Norman Finkelstein slams the “BDS cult”

This video clip of Norman Finkelstein laying into the BDS Movement has made waves since appearing (and mysteriously disappearing and then reappearing) on Tuesday.

In the clip Finkelstein is being interviewed by prominent BDS activist Frank Barat at Imperial College. Finkelstein’s conclusion is that the BDS movement is a ‘cult’ (a word he repeats a number of times) which must be honest about its objectives – the abolishment of the State of Israel.

After the clip gained plaudits from the anti BDS movement, it was made private and was then taken down. A coincidence I’m sure!  For all those wishing to hear Finkelstein’s whiny voice and to see Barat’s nervous body language, it has since reappeared. It was quite difficult not to take pleasure at the sight of Barat visibly squirming in his seat. He was shifty and uptight as he desperately (and rather feebly) tried to respond to Finkelstein’s attacks on the BDS Movement.

Finkelstein’s main points were:

-          If you are going to use the law (i.e. that the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem are Palestinian territory), then you can’t be selective about it; Israel (1967 border) is a state and that is the law

-          If you want to promote one state, that’s fine but don’t pretend you are trying to enforce the law when really you want to selectively enforce the law

-          The so-called ‘solidarity movement’ never pushes the ‘two-state-solution’ and is thus not part of the answer

-          The solidarity movement is not reaching the mainstream public

-          I support BDS but it will never reach a broad public until and unless it is explicit on its goals and that has to include recognition of Israel

-          The BDS Movement has had very little victory despite claiming otherwise

-          If the BDS Movement really represents Palestinian civil society, why can it never get a rally with more than 500 people?

Finkelstein is a notorious Israel basher and has a nasty reputation surrounding Jewish issues. He has endorsed Hezbollah and claims that the Holocaust has been manipulated. A point which may have been missed behind his slurs over the Movement’s tactics, he actually supports BDS!

So why the plaudits? Have we set the bar so low that we applaud recognition of Israel’s right to exist? Or an acknowledgement that destroying Israel is unpopular? Really? That low?

What should be highlighted from this video is nothing that hasn’t been said before – the BDS and ‘Palestine Solidarity’ movements’ goal is to destroy Israel. Finkelstein highlights the failure of the BDS movement, despite its claims of victory. He shows that they are not nearly as influential as they pretend to be; and he effectively tells them that they have done nothing to accomplish their stated goals of providing any justice or peace for Palestinian Arabs.

He exposes the deceptiveness of the ‘leftist posturing’ of the BDS Movement. It takes one to know one!

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