitute a threat to Dutch travelers because they throw stones “toward Palestinian and foreign vehicles.”

In the US, the Anti-Defamation League reported that this past academic year there was a 38 percent rise in anti-Israel events on college campuses over the previous year. The number of BDS campaigns doubled over the previous academic year.

By ADL’s count, there were 520 anti-Israel events on campuses. BDS campaigns were initiated on 29 campuses.

At the UN, Tuesday “The Palestinian Return Center,” Hamas’s European chapter, was granted official status as a recognized nongovernmental organization by the UN’s Commission on NGOs. Now, thanks to the commission, Hamas terrorists can participate in UN meetings, have full access to UN facilities and wear their new, official UN badges.

Incidentally, the same commission rejected a request by ZAKA to receive the same status. ZAKA is an Israeli NGO that provides first aid and handles the remains of terrorism victims and victims of major disasters in Israel and worldwide.

Also at the UN, Leila Zerrougui, the envoy for children in armed conflicts, is pushing to get the IDF added to the blacklist of groups that harm children.

Boko Haram, Islamic State, al-Qaida and the Taliban are among the current names of the list.

Wednesday Republican Sen. Ted Cruz sent a pointed letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemning Zerrougui’s actions. Cruz threatened, “Congress will have no choice but to reassess the United States’ relationship with the United Nations and consider serious consequences if you choose to take this action.”

In contrast to Cruz’s position, in his interview with Channel 2 broadcast Tuesday, US President Barack Obama indicated that due to the rising tide of anti-Israel sentiment and campaigns, if Israel doesn’t make unreciprocated concessions to the PA then the administration will have no choice but to join the anti-Israel UN bandwagon.

The time has come, then, for Israel to take the wheels off the wagon.

For the past dozen years or so, pro-Israel activists in the US in particular have been fighting an uphill, lonely battle against the organizations promoting the BDS movement. Among their top complaints has been the constant refrain that the Israeli government has undermined their actions by standing silent or denying what was happening or treating Israel’s defenders as the moral equivalents of its adversaries.

To some degree, the reticence of the Foreign Ministry was understandable. The BDS Israel haters often claim that they wage political and economic warfare against Israel and isolate and humiliate Israel supporters in the West to promote peace.

This claim has always been ridiculous. You can’t support peace and boycott Jewish-owned businesses in all or parts of Israel. You can’t support peace and boycott Israeli students and professors and dance troupes.

But so long as the word “peace” has been involved, or the boycotters have pretended that they are only referring to Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, the Foreign Ministry has by and large taken them at face value and pretended that their smear operation is nothing to worry about.

To the extent they have tried to deal with the growing hate Israel phenomenon, they have run away from its essence. Instead, our senior diplomats have said that the best way to combat BDS is by rebranding Israel as the start-up, gay, friendly state with great beaches.

And largely as a result of this self-induced paralysis and blindness, pro-Israel activists have been isolated.

Jewish anti-Israel organizations such as J Street, Open Hillel and the New Israel Fund in the US, and European governments and government- funded organizations in Europe have operated largely free from criticism by official Israeli voices unwilling to take sides in the debate about the country’s right to exist and defend itself.

All the while, Israel’s diplomatic standing has gone from weak to incapacitated.

Against this backdrop, statements and actions by the new Netanyahu government are encouraging because, unlike its predecessors, it seems to have stopped playing the fool.

At the outset of this week’s cabinet meeting, Netanyahu spoke out angrily and specifically against the BDS movement and warned that Israel must not blame itself for the BDS haters’ assaults against it.

As he put it, “The last thing we need to do is to bow our heads and ask where we went wrong, where we erred. We have done nothing wrong and we have not erred. We are not a perfect country; we do not pretend to be such, but they are setting standards for us that are both twisted and higher than those for any other country, any other democracy.”

Wednesday Netanyahu assailed the British student union’s decision to join the BDS movement.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked excoriated the BDS movement at the Knesset, stating openly that it is the new Jew hatred.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely has translated this new position into action. Among other things, this week she instructed Israel’s ambassador to Switzerland to formally demand that the Swiss government and the Zurich municipality rescind their financial support for the planned Breaking the Silence conference this month in Zurich. The purpose of the conference, like the purpose of the foreign-funded group more generally, is to demonize and libel the IDF.

So it appears that the government has decided to finally go on offense. But if this is true, then much more can and must be done immediately.

Take the Dutch travel advisory for instance. Israel wasted no time in condemning Holland’s move. But the Dutch statement was just the tip of the iceberg.

Holland spends millions every year to directly and indirectly finance organizations whose sole purpose is to demonize Israel and Israelis. The Dutch government paid a lot of money to invent lies about Israel and its Jews that then formed the basis of its malicious, bigoted travel advisory.

The Israeli embassy at the Hague as well as the Foreign Ministry must demand not only a retraction of the travel warning. They must demand an immediate cessation of this subversive, adversarial campaign.

So, too, while the British government responded with embarrassment to the BDS vote of the NUS, the fact is that the British government holds responsibility for the strength and radicalism of the BDS movement in Britain. Like Holland, the UK spends millions every year financing NGOs whose purpose is to undermine Israeli sovereignty, demonize the IDF, attack Israel’s right to exist and fund Palestinian terrorists.

Every year, the British government funds dozens of Israeli and Palestinian-registered NGOs whose purpose is to make Israel into an international pariah unable to wage wars of self-defense without risking war crimes tribunals, economic boycotts and international humiliation.

Rather than sufficing with expressions of thanks to the Cameron government for distancing itself from the student union’s boycott of Israel, the government must demand the cessation of direct and indirect British governmental funding of these groups and their campaigns.

The BDS movement is a proxy war. It is being waged against Israel not only by deep-pocketed Arab governments which fund the NGOs that carry the battle to the streets. It is also being waged by hypocritical leftist donors in the US and by supposedly friendly European governments.

The government has taken the first steps in beating back this onslaught. But the hour is late and the stakes are high. The BDS movement is a strategic threat because as it gets stronger, Israel’s ability to wage war on the military battlefield becomes further constrained and the threats to Israel’s economy and social fabric grow. BDS must be defeated piece by piece in an unrelenting offensive that attacks its sources and puts it out of business. It won’t be easy. It won’t be genteel.

But if the government doesn’t submit to the diplomatic urge to be polite, it stands a chance of making matters better, for a change.

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About Caroline Glick