Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’

Fighting in South Sudan Casts Shadow Over Peace Talks

March 31, 2018

Bloomberg

By Okech Francis

  • Clashes reported between rebels, army near Ugandan border
  • Famine looms in African nation as four-year civil war drags on

Clashes flared between South Sudanese troops and rebels, complicating talks to end the civil war, two days after a regional bloc called for the insurgents’ leader to be freed from house arrest in South Africa.

The army and rebels blamed each other for instigating the Wednesday clashes in Kajokeji, near the Ugandan border. Rebel official Lam Paul Gabriel claimed 28 soldiers and one insurgent were killed, while army spokesman Lul Ruai Koang said he didn’t have details.

 
Lam Paul Gabriel

Fresh violence is imperiling efforts to broker an end to the more than four-year conflict that’s claimed tens of thousands of lives, with the latest peace talks due in Ethiopia on April 26. East African cease-fire monitors on Thursday expressed “deep concern” over reports of hostilities in Central Equatoria, where Kajokeji is located, and areas of the oil-rich Upper Nile region.

 Image result for Lam Paul Gabriel, photos

On March 26, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, a bloc of East African nations also known as IGAD, urged the release of Riek Machar, the former vice president turned-rebel leader who’s been under house arrest in South Africa since late-2016.

If he renounces violence, Machar should be allowed to move to any country that doesn’t border South Sudan, IGAD said in a statement. The bloc also said it was resolved to “continue monitoring and taking necessary measures, including targeted sanctions, against violators” of a cease-fire agreement.

The conflict has forced 4 million people from their homes, cut oil production — a crucial source of government revenue — and caused economic chaos. Areas of the country are on the brink of famine and two-thirds of the 12 million population may face food shortages by May.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-29/shadow-cast-over-peace-talks-as-fighting-flares-in-south-sudan

Related:

Advertisements

US eyes heavy tariffs on China, Russia to counter steel, aluminum glut

February 16, 2018

AFP

© AFP | US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross believes that cheap steel and aluminum imports from places like China and Russia “threaten to impair our national security”

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US Commerce Department said Friday it recommended imposing tariffs on China, Russia and other countries to counter a global glut in steel and aluminum which it says threatens national security.In a report to President Donald Trump, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross includes among the options a nearly 24 percent tariff on all products from China, Russia and three other economies.

Other options would impose either high tariffs or quotas on steel and aluminum imports.

The findings are part of an investigation into the impact of the oversupply of steel and aluminum, and whether it undermines US national security.

In each case “the imports threaten to impair our national security,” Ross told reporters in a conference call about the so-called Section 232 investigation.

China and Russia are primary targets, but many other countries are included in the recommended sanctions, which are sure to spark fears of a global trade war if implemented.

Ross said the sanctions were designed to be broad to prevent targeted countries from circumventing the limits by shipping through a third country.

He said “serial offenders can evade these orders by transshipment through another country.”

For steel, Ross recommended three possible options: a 24 percent tariff on all steel from all countries; a 53 percent tariff on imports from 12 countries, including China, Russia and Brazil; or a quota on steel from all countries.

For aluminum, he recommended either a 7.7 percent tariffs on the metal from all countries; a quota for all countries; or, perhaps the most shocking of all the options, a 23.6 percent tariffs on imports of all products from China, Russia, Hong Kong, Vietnam and Venezuela.

Ross submitted the two reports to the White House in late January.

Trump has until mid-April to decide on any possible action, which he acknowledged likely would prompt action by US trading partners in the World Trade Organization.

US industries have urged the administration to take care since high import tariffs would raise the cost of supplies for major industries.

But Commerce said the goal of the measures is to boost domestic aluminum and steel prodcution.

Related:

U.S. Weighs Tariffs and Quotas on Steel, Aluminum Imports

February 16, 2018

Trump administration weighs different options, ranging from a global tariff of at least 24%, to a more targeted approach focusing on China and other nations

The Trump administration on Friday said it was weighing broad-based tariffs and quotas to curb imports of steel and aluminum to protect national security, though officials stressed no final decisions had yet been made and the ultimate policy could be considerably more limited.

The recommendations were part of internal administration reports released Friday laying out the options for President Donald Trump as he considers how to fulfill a campaign promise to take a more aggressive stance than predecessors to shield domestic steel and aluminum makers from growing foreign competition.

