Monday, June 27, 2022 -
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Israel finds a way to help Europe face down Putin’s butchery; BDS objects

Let Europe freeze. Such is the logic of BDS.

Boycott Israel — punish Europe. Huh? What does BDS have to do with Europe? Turns out, everything. 

Check out a recent New York Times article: “European Union looks to tap gas from Egypt, Israel,” reads the headline. 

The subject: The worsening energy crisis in Europe due to the war between Russia and Ukraine. Russia is starving Europe of energy in its own sanction strategy: Make Europe suffer enough to stop its support of Ukraine (the obverse of the West’s: Make Russia suffer enough to stop its war in Ukraine).

Well, Europe is figuring out a way to stave off its energy starvation. It wouldn’t work, though, if the BDS crowd got its way — but we jump ahead of ourselves. First, check out Europe’s energy fiasco: 

• It may be the early days of summer, but Europe knows the colder months are coming; and to cope with them, the EU receives around 40% of its natural gas from Russia. The bear is threatening to cut supplies ahead of winter.  

• It’s energy, the the cold — and it’s money. The UK is closing in on double-digit inflation. Citizens report a tripling of basic utility costs, including gas. In Europe, where, unlike in the US, gas is not subsidized through beneficial tax rates, prices are rising at 42% — similar to the US but in Europe the average gallon of gas starts around $2 higher to begin with.

Bottom line: Europe is in desperate need of natural gas so its citizens can heat their homes, take hot showers and baths, and cook their food. These are essential needs, not luxuries.

Enter BDS. Boycott Israel. Close its energy sector. Translation: Boycott Europe. Let it freeze to death. Blessedly, BDS is not working and Israel’s energy sector is strong and both Israel and Egypt can play a big role in propping up Europe, meanwhile helping deflect Russia in Ukraine. 

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited both Israel and Egypt last week, looking for stable gas deliveries. Who would ever have thought they could originate in Israel or Egypt? If the BDSers had their way, natural gas from Egypt, what with its heinous human rights record, would be kosher, but natural gas from democratic, pluralistic Israel would be treif. 

Never mind that Europeans might have to choose between bathing, cooking and heating their homes (dilemmas that some UK residents already say they face according to interviews on BBC Radio 4). Such  inhumane decisions would not likely deter those who go ballistic any time anything positive about Israel looms.

No surprise here. BDS is not a positive gesture. It does not seek to build Palestinian life; it does not seek to strengthen peace; it does not seek to solve problems. It seeks to dismantle the State of Israel, the multi-ethnic, religiously diverse state of some nine million people — Jews, Arabs, Druze, Circassians, Christians (Catholic, Evangelical, Coptic, Armenian, Russian Orthodox), Muslims, Baha’i, Ethiopians, Latinos, Africans, etcetera. And if some Europeans could find relief in Israeli-supplied natural gas — bah humbug! Such is the BDS logic, whose official Twitter account on June 15 condemned the EU’s move.

Fortunately, most of the developed world (and, increasingly, the less developed world) feel differently. The EU’s memorandum of understanding calling for “Brussels and the two Middle Eastern countries to work for a ‘stable delivery’ of gas” could have further positive repercussions, beyond providing natural gas to those in need. 

This collaboration, per The New York Times, could serve Washington’s agenda to encourage cooperation on natural gas in the region, “figuring that energy ties would help cement peace between former enemies like Egypt and Israel.” 

This move by the EU not only serves its own citizens, and not only regional cooperation. Moves like this are what nurture peace, rather than the nihilism of BDS.

Copyright © 2022 by the Intermountain Jewish News

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