Corroboration of facts

September 22, 2015

The power of corroboration is often ignored or underestimated. Webster’s dictionary defines corroborate as: “To make more certain; confirm. This is often ignored when reporting the Israel-Palestinian issue.

The world is drawn into an abyss by forces deliberately spreading false information which causes disharmony between people and ultimately, violent actions. However, it is not the first time in history that hateful propaganda is used against the Jewish people. The level of obsession in which the venom is been spread is alarming, to say the least.

The T-shirt debacle created by the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaigners is a perfect example of the obsession in which some propagandists drive their campaigns. The truth doesn’t matter as long as it reaches the stated goal: deligitimization or obliteration of the other side. For the BDS, Israel is an Apartheid state, finish and klaar, but what do Palestinians themselves say about BDS and Israel being an Apartheid state?

This is what Palestinian human rights activist, Bassam Eid said about the Israeli company SodaStream which moved from the Jewish settlement of Mishor Adumim near Jerusalem to Beersheba because of international pressure: “I’ve met with Palestinians who worked at the factory and were fired because of the move. They told me they were earning an average of 5,000 shekels ($1,300) a month there, and that today they are being offered salaries of just 1,400 shekels ($365) in the Palestinian Authority.”

“People there are deep in debt because they have taken on long-term commitments based on the understanding that their work at the plant would continue; but reality slapped them in the face because of the pressure created by the BDS movement, “ he continued. “Today, they are running between the courts and the bailiff offices, and is anyone taking any notice of them? Do you think the boycott movement cares about them at all?”

Compare the desperate situation of ordinary Palestinians as described above with the $13 million palace replete with helipads, to be built in Ramallah for the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas as announced on the official website of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR). Even Nkandla will be pale in comparison to the luxurious palace of Abbas.

In Gaza we see the same tendency among the Hamas leadership.  Many people in Gaza live in desperate circumstances, while there leadership live a life of splendour – living in luxury hotels and travel in private jets. Egyptian officials sharply criticized Hamas political leader Khaled Mashal, stating that “while the Hamas leadership lives in luxury hotels; it is abandoning the innocent Palestinian people.”

Is the BDS movement aware of these offences of the Palestinian leadership against their own people? If so, why are they silent about it and instead branding Israel as an Apartheid state, which they propagate as the cause of Palestinian suffering?

While Israel is unjustly branded as an Apartheid state, Palestinians over the border are suffering real Apartheid. In the words of a Palestinian woman: “We are Palestinians in Lebanon. It is illegal for us to own property, to work in desirable occupations, and to receive social security benefits. We are denied access to health care and education.”

 It is time for the Palestinian leadership to start a process of deep introspection instead of playing the blame game, and for the BDS movement to stop their arrogance to talk on behalf of the Palestinian people. Perhaps, they should take cognisance of the wise words of the award-winning Arab Israeli journalist, Khaled Abu Toameh : “If BDS supporters really care about Palestinians, why don’t they go to the Gaza Strip and try to promote the rights of women living under Hamas rule? Why don’t they come to the Palestinian territories and try to promote reforms, democracy and freedom of speech under the PA and Hamas? At the end of the day, BDS seems to be more about hating Israel than helping the Palestinians.”

The highly politicised and often hateful agenda of the BDS movement does more harm to the Palestinian people than helping them. It seems that it only benefits themselves and the people who sponsor them.

The growing BDS movement is reminiscent of Nazi Germany when signs went up saying, “Don’t buy from Jews!”