The recommendations suggest the president choose among several options. One of them is a global tariff of at least 24% on all steel imports from all countries. Another is a tariff of at least 53% on steel imports from a dozen countries. Under the latter, targeted option, the tariffs of 53% would be applied on steel from Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Egypt, India, Malaysia, South Korea, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.

The report from the Commerce Department also included, as an alternative, a quota on steel products from countries equal to 63% of the countries’ 2017 exports to the U.S.

“I am glad that we were able to provide this analysis and these recommendations to the president,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement. “I look forward to his decision on any potential course of action.”

The recommendations are opposed by many lawmakers and businesses who worry that the tariffs risk provoking a trade war and raising prices on a range of domestic products.

The recommendations sent sector stocks soaring Friday. Nucor Corp, the largest U.S. steel producer by sales, rose almost 5% and US Steel Corp and AK Steel Holding Corp gain more than 10%. Aluminum stock reaction more muted, with market leader Alcoa Corp. recently up almost 3% and Arconic Inc up 1.6%, both off earlier highs

Mr. Trump faces an April deadline to decide whether, and how, to restrict imports under little-used section 232 of the 1962 trade law that gives the president wide discretion to impose tariffs and quotas if he deems certain imports pose a national security threat. Mr. Trump launched the studies in a White House ceremony last April with cheering industry and union executives by his side, and he promised at the time dramatic action within weeks.

On aluminum, the Commerce Department recommended global tariffs of at least 7.7% on all aluminum imports, or a tariff of 23.6% on select countries or a quota on imports equal to a maximum of 86.7% of the countries’ 2017 exports to the U.S. Under the second option, which targets individual countries, tariffs would apply to aluminum from China, Hong Kong, Russia, Venezuela and Vietnam.

Write to Jacob M. Schlesinger at jacob.schlesinger@wsj.com and William Mauldin at william.mauldin@wsj.com

 https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-recommends-tariffs-and-quotas-on-steel-aluminum-imports-1518801588

S.Africa police raid house of Zuma’s allies in graft probe

February 14, 2018

AFP

© AFP | Private security staff stand guard outside the Gupta family home, as police arrive to raid the house
JOHANNESBURG (AFP) – South African police on Wednesday raided the Johannesburg house of the Gupta family, which is accused of playing a central role in alleged corruption under scandal-tainted President Jacob Zuma.Zuma has been ordered to resign by the ruling ANC party, and is expected to respond to the order later Wednesday.

“We have now left the compound. It is an operation that is ongoing related to issues of ‘state capture’,” police spokesman Hangwani Mulaudzi told AFP referring to the alleged corruption of state institutions under Zuma’s reign.

Police cars from the elite Hawks investigative unit arrived at the Guptas’ lavish and heavily protected complex in the upmarket suburb of Saxonwold in the early morning.

The president, who could be ousted in a parliamentary vote of no-confidence if he clings to office, has “agreed in principle to resign”, the secretary-general of the African National Congress (ANC), Ace Magashule, said Tuesday.

The power struggle over Zuma’s departure has put him at loggerheads with deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa, his expected successor, who is the new head of the party.

South Africa’s ruling ANC party orders Zuma to leave office

February 13, 2018

AFP

© Simon Maina, AFP | South African President Jacob Zuma attends the 30th African Union summit in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa on January 28, 2018

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2018-02-13

South Africa’s ruling ANC party confirmed Tuesday that it had decided to “recall” scandal-tainted President Jacob Zuma from office, but said no deadline had been set for him to resign.

ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule told reporters that Zuma had “agreed in principle to resign and had proposed time frames extending from three to six months”.

Magashule said there was no deadline and that there was “continuing interaction” between party officials and Zuma.

“In its wisdom, the NEC (National Executive Committee) decided… to recall its deployee Jacob Zuma,” Magashule told reporters.

“The decision by the NEC to recall its deployee was taken only after exhaustive discussion on the impact such a recall would have on the country, the ANC and the functioning of government.”

The ANC party can “recall” the head of state, but the process is a party-level instruction and he is under no constitutional obligation to obey.

(AFP)

Investors Get a Reprieve From Recent Turmoil

February 12, 2018

Stocks Bounce Back With S&P Futures; Dollar Falls: Markets Wrap

 Updated on 
  • Won jumps as Kim Jong Un invites South Korea’s Moon for talks
  • Investor focus turns to U.S. CPI, as volatility index eases
Kleinwort Hambros’ CIO Says Opportunities Will Arise From This Market
Kleinwort Hambros’ CIO says opportunities will arise from this market.

