The Times of Israel published my new article “The Root of the BDS Boycotts of Israel“
The enemies of the Israeli nation do not rest. While a Mideast policy bill that would penalize companies or businesses that boycott Israel managed to get approved in the US Senate, on the other side of the ocean in Europe, the situation is strikingly different.
Amnesty International, with headquarters in Great Britain, has launched a campaign against Israel, calling on the largest global digital tourism companies to stop listing rentals and tours in Jewish historical and cultural sites in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, against what they label a “settlement tourism industry.”
Meanwhile, more than 50 British artists urged the BBC to boycott the Eurovision song contest because it is taking place in Israel this year. They signed a letter seeking to cancel coverage of the cultural competition scheduled to take place in Tel Aviv in May citing human rights violations, and also pressuring to move the event to another location.
Why the obsession against Israel? Where are the voices against the systematic and deliberate abuses of the totalitarian and dictatorial regimes around the world while Israel is stridently singled out, accused of vicious crimes, and basically blamed for most of the world’s problems? Put simply, this is anti-Semitism hidden under the cover of criticism of the Jewish State.
The hatred toward Israel is certainly nothing new, but in today’s intricate global reality we live in, the more frequent and intense the woes, the more humanity blames this tiny nation of Jews for its troubles. And no stone will be left unturned until the country is completely isolated and asphyxiated by a worldwide boycott .
It has become increasingly evident that the world is a single interconnected and interdependent network in which Israel plays a pivotal role. The crux of the problem is that we are not performing our part. Our role in the world is to set an example of unity allowing the discovery of the positive force of nature in our connection. As a result of our neglect of this duty, humanity suffers because the balancing force that could bring tranquility to humanity remains unrevealed. Instead of basking in peace and serenity, mankind sinks into harsher states, which reciprocally increase the negativity toward us.
In fact, if the Israeli nation would establish good relations, we would then feel the flow of the force of unity fill the world, and a new kind of happiness and prosperity for all people would blossom. Rav Abraham Isaac HaCohen Kook stressed this principle in his writings: “Within Israel is a hidden sanctity of elevating the value of life itself through the Divinity that is present in Israel…With utter completeness will it be completed within the house of Israel, and from it, it will radiate to the earth and to the whole world, ‘for a covenant of the people, for a light of the nations.’” (Rav Abraham Isaac HaCohen Kook, Ein Ayah [A Hawk’s Eye])
This is the actualization of the Israeli nation becoming “a light unto the nations,” i.e. by setting an example for everyone of how to connect, and it is the reason for the urgent need for us to attain unity. It will equip the world with an example of unity that it could follow. As Rav Yehuda Ashlag (Baal HaSulam) wrote in his essay The Arvut (Mutual Guarantee): “The nations of the world are not yet ready for it, and I need at least one nation to start with now, so it will be as a remedy for all the nations.”
Therefore, changing our fate and the fate for the rest of the world is in our hands. It demands from us to make efforts to connect by strengthening the ties between us all—secular, religious, Israeli Jews and Diaspora Jews—above any and all other engagements for the sake of our shared destiny as a diverse yet monolithic people. Instead of acting like self-serving tribal clans, we must become mutually responsible for the entire nation, until we truly become “as one man with one heart.”
As the wisdom of Kabbalah explains, such a state is achievable by learning the method of connection that holds the keys to global unification and achievement of a fulfilling existence. The nations of the world need to receive this goodness from us. When they do, their attitude toward the Israeli nation will change immediately from hatred and blame to love and gratitude.