There have been three Twitter stories that caught my eye today.
The first was a report out of Saudi Arabia about the beheading of five Yemenis. The men were found to have murdered a Saudi national and formed a gang that committed robberies across several towns in the kingdom. The bodies were then hung up on a crane outside a university for everyone to see. This takes the total number of executions in Saudi Arabia to 46 so far this year
The second story was also about Saudi Arabia, this time reporting that online access to an Israeli newspaper, The Jerusalem Post, was being blocked by the Saudi government.
The final story came from Israel. This reported that an Israeli Arab, a member of Israel’s Supreme Court, has been appointed to chair the country’s Central Elections Committee.
Two stories remind us that one country in the Middle East has no concept of human rights and remains a brutal tyranny.
The other story reminds us that one country in the Middle East is a thriving democracy that extends full human rights to all its citizens irrespective of race, gender or religion.
Yet against which of these countries does the BDS movement choose to campaign? Why, democratic Israel of course. If this does not prove them and their fellow travellers to be a bunch of hypocrites I do not know what will.
Much has been written over the past few days about Professor Stephen Hawking’s decision to withdraw from the President’s Conference in Israel. His decision to pull out was taken in response to a request from the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign (BDS) an organisation which deems Israel to be the sole perpetrator of all the evil in the world.
The BDS has been active in the UK for a long time, particularly in the world of academia and has tried, mostly unsuccessfully, to organise cultural boycotts when Israeli artistic companies have visited Britain. These activities, whilst they have generated some publicity have mostly gone unnoticed by the British public at large.
This time however, because of Stephen Hawking’s name and reputation, his decision to acquiesce to BDS demands has received massive publicity. BDS of course consider this a triumph, but is it?
Every article I have read and every comment I have heard has been highly critical, not just of Hawking but of BDS too. Just today there has been another article in The Times, this time by Daniel Johnson of Standpoint. Johnson notes that Hawking has spoken in Iran and China, those bastions of liberal democracy; and he makes no bones about the ultimate objective of BDS, which is nothing less than the elimination of the State of Israel. All of these articles have exposed the hypocrisy of the BDS movement in singling out Israel alone for such treatment and raised the probability that behind it is plain old-fashioned anti-Semitism. They all properly point out that Hawking relies on Israeli designed microchip to enable him to communicate which makes him a hypocrite too.
These have been the common threads throughout the week since Hawking’s announcement. I have been waiting a long time to read such widespread denunciations of BDS in the mainstream media and how welcome it is to see it now. My hope is that more people than ever before in this country are aware of BDS and see it for what it is. People who thought it was there to promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians now will know better. They will have read and heard that it is a nasty bunch of left-wing, hate filled hypocrites whose sole aim is to wipe the only democracy in the Middle East off the face of the planet.
Maybe, just maybe, BDS’s “triumph” will blow up in its face.