June 22, 2014 at 1:00 am

THE ARAB-ISRAELI CONFLICT

Divest from Palestinians instead

The movement to divest from Israel is misguided. (Mark Bialek / Special to the Detroit News)

So now all the cool kids have decided Israel is a bully state that should no longer be eligible for international investment because of its so-called oppression of the Palestinians.

The Divest Israel campaign has captured the zeal of the cultural and academic elite, who place a Jewish State borne out of the Holocaust in the same category as apartheid South Africa. They want Israelis marginalized as once were the Afrikaners.

Last week at its convention in Detroit, a committee of the Presbyterian church voted to request a boycott of three American companies who supply material and technology to the Israeli Army.

Outside Cobo Center, where the church was meeting, a line of well-heeled protesters held signs condemning Israel and touting the divestment movement. The demonstrators included one young man wearing a yarmulke and a t-shirt that read, “Another Jew for Divestment.” Nice touch.

What is it they want Americans to divest from? A rare, functioning Middle East democracy that operates under the rule of law and treats all its citizens — men, women, Arab, Jew — with justice and respect.

A nation enduring an average of nearly one rocket attack a day launched by Palestinian militants and their supporters; many of those rockets are targeted at schools and residential neighborhoods.

A nation forced by an international community that purports not to negotiate with terrorists to sit across the bargaining table with those who have slaughtered their children in vicious terrorist strikes.

A nation surrounded by neighbors who are pledged to its extermination, and yet is blamed for all of the instability and unrest in its region.

And still under today’s bizarre hierarchy of victimhood, it’s the Palestinians who wear the mantle of the oppressed.

Israel is blamed for the stagnant peace process, even though the Palestinians have repeatedly broken the conditions established for resuming talks, most recently by forming a unity government with Hamas, the terrorist group that controls Gaza — the primary launching pad for those rockets.

Even the United States, supposedly Israel’s best friend, is ignoring its own law against providing support for any nation that aligns with terrorists by continuing to fund the Palestinian Authority to the tune of $440 million this year. With Hamas in the PA fold, that’s a direct subsidy of terror.

The Palestinians pioneered and perfected terrorism as a means of gaining political leverage. They’ve strapped bombs to their own young people and sent them forward to murder other young people. And for this they’ve been given a seat at the table, where they stubbornly refuse to acknowledge the right of the Jewish state to exist.

Israel has provided a substantial return on international investments in the form of cutting edge technology and lifesaving biomedical breakthroughs.

The Palestinians have taken the money the world has given them and used it to fund hate and violence.

Maybe we should divest in them.

nfinley@detroitnews.com