You Can't Shake Hands With A Clenched Fist
"If official Palestinian normalization had not reached this level, nobody would have dared to host Israeli delegations in Saudi Arabia, sports delegations in Qatar, trade delegations in the UAE, and delegations in Bahrain, Morocco and so on."
"Official Arab normalization [with the State of Israel] has reached critical proportions."
Omar Baghouti, BDS leader, Tel Aviv University graduate
"We reject any and all collaboration, dialogue and coalition work with Zionist organizations through a strict policy of anti-normalization and encourage our comrades in other organizations to do the same."
Students for Justice in Palestine, New York chapter
"Normalize This: No, I don't want to normalize with you I don't want to hug have coffee, talk it out break bread, sit around the campfire eat s'mores and gush about how we're all the same."
Palestinian poet Remi Kanazi
|Facebook/Israel at the UN|
Photo: Facebook/Israel at the UN
Intractable, defiant, unwilling to bend to the current that runs through the Arab Middle East in acknowledgement that the Jewish State is there to stay, in its ancient homeland, where it belongs and where Jews have finally found a haven of their own, intransigent Palestinians hew to the Hamas promise that only the destruction of Israel can and will bring the suffering of the stateless Palestinians the relief that they yearn for.
"Anti-normalization" is the utter rejection of any recognition, let alone relations leading toward acceptance of the State of Israel in the Middle East on grounds the Palestinians call their own, and it is a formula that once was shared by the Arab nations surrounding Israel which launched one military offence after another on the Jewish State, only to be rebuffed, to their collective humiliation. It took one practical Egyptian president to acknowledge that peace made sense.
But it is the current condition of destabilization quaking the ground under which Arab states sit that has led to the final, however grudging understanding that flagellating themselves against the reality of a nation that is immovable in its intention to remain has gained them nothing but grief, that infuriates those of the ilk of Omar Barghouti, witnessing the scaffolding of Palestinian support crumble in the Middle East.
Anti-normalization is the footing of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, a rejection supported as well by other Palestinian factions; that all contact between Palestinians and Israelis be non-existent. The very naming of Israel as such, other than the "Zionist entity" gags in the throats of Palestinian fanatics for whom the death of Israel is an imperative.
Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine -- the terrorist group responsible for plane hijackings in the 1970s, and the 1972 Munich massacre along with Black September of eleven Israeli athletes and officials -- view anti-normalization as the necessity first step in their campaign of Israeli annihilation by violent means.
The BDS movement of which Omar Barghouti manipulates to such superb effect on North American college and university campuses to key into latent anti-Semitic and leftist academic impugning of Israel as a human-rights abuser serves as the means by which slander and delegitimization can also effectively destroy the reputation of a nation and target its sympathizers on campuses.
They are indefatigable in their passion and efforts to bring about the economic and social collapse of a nation they declare themselves at war with. Mr. Barghouti may have taken advantage of an excellent opportunity to achieve a sterling education in an Israeli university, but he takes the stance that he owes that nation nothing and as a Palestinian, that nation owes all it has to the Palestinians who demand their payment in vacating the land.
Syria may be imploding, with Palestinians being targeted by the regime of Bashar al-Assad, their refugee camps under siege, and hunger and privation stalking their lives, in a regime-destroyed country where hundreds of thousands have died and millions have been made homeless refugees, but the Middle East's enemy is the presence of eight million Jews among 366 million Arabs.
So the BDS activists set themselves the task of silencing Jews on campus. Even while claiming the right to free speech as the mainspring of American democratic values for themselves, they clamour for the right to deny that same human right to defenders of the Jewish state. They crash faculty meetings, demanding "Zionists off campus"; they refuse to permit guests to speak or, or on behalf of Israel.
Their continued harassment of Jewish students was responsible for action on the part of New York State government and the result was the state is now banned from conducting business with any companies that undertake a boycott of Israel. This is something called just desserts, but it is a dessert that is served sparingly, unfortunately.
|Photo Jesse Rubin|
Activists call on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to rescind his recent anti-BDS executive order. (Photo: Jesse Rubin) - See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/06/ranging-coalition-rallies/#sthash.Ao7rSRYm.dpuf
Groups on campus promoting Israeli-Palestinian exchanges earn the hostility of the BDS movement, just as the anti-normalization focus leads to campus events organized by Jewish and Israeli organizations being raucously heckled. Anti-normalization represents a black shield disabling communication between Israel and Palestinians, and as such it is an offence against Palestinian rights as much as it is against Israeli security.