Investors got a reprieve from the rout in stocks and the worst volatility spike since 2015, with equities rising in Europe and Asia. S&P 500 futures rose, while the dollar and Treasuries fell amid concern President Donald Trump’s budget proposal will drop his party’s goal to balance the budget in 10 years.

The Stocks Europe 600 index climbed, led by miners and chemical makers. South Korean equities rose after President Moon Jae-in was invited by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to meet. The dollar’s decline supported commodities, with metals higher and crude oil halting a six-day selloff. Japan’s markets are closed for a holiday.

Traders however remained on edge following tumultuous moves in equities last week, which saw the S&P 500 post its worst week in two years with a 5.2 percent decline on fears over interest rate hikes. The Cboe Volatility Index dropped on Monday after an almost three-fold jump since late January week when the turbulence erupted.

Investors are awaiting U.S. consumer-price data on Wednesday with some trepidation. Pressure on equities has been emanating from the Treasury market and in the outlook for inflation. Ten-year Treasury yields climbed on Monday, touching a fresh four-year high amid concern the Federal Reserve may accelerate its rate-hike schedule.

Asian stocks were buoyed by the attempts to thaw the tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Vice President Mike Pence told the Washington Post the U.S. is ready to engage in talks about North Korea’s nuclear program, signaling a shift in policy. The won outperformed major currencies.

Terminal users can read more in our markets blog.

Here are some important things to watch out for this week:

  • Trump will deliver his 2019 budget blueprint on Monday.
  • Chinese New Year celebrations for the Year of the Dog begin in China and follow across much of Asia, including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Chinese mainland markets are closed Feb. 15-21.
  • South African President Jacob Zuma’s fate is set to be sealed on Monday when the top leadership of the ruling African National Congress meets to conclude the transition to a new administration.
  • The U.S. consumer-price index, due Wednesday, probably increased at a moderate pace in January, economists project. Retail sales in the U.S., also out Wednesday, probably increased for a fifth straight month.
  • Japan is expected to extend the longest stretch of economic growth since the mid-1990s when it reports fourth-quarter gross domestic product on Wednesday.
  • Earnings season continues in full swing with reports from Bunge, TripAdvisor, SunPower, Con Edison, Bombardier, Heineken, Loews, Michelin, PepsiCo, MetLife,Cisco, Japan Post Bank, Credit Suisse, Nestle, Airbus, Allianz, Telstra, Coca-Cola, Deere, Eni, Credit Agricole and Campbell Soup.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 1.3 percent as of 9:15 a.m. London time.
  • The MSCI All-Country World Index jumped 0.5 percent, the largest increase in more than two weeks.
  • Futures on the S&P 500 Index rose 1.2 percent.
  • The U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index gained 1.2 percent.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dipped 0.2 percent, the largest decrease in more than a week.
  • The euro gained 0.2 percent to $1.2274, the biggest climb in more than a week.
  • The British pound increased 0.3 percent to $1.3862, the largest climb in more than a week.
  • South Africa’s rand increased 0.1 percent to 11.9764 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose four basis points to 2.89 percent, the highest in more than four years.
  • Germany’s 10-year yield increased three basis points to 0.78 percent, the highest in more than two years.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield gained four basis points to 1.605 percent.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude surged 2.4 percent to $60.65 a barrel, the first advance in more than a week and the biggest jump in almost seven weeks.
  • Gold rose 0.3 percent to $1,321.23 an ounce, the largest advance in a week.
  • LME copper gained 1.4 percent to $6,850.00 per metric ton, the first advance in a week.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-11/traders-brace-for-more-turmoil-after-recent-rout-markets-wrap

— With assistance by Elena Popina, Ruth Carson, and Andreea Papuc

South Africa’s ANC ‘divided’ on Zuma’s fate

February 6, 2018

AFP

© AFP / by Ben SHEPPARD | Supporters of Cyril Ramaphosa held a protest outside the ANC headquarters in Johannesburg demanding the ouster of President Zuma
JOHANNESBURG (AFP) – Top officials in South Africa’s ruling ANC party are divided over whether President Jacob Zuma should step down after multiple graft scandals, the party’s deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said Tuesday.Zuma is due to deliver the annual state of the nation address to parliament in Cape Town on Thursday, despite growing calls for him to quit before the speech.

