The Juggernaut that is BDS.

Last night at about 6:00pm, 9th September 2011, about 80 – 100 activists in the city of Adelaide, South Australia, took part in yet another protest in support of the BDS campaign against the racist and oppressive policies of the Zionist state of Israel. While 100 activists may not seem a huge amount, when taken in context of the Australian governments almost sycophantic support of Israel and the relentless portrayal of all BDS protesters as anti-Semites by the Murdoch dominated Australian media, (and the atrocious weather!) this number is significant. And the numbers are growing.

The protest took place in Adelaide’s main shopping precinct, Rundle Mall. For the last 11 months groups of about 15 to 30 activists, from all walks of life, have once a week been picketing the Israeli based cosmetics company, Seacret, in Adelaide’s Rundle Mall. These protests have been very well recieved by the majority of the South Australian public and thousands of people have stopped to encourage the activists, eager to hear the reason why Israeli companies have been targeted by such a campaign. Virtually all those in support of the Zionist regime come from the ranks of Christian Zionists. These Zionists come from one or two extreme Pentecostal churches in Adelaide and most of the mainstream Pentecostal movement have distanced themselves from these extremists. It has been my experience that Christians who stand on street corners waving Israeli flags, telling sinners that they are all doomed to hell if they do not convert to their version of the Christian faith, do very little to warm the average Australian to the cause of Zionism.

Ignoring the clear teaching of scripture that the Gospel is a message of reconciliation of all sinners to God, justice and renewal, the Christian Zionists who weekly come out to counter the BDS protests are a part of the wider group of Christians in Adelaide that feel the need to fill Adelaide’s main shopping precinct with a message of God’s threat/promise that if we don’t love Him, He will personally see to it that we are tormented forever in unbearable and eternal agony. Good news…hey?

In the last few weeks, hundreds of teenagers have countered the message of these supporters of Israel, and general preachers of God’s wrath for sinners, with hours of  long protests crying out for such messages of hatred, Islamaphobia and homophobia to be banned from our streets, and  some have even cried out for a message of God’s merciful acceptance of sinners as a real means for bringing change in our world. When confronted with the reality of the hatred and anger they have generated in the public, the Christians usually reply that it is all just an attack of the devil and they will only intensify their message of God’s wrath for sinners. They no doubt consider themselves to be a far braver breed of Christian than those “touchy feelly” liberal Christians who support Palestinian rights and think the Gospel is an excuse to “coddle” sinners. They thrive on a type of Christian “macho”; proving their devotion to God by alienating themselves from the Godless.

The irony of all this is that while the media portrays the BDS campaign as a haven of anti-Semites and racists bent on dividing the people, taking our orders from…Tehran I guess, the fact is that it is clearly the supporters of Israel that are filled with people who are from overtly fascist organisations and others who believe that reconciliation between Arab and Jew is impossible, contrary to 13 centuries of history in the Middle East before the arrival of Zionist colonialism. The tag of anti-Semitism as the true motivation for the BDS campaign is so easily refuted by the existence of tens of thousands of Jewish people who support the movement, that I believe the public is becoming deaf to these lame arguments. Certainly the BDS campaign is not remotely concerned with them.

I truly believe that the days of Israeli apartheid are numbered; God’s will for justice and the desire for equality in the hearts of the vast majority of people will simply not allow it to go on for ever. Governments and media can do what they will to support racism and inequality in the Middle East, be it in Israel or the Arab nations, but it will not last. Justice will prevail and the tide is turning. That really is good news!

Craig Nielsen

ACTION FOR PALESTINE

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