Sam Bahour is a Palestinian-Lebanese-American who is unabashed in his hatred towards Israel. If only he invested his skill and energy into bringing peace and economic cooperation to the region. By Ariella Charny

“Israel [is] a settler, colonial, apartheid movement clinging to a racialist, exclusivist ideology.  [The Palestinians] were correct to [reject Israel] at the outset of this conflict [1948].Sam Bahour, The Guardian, August 4th, 2011

Meet Sam Bahour, a businessman who seems think it’s his business to continually smear the Jewish State, and to pass off his bigotry as “progressive.” J Street U Brandeis invited Bahour to speak on the Brandeis campus this past September.

Bahour is affiliated with ‘Al Shabaka’, an organization that opposes the Palestinian Authority’s negotiations with Israel. Bahour signed the Stuttgart declaration, which calls for a one-state solution and an end of Israel existing as a Jewish state. In his writing, Bahour has referred to the bloody second Intifada merely as “civil uprising.” On his twitter account, Bahour calls for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Bahour has even gone so far as to push the ludicrous conspiracy theory that Israel “may be” responsible for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. What’s next for Bahour? Will he blame Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s massacre of his own people on Israel too? 

Sam Bahour, as a businessman and entrepreneur, and a graduate of no less than Tel Aviv University’s prestigious Kellogg–Recanati Executive MBA program, could have been pouring all his efforts into fighting the rampant corruption of the PA (Palestinian Authority) which this year could not account for a whopping 2.7 billion dollars of foreign aid that have gone “missing.” But never-mind that; Bahour conveniently blames Israel for every single Palestinian woe. Bahour, it seems, would never dream of actually looking inward and thinking, for a moment, just what the PA, let alone Hamas, do for the Palestinian people.

The Palestinian people need real leadership that cares more about its people than it cares about discrediting or destroying Israel. The case of Sam Bahour is sad, since Sam Bahour, with his upbringing in one of the world’s leading democracies–the USA–his MBA from Tel Aviv University, and his business successes in the Palestinian territories, could have brought real triumphs to the Palestinian people, and to the cause of peace and prosperity in the region. He could have devoted his career to economic cooperation, putting an end to violence and incitement, and fighting government corruption. Instead, Bahour chooses to abuse the tools afforded to him to spew hatred at Israel, and to contribute to the many forums devoted to historical revisionism and virulent anti-Israel misinformation, such as the Electronic Intifada, Counterpunch, and his own blog called ePalestine. 

While many of us dream of peace, are willing to make concessions, are keen on hearing the “other side’s” suffering, and use facts to back claims, Sam Bahour does the contrary.

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