The national executive committee of the African National Congress (ANC) will meet on Wednesday, hours before the address.

The 80-member committee is the ANC’s highest decision-making body and could “recall” Zuma from the post of president — though he may refuse to comply.

A separate committee of 20 senior ANC officials met in Johannesburg on Monday and “discussed the issue surrounding the future of President Jacob Zuma”, Duarte told reporters.

“It was discussed at a great deal of length. I can say to you that there are different views.

“What we are hoping for is that the NEC (national executive committee) will emerge with a united view on this matter, and that once we have done so we will inform South Africans.”

Many ANC members are pushing for Cyril Ramaphosa, the new head of the party, to replace Zuma, 75, as president immediately.

But Zuma loyalists have said that the serving president should complete his second and final term in office, which would end when elections are held next year.

– ‘Not fit to govern’? –

Duarte confirmed that if Zuma resigned, deputy president Ramaphosa would automatically take over the position.

Zuma faces several court cases, including the matter of 783 payments he allegedly received linked to an arms deal before he came to power in 2009.

Many graft allegations against him have centred on the wealthy Gupta family, who are accused of unfairly obtaining lucrative government contracts and even being able to choose ministerial appointments.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation, which promotes the legacy of South Africa’s anti-apartheid icon, called on Tuesday for Zuma to be ousted as he had “demonstrated that he is not fit to govern”.

In a damning statement, it said there was “overwhelming evidence that systematic looting by patronage networks linked to President Zuma have betrayed the country Nelson Mandela dreamed of.”

Zuma, in power since 2009, could leave office either by resigning, through losing a vote of no-confidence in parliament or impeachment proceedings.

He could also be “recalled” by the ANC — but that would not constitutionally unseat him.

Ramaphosa, 65, is a former trade unionist who led talks to end white-minority rule in the early 1990s and then became a multi-millionaire businessman before returning to politics.

by Ben SHEPPARD

Israel Is Approaching a Severe Water Crisis — Water crisis grips Cape Town, South Africa

January 30, 2018
Haaretz

Despite recent rains, Israel is headed for long-term shortage, Water Authority warns

.
Israel's Lake Kinneret.
Israel’s Lake Kinneret.Gil Eliahu

Amid growing signs of a long-term water crisis, the Israel Water Authority and the government water company Mekorot have devised a plan to ensure enough water for homes and farms at a cost of 7.5 billion shekel ($2.2 billion) through 2050.

Even if 2018 proves sufficiently rainy to avoid the declaration of a fifth straight drought year, Israel will remain in crisis mode. Water levels will not return to what they were a decade ago when Lake Kinneret, Israel’s biggest water source, and underground aquifers were full, officials warned Sunday.

“The Kinneret will never go back to what it was, and in 20 years it won’t be there at all, it’ll be a swamp” said a figure close to the planning process who asked not to be named.

Concern that an unexpectedly wet year may take some of the urgency out of the planned water drive caused the Water Authority to reverse itself over the weekend. On Friday, it expressed cautious optimism that a rainy February could save the year from being designated a drought year.

But on Saturday night, the authority took back the statement and said it was still acting on the assumption that 2018 would be a drought year. The authority reportedly backtracked under pressure from the Energy Ministry, which feared that without the designation plans for additional desalination plants could be shelved.

“It doesn’t make a different whether this year is declared a drought year or not, the government must prepare a strategic plan determining how much water we need over the next five years and how we can obtain it,” one source told TheMarker.

The water crisis is already so severe that one industry figure warned that a plan to build a new neighborhood in Herzliya for 1,000 people whose apartments would be part of Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s Mahir Lemishtaken (Buyer’s Price) program could be postponed due to the water shortage.

Officials are also concerned about the Western Galilee, which is waiting for a new desalination plant. “We could reach a situation in the next year in which in some areas no water will come from the faucet, mainly in the Western Galilee,” said one source at Mekorot.

The problem in the Galilee has been exacerbated by the fact that the region relies on natural water sources and the shortage that has developed isn’t expected to change significantly for the foreseeable future due to climate change. Pumping water from underground aquifers is no longer a viable option.

