Israeli politician Naftali Bennett challenged Palestinian adviser Dianna Buttu in a debate hosted by the BBC that aired Sunday, “What did you bring to the world beyond suicide terrorists? What is your invention?”
Bennett, a successful high-tech entrepreneur who leads Israel’s New Right party, was responding to Buttu’s endorsement of the “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” (BDS) movement, which seeks to isolate Israel — and which critics call antisemitic, since it singles out the Jewish state alone among the various nations in the Middle East.
Critics of BDS often point out that any boycott would be futile because of the many ways in which the rest of the world depends on Israeli innovations and exports — including Internet technology, pharmaceuticals, water management, and agricultural goods.
Buttu, a Palestinian-Canadian lawyer who served as former spokesperson for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), urged BDS to “pick up, move forward, and push ahead,” calling Israel an “apartheid state.”
It seems that the Palestinians have spent the past 71 years victimizing themselves. They’ve fallen in love with it. So they bequeath it to their children, their grandchildren, great-grandchildren. You know, the Jews had the greatest tragedy in world history, the Shoah [Holocaust], but we didn’t whine for 70 years. We built an amazing and remarkable country.
Now you can go ahead and BDS us — you just won’t be able to wake up in the morning, because the chip is built in Intel in Israel, and on your way to work you’ll get lost because of Waze, and the tomato you’ll try and use is a cherry tomato invented in Israel. What did you bring to the world beyond suicide terrorists? What’s your invention?
Buttu had no response to that question, but said: “You know, I think that it’s very important for you to recognize one thing: the land that you’re sitting on, the place that that you claim that all these wonderful things … was built on my land, on Palestinian land.”
Bennett replied that the Palestinian people itself was an invention: “There was no Palestinian people. It’s a new invention.”
The key part of the exchange begins at 36:30, below:
The debate, which was taped late last month but aired Sunday, was hosted from the YMCA in Jerusalem by the BBC, under the title: “Trump’s ‘Deal of the Century’: The Future for the Israelis and Palestinians.”
Bennett argued against the creation of what he called a “third” Palestinian state (in addition to Gaza, which is run by the Hamas terror group, and Jordan, whose population is predominantly Palestinian).
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.