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September 11, 2016

More BDS Falsehoods in The Toronto Star

Linda McQuiag claims BDS success, ignoring massive increase in foreign investments during last decade since the launch of the campaign

The anti-Israel BDS movement (boycott, movement and divest) campaign has long used misinformation to garner support. It's a shame that Canadian journalist Linda McQuaig follows suit ("Elizabeth May shouldn't run away from BDS: McQuaig," Aug. 22).

The Toronto Star should have learned from its 2013 experience, when CAMERA prompted corrections of false BDS claims that Meg Ryan and Bruce Willis heeded boycott calls and refused to perform in Israel.

Writing last month in The Toronto Star, McQuaig argued that BDS is successful, noting a "2014 UN report [which] found that foreign investment in Israel had dropped by almost half from the previous year, partly because of the campaign." She ignores, though, the United Nation's latest figures, which reflect an increase in direct foreign investment in Israel of over 70 percent in 2015 compared to the previous year.

Moreover, according to Bloomberg ("The Boycott Israel Movement May be Failing," June 2016), "Foreign investments in Israeli assets hit a record high last year of $285.12 billion, a near-tripling from 2005 when the so-called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) was started." The 2014 decline coincided with the summer 2014 war between Hamas and Israel. Given the overall growth in the last decade since the launch of BDS, the 2014 downturn cannot logically be attributed as a BDS success.

In another deception, McQuaig quotes Desmond Tutu alleging "racially segregated roads" in the Palestinian territories, echoing the bogus canard that there are "Jewish-only roads" in the West Bank, a falsehood about which CAMERA has prompted correction in numerous media outlets.

Finally, McQuaig misleads with her grossly inaccurate characterization of Israel's occupation of the Gaza Strip. She erred, referring to "the fact that millions of Palestinians have been living under military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza for almost 50 years, with Israel effectively annexing their land." (Emphasis added.)

Her errors are three-fold: Israel's 38-year occupation of the Gaza Strip is not "nearly 50 years old." Nor, contrary to her assertion, are Gazans still living under Israeli occupation. Nor did Israel "effectively annex" the Gaza Strip.

Israel's occupation of the Gaza Strip (formerly under Egyptian sovereignty) lasted from 1967 until 2005, when Israel pulled out every last soldier and civilian (alive and deceased, even uprooting graves) from the Gaza Strip. Far from "effectively annexing" the Gaza Strip, Israel has fully withdrawn. Hamas, listed as a terror organization by Canada, the United States, and the EU, governs the territory.

CAMERA has contacted editors on the last point to request a correction. Stay tuned for an update.

Posted by TS at September 11, 2016 04:30 AM


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