Bassem Eid, a Palestinian human rights activist, has lectured at many CAMERA-supported events on college campuses including at Cornell University, University of Miami, Florida Atlantic University, Vassar College, and Binghamton University.
At each school, Baseem Eid shows students his Palestinian perspective, including his vision of how to improve life for Palestinians. He advocates for a more responsible Palestinian leadership and more dialogue with Israel.
In addition to lecturing, Bassem Eid has been featured in The Times of Israel, Israel Today, The Washington Institute, and many others.
Bassem Eid is very clear that the BDS movement only serves to hurt the Palestinians for the following reasons:
1. BDS makes the situation worse economically for Palestinians.
“Pro-Palestinian” activists call to boycott Israeli businesses, which employ Palestinians. Such activists fail to recognize this simple equation:
Boycotting Israeli businesses = An increase in unemployment for Palestinians.
Perhaps BDS activists do not fully realize their negative effect on Palestinians’ economic standing. However, because the main objective of the BDS movement is to weaken Israel, they are not bothered by their damage to Palestinian employment opportunities.
Bassem Eid even went as far to say that Pro-Palestinian activists “thrive on the deaths and unemployment of Palestinians.”
2. BDS picks and chooses Palestinians to “support.”
Pro-Palestinian activists will protect and only truly value the Palestinians that strengthen their cause of putting down Israel.
Bassem Eid argues that Pro-Palestinian activists do not defend, for example, Palestinians like John Calvin, a refugee living in Canada, specifically because he is pro-Israel.
3. By dehumanizing Israelis, BDS supporters effectively choose to hurt Palestinians.
BDS focuses on Israel as this abstract imperialist country that must be exclusively boycotted and ostracized.
The “pro-Palestinian” activists do not, however, criticize Fatah regarding problems in the West Bank, or hold Hamas responsible for the horrible situation in Gaza.
While Israel constantly and consistently ships in goods to help the citizens of Gaza, Hamas steals these goods from their people to build tunnels. They are more concerned about plotting against Israel than improving the standard of living in Gaza.
Simply put, the Palestinian Authority must develop leadership to help the Palestinians. Perhaps if the BDS movement rightfully pressured the PA, Palestinians would actually be helped.
4. The BDS movement lacks openness for discussion and discourse.
When lecturing at the University of Johannesburg, Bassem Eid experienced straight-up hatred and aggression from pro-BDS attendees. As a result, he could not even speak and engage in any dialogue and discourse with his critics.
Without dialogue, the conflict is left at a complete standstill and the BDS movement cannot help anyone.
5. A peace deal cannot be imposed by outside diplomacy or economic pressures.
The conflict is between Israel and Palestinians and as such, the solution must come from Israelis and Palestinians.
Both sides are tired of the peace process and have learned to cope with the conflict rather than actively solve it.
Palestinians and Israelis must willingly negotiate and work together to initiate a peace process. Any effort from outside diplomats or political groups, Bassem Eid argues, only imposes more pressure on the two sides and prevents any advancement toward a solution.
In other words, critics need to back off a little and give Palestinians and Israelis some space to talk.
In addition to hurting the Palestinian cause, Eid goes as far as to suggest that “BDS is a prelude for genocide against the Palestinian people.” To learn more about his argument, follow this link.
Contributed by CAMERA Intern Penina Simkovitz