JPost editor: BDS not working

THOSE committing time and effort to boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns against Israel are wasting their time, according to David Horovitz.

THOSE committing time and effort to boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns against Israel are wasting their time.

This it the view of David Horovitz, editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post, who said the Israeli Government is aware of the global movement, but remains unconcerned.

The only “tangible impact” of BDS being felt is cultural boycotts, he said, explaining that some pop stars’ decisions to cross Israel off their tour schedules had resulted in negative publicity.

“That’s probably the area that has had the most public resonance,” he told an Australian delegation in Israel.

“There is no overwhelming pressure on [Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu to act strongly against the [Jewish] settlements.”

The respected commentator said the reasons behind the BDS campaign are shallow and unconvincing.

“When the international community says to us, ‘if it wasn’t for settlements everything would be fine’, we don’t believe it,” he said.

He called on those who take part in the boycotts, including most recently the NSW branch of The Greens, to spend time trying to understand the situation.

“This is disputed territory,” he said, emphasising the West Bank area is not obviously Palestinian land, as many people think. “Yet we are willing to concede.

“You can boycott us, but you don’t tell the truth of your sentiments.”

On a more general note, Horovitz said the “middle-ground consensus” among his readers is in favour of accommodating the Palestinians.

The reasoning, he said, is that if Israel were to annex the West Bank, the demographic reality would mean Jewish Israelis are no longer the majority and the priority for many centrist Israelis remains to keep Israel a “Jewish, democratic” state.

For Israeli Jews, the two main stumbling blocks remaining before peace are a Palestinian commitment to Israel’s safety and a compensation agreement in place of a Palestinian right of return.

Horovitz added: “We do not have a clear sense that the Palestinians are building a viable state.”

“The message Israel is getting from Palestinian leadership is not encouraging enough to have a partner.”

British-born Horovitz has edited the The Jerusalem Post since 2004, he spoke with Australia-Israel Leadership Forum delegates in Jerusalem last month.


Photo: Israeli cosmetics company Ahava is among the targets of the global BDS campaign.

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