In a very unseasonal message of peace on earth and goodwill to all men except Israel, the Mayor of Bethlehem has called for a boycott of Israel.
In his annual Christmas message, the mayor of Bethlehem, Victor Batarseh, called Thursday for a boycott of Israel.
“We call for boycotting Israel culturally, educationally, in sports, economics and trade,” the mayor told reporters in Bethlehem. “This is the only way to make Israel come back to the negotiating table and make peace within six months. It worked with South Africa.”
The comparison of Israel to apartheid South Africa is a disgrace. It is unjustified, false and demeans all those who really did suffer under Apartheid. Richard Goldstone himself decried the description and retracted his own similar accusation. In another post I quoted a letter from a South African who really did experience apartheid – in South Africa.
The accusation from Bethlehem’s mayor is nothing less than bald antisemitism.
The mayor said that the call for boycotting Israel was also the message of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
“We want peace, but we want a just and legal peace according to UN resolutions,” Batarseh said in his message. “The boycott is the only language that Israel understands.”
He said that there would be no peace in the world unless there was peace in Bethlehem and the region.
If boycott is the language of the “moderate” Abbas and the “moderate” Fayyad, what hope on earth is there for peace of any kind in the Middle East?
The accusations of apartheid, taken together with the Palestinian rewriting of history, even going so far as to claim that Jesus was a Palestinian (1900 years before they had ever been invented) make peace move ever further away.
Goodwill to all men indeed. Bah humbug!