The emergency program, put together over the last month and a half, addresses the medium- to long-term problems facing Israel with four measures: new drilling to take water from aquifers, new desalination plants, pumping water into Lake Kinneret and reducing water consumption. The program aims to add up to 1.3 million cubic meters of water.

In addition to the 7.5 billion shekels from the government, the private sector is also expected to contribute, in part by building three new desalination plants: one in the Western Galilee, one in Sorek, south of Tel Aviv and one in the Hefer Valley, north of Tel Aviv.

The cost of connecting each desalination plant to the national system is estimated at 350 million shekels. An alternative to building one of the facilities could be expand existing desalination plants.

Another part of the plan calls for upgrading existing wells and drilling 500 new ones into aquifers, 300 of them by 2030. The total cost of that part of the plan is around 4 billion shekels. The cost of upgrading the existing pipeline system and other facilities to accommodate the additional water is put at 1.7 billion shekels just for the 2020 to 2025 period.

The plan calls for spending 1 billion shekels in the first two years alone. Three-quarters of the sum is to go tot which will be used on water pipes, improving the usage of reclaimed sewage for crop irrigation and for drilling. Israel uses 85% of its reclaimed water but by bringing the figures up to nearly 100% Israel can add 70 million cubic meters to its overall water supply.

In 2018-19 some 150 million shekels will go toward buying desalinized water from plants that haven’t been operating at full capacity. Another 700 million shekels is designated to be spent between now and 2025 to bring water to Lake Kinneret and the north from Israel’s south.

Long-term projects, which will be completed mainly in 2023-25, will cost 6.5 billion shekels.

South Africa’s ANC to force Zuma to quit as president

January 20, 2018

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) declined on Saturday to comment on a report its executive plans to force Jacob Zuma to quit as president, as its leaders gather to outline the party’s program for the coming year.

Image may contain: one or more people and closeup

In this Monday, Wednesday Dec. 20, 2017  file photo President Jacob Zuma, attends the African National Congress (ANC) elective conference in Johannesburg. The leadership of the ANC is holding a key meeting amid media reports of talks about the removal of Zuma, whose scandal-plagued tenure has hurt the party’s popularity and the economy. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, File) The Associated Press

National broadcaster eNCA said on Saturday that the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) had resolved on Friday to ask Zuma to resign and that, if he refused, he would be forced to step down by the party’s six-strong leadership group. The station did not name its sources.

An anonymous NEC member quoted by online news site News24 said that decision had been reached unanimously.

Zuma’s second presidential term is due to run until 2019. The newly elected NEC made no mention of his possible early exit in a statement it issued after meeting for the first time on Thursday and Friday under the party’s new leader, Cyril Ramaphosa.

Asked about the reports that Zuma would be asked to resign, an ANC spokeswoman said: “We can’t confirm rumors of things that we don’t know. The NEC has issued a statement on the totality of discussions yesterday.”

DIVIDED PARTY

Zuma’s presidency has been tainted by a series of corruption allegations, all of which he denies.

He retains the support of one part of the ANC leadership, but many others in the party argue that he has tarnished the image of Africa’s oldest liberation movement. While he has been in office, the economy has also slowed to a near-standstill.

Ramaphosa succeeded Zuma as ANC head last month, making him likely to replace Zuma as the country’s next president.

The party’s Secretary-General Ace Magashule said on Thursday that Zuma’s early removal as head of state was not on the agenda of the NEC meeting, which runs until Sunday.

But in recent days Ramaphosa has gone on the offensive against companies controlled by the Gupta family, businessmen friends of Zuma accused of unduly using political connections to win work with the state. They deny all wrongdoing.

That has fueled speculation the new ANC leader and his allies are moving to lobby support for Zuma’s removal.

In its statement following the first half of the meeting, the NEC said officials led by President Ramaphosa “will continue their engagement with President Jacob Zuma to ensure effective coordination between the ANC and government.”

The main agenda item for the second part of the meeting, which will run until Sunday, is the party’s program for the coming year.

Markets have rallied since Ramaphosa’s election as ANC leader in December, as investors have warmed to his promises to root out corruption and kick-start economic growth.

Any sign that Zuma could step down before his second presidential term ends in 2019 has tended to lift South African assets, including the rand currency ZAR=D3.

