Economic Cannon Fodder

The barbarity of recent waves of terrorism serves a dual purpose for the forces of evil. The savagery of the attacks appeals to the lowest elements of society and fans the flames of incitement — spreading the fire.

At the same time, the depravity is so repulsive that the lurid headlines can have a numbing effect. We fall victim to sensory overload.

But that itself is part of their battle plan. While they unleash wanton slaughter, on the propaganda front, they are succeeding in positioning Israel as the aggressor.

How can anyone believe this? Because they want to. And one of the enemy’s virtual weapons is the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. This economic attack on Israel has succeeded in pressuring universities, corporations and, now, the European Union into taking blatantly anti-Semitic actions — all under the guise of a human rights movement.

That the emperors of BDS have no clothes should be obvious. But, as the old proverb has it, there are none so blind as those that will not see.

This should be no surprise. The world that was silent at the slaughter of the past months has also turned a blind eye — or a severed tongue — to the depraved cynicism of leaders who have no regard for the lives of their own people.

A report in the Economist analyzed the failure of Arab forces to stop the spread of ISIS. The armies of Egypt and Saudi Arabia are largely unemployed young men pressed into army service. The result is thousands of “boys who are underpaid, underfed and treated as cannon fodder — and perform as such.”

“Cannon fodder” means soldiers who are regarded merely as expendable material. Pawns to be sacrificed for a higher — or should we say lower — purpose.

This disregard for human life is behind the shahid mentality of honoring martyrs for jihad. It’s never the leaders who go to die for their purported cause. It’s always the front-line pawns.

The same flagrant callousness is behind the use of human shields — launching terror attacks from population centers and even hospitals and schools. Then, in a dazzling display of Levantine sophistry, they blame Israel for the resulting carnage.

The same sneering cynicism is at work in the BDS movement. There are thousands of Palestinians employed in Jewish-owned factories in Judea and Samaria. They will be the first pawns to fall in the game with Israel.

A report in the Canadian Jewish News quoted Shaher Saad, the secretary-general of the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions, who said that if the boycott works, “we [Palestinians] would have nothing left to eat, nothing to pay for electricity or gas to cook with. … It would make things worse for the Palestinians.”

But the European Union seems oblivious to the human cost of complying with the BDS movement. Playing their own shell game of “It’s not a boycott, it’s labeling,” the EU has laid out guidelines for labeling products from Israeli so-called “settlements” in what they call “occupied Palestinian territories.”

If the EU were a company in the United States, they would be cited by the Federal Trade Commission for mis-labeling.

Bassem Eid, a Palestinian human rights activist and political analyst, wrote an analysis for the Washington Institute think tank on Middle East policy. Its title was “The Palestinian Case Against BDS.”

He wrote, “Unfortunately, almost all of those so ostensibly dedicated to finding a solution have their own agendas, and these may not be to the advantage of either Palestinians or Israelis. A prime case in point is the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. As a Palestinian dedicated to working for peace and reconciliation between my people and our Israeli neighbors, I do not believe that the BDS advocates are helping our cause. On the contrary, they are just creating more hatred, enmity and polarization. …”

“BDS spokespeople justify calling for boycotts that will result in increased economic hardships for the Palestinians by asserting that Palestinians are willing to suffer such deprivations in order to achieve their freedom. It goes without saying that they themselves live in comfortable circumstances elsewhere in the world and will not suffer any such hardship. It would seem, in fact, that the BDS movement in its determination to oppose Israel is prepared to fight to the last drop of Palestinian blood. As a Palestinian who actually lives in east Jerusalem and hopes to build a better life for his family and his community, this is the kind of ‘pro-Palestinian activism’ we could well do without. For our own sake, we need to reconcile with our Israeli neighbors, not reject and revile them.”

So why does the EU buy into the BDS lie?

Some people are ready to swallow anything if it’s seasoned with enough anti-Semitism … and served with enough crude oil.