Reporting by Nqobile Dludla; editing by John Stonestreet

Alan Dershowitz: Debating the anti-Semitic BDS ‘movement’ with Cornel West

January 1, 2018
I recently debated Professor Cornel West of Harvard about the boycott movement against Israel. The topic was resolved: “The boycott, divestiture and sanctions movement will help bring about the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”West argued that Israel was a “colonialist-settler” state and that apartheid in the West Bank was “worse” than it was in white-ruled South Africa and should be subject to the same kind of economic and cultural isolation that helped bring about the fall of that regime.

I replied that the Jews who emigrated to Israel — a land in which Jews have lived continuously for thousands of years — were escaping from the countries that persecuted them, not acting as colonial settlers for those countries. Indeed, Israel fought against British colonial rule. Zionism was the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, not a colonial enterprise. Nor is Israel in any way like South Africa, where a minority of whites ruled over a majority of Blacks, who were denied the most fundamental human rights. In Israel, Arabs, Druze, and Christians have equal rights and serve in high positions in government, business, the arts, and academia. Jews were a majority in Israel, both when the U.S. divided mandatory Palestine (Eretz Yisrael) into “two states for two people,” and at present, although the Arab population has increased considerably since 1948. Even the situation on the West Bank — where Palestinians have the right to vote for their leaders and criticize Israel, and where in cities such as Ramallah there is no Israeli military or police presence — the situation is no way comparable to apartheid South Africa.

West then argued that BDS was a non-violent movement that was the best way to protest Israel’s “occupation” and settlement policies.

I responded that BDS is not a “movement” — a movement requires universality, like the feminist, gay rights, and civil rights movements. BDS is an anti-Semitic tactic directed only against the Jewish citizens and supporters of Israel. The boycott against Israel and its Jewish supporters (to many Palestinians, all of Israel is one big “settlement;” just look at any map of Palestine) began before any “occupation” or “settlements” and picked up steam just as Israel offered to end the “occupation” and settlements as part of a two-state solution that the Palestinians rejected. BDS is not a protest against Israel’s policies. It is a protest against Israel’s very existence.

West argued that BDS would help the Palestinians. I argued that it has hurt them by causing unemployment among Palestinian workers in companies such as SodaStream, which was pressured to move out of the West Bank, where it paid high wages to Palestinian men and women who worked side by side with Israeli men and women. I explained that the leadership of the Palestinian Authority is opposed to broad boycotts of Israeli products, artists, and academics.

West argued that BDS would encourage Israel to make peace with the Palestinians. I replied that Israel would never be blackmailed into compromising its security, and that the Palestinians are disincentivized into making compromises by the fantasy that they will get a state through economic and cultural extortion. The Palestinians will get a state only by sitting down and negotiating directly with Israel. I told my mother’s favorite joke about Sam, an Orthodox Jew, who prayed every day to win the N.Y. Lottery before he turned 80. On his 80th birthday, he complains to God that he hasn’t won. God replies, “Sam, help me out a little — buy a ticket.” I argued that the Palestinians expect to “win” a state without “buying a ticket” — sitting down to negotiate a compromise solution.

The debate in its entirety, which was conducted in front of an audience of business people in Dallas as part of the “Old Parkland Debate Series,” continued with broad arguments about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the refugee situation, the peace process, terrorism, and other familiar issues. It can be seen in full on C-SPAN. I think it is worth watching.

The audience voted twice, once before the debate and once after. The final tally was 129 opposed to BDS and 16 in favor. The vote before the debate was 93 opposed and 14 in favor. I swayed 36 votes. West swayed 2. The anti-BDS position won overwhelmingly, not because I am a better debater than West — he is quite articulate and everyone watching the C-SPAN can judge for themselves who is the better debater — but because the facts, the morality, and the practicalities are against BDS.

The important point is never to give up on making the case against unjust tactics being employed against Israel. In some forums — at the United Nations, at numerous American university campuses, in some parts of Western Europe — it is an uphill battle. But it is a battle that can be won among open-minded people of all backgrounds. BDS lost in Dallas. BDS lost in a debate between me and an articulate human rights activist at the Oxford Union. BDS is losing in legislative chambers. And if the case is effectively and honestly presented, it will lose in the court of public opinion.

Alan Dershowitz (@AlanDersh) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog. He is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School and author of “Trumped up! How Criminalizing Politics is Dangerous to Democracy.” This article was originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

If you would like to write an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, please read ourguidelines on submissions here.

 .
.