The dishonest proponents of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement have long claimed that they simply aim to further human rights. For years, they recruited many progressives, including Jews, to support and justify their campaigns. Evidence shows the real target of the BDS movement is Jews worldwide. A question often asked that I will attempt to answer below is, why is BDS anti-Semitic?
The BDS is political warfare used against Jews. Its leaders claim to be attacking Israel, but in actuality, they have found a “polite” way of spreading hatred of Jews. They claim their goal is to isolate Israel economically, culturally, and politically. BDS is not about disagreeing with the policies of an elected Israeli government. Heck, many Israelis have problems with their government’s policies. The BDS movement has just one purpose, to delegitimize Israel and deny the Jewish people their right to self-determination. That in itself is Antisemitism, a claim supported by world leaders who are not Jewish.
During this week, when America commemorates the words and teachings of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., it’s appropriate to share one of his famous quotes, “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking Antisemitism.”
Note: despite the hatred spewed by anti-Semites, the real purpose of the Zionist movement is to ensure the Jewish people have the right to self-determination in their eternal homeland;
Dr. King’s words were corroborated by other Leaders:
- Pope Francis said, “anyone who does not recognize the Jewish people and the State of Israel — and their right to exist — is guilty of Antisemitism.”
- Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau agreed. At a 2019 town hall, he said, “Antisemitism has also manifested itself not just in the targeting of individuals, but it is also targeting – new antisemitism – against the State of Israel… So, yes, I will continue to condemn the BDS movement.”
- In 2019 former president Trump issued an executive order (E.O.) that broadened the federal definition of Antisemitism using the IHRA definition. Two items in the IHRA definition of Antisemitism are “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor. And applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of Antisemitism is now recognized as the definition of Antisemitism by 31 countries, including the United States.
- Former U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed about the link between BDS and Antisemitism, stating in a July 2019 interview: “I think it often stems from that syndrome [antisemitism], definitely.”
As explained by Alan Dershowitz
BDS is an antisemitic tactic directed only against Jewish citizens and supporters of Israel. Its purported protest is not against Israeli policies but a protest against Israel’s very existence. It has nothing in common with a grassroots protest campaign, because it is led by a small number of extremely well-funded and closely coordinated organizations, who together decide on strategies and tactics – hiding behind a façade of promoting international law and human rights. (…)As someone who has held sacred the right to freedom of expression and assembly all of my life, it is important to say: Discrimination based antisemitism is not an exercise of free speech. It is an offense. And it should concern every person of good will.
The founder of the BDS movement Omar Barghouti has said the BDS movement is opposed to the existence of a Jewish state. In a 2013 address, Barghouti stated, “A Jewish state in Palestine in any shape or form…[will] perpetuate a system of racial discrimination that ought to be opposed categorically…most definitely we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine. No Palestinian, no rational Palestinian, not a sell-out Palestinian, would ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine.”
Another example of the BDS movement’s Antisemitism is their constant comparisons of Zionism and the state of Israel to Nazis. Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy is another element of the IHRA definition of Antisemitism. Many comparisons come from the organization that created and manages BDS, the BDS National Committee (BNC).
As reported in the study “The New Antisemitism.”
Ana Sanchez, the International Campaigns Officer of the BNC based in Spain, tweeted, “From the Nazi Holocaust to the Zionist” and included an article that expands on this anti-Semitic comparison. As the BNC leaders disseminate anti-Semitism, as demonstrated above, they influence a broad international audience. Representatives, whether they are activists, organizations, or local chapters, begin to mimic, espouse and provide a platform for the same views. Eventually, the anti-Semitic rhetoric and depictions appear on official BDS organizations’ events and on their social media accounts around the world. For example, just 10 days after Ana Sanchez’s aforementioned tweet, the leading BDS body in Spain, Red Solidaria Contra la Ocupación de Palestina (“RESCOP”), a coalition comprised of more than 40 organizations and groups in solidarity with Palestine74, tweeted a picture of the Israeli flag with a swastika and stated: “In Madrid, thousands of people denounce genocide in Gaza and request suspension of arms trade with Israel.”
That’s one of the thousands of BDS movement examples.
The BDS movement also promotes the classic anti-Semitic blood libel. BDS activist in Gaza75, Adel Mahmoud, spreads the historic blood libel, accusing Israel of drinking Palestinian children’s blood. He tweeted, “Drink the blood of our dead children, bottled in bottles of Israeli juice.”
The Palestinian Authority regularly posts images promoting hatred of Jews.
The BDS movement grew out of the 2001 U.N. World Conference Against Racism, held in Durban, South Africa. That conference was an anti -Semitic hate fest. Copies of the anti-Semitic work, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, were sold on conference grounds. Fliers depicting Hitler with the question, “What if I won?” circulated among conference attendees. The answer: “There would be NO Israel and NO Palestinian bloodshed,” and many more examples. The conference was so anti-Semitic that U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell walked out.
As reported by the organization NGO-Monitor, NGOs (non-governmental organizations) at the conference urged “a policy of complete and total isolation of Israel as an apartheid state…the imposition of mandatory and comprehensive sanctions and embargoes, the full cessation of all links (diplomatic, economic, social, aid, military cooperation, and training) between all states and Israel. Additionally, it called for condemnation of those states supporting, aiding, and abetting the Israeli apartheid state and its perpetration of racist crimes against humanity, including ethnic cleansing and acts of genocide.” In other words, the anti-Semitic Duban Conference began the BDS movement.
If they really want peace, only when the Palestinian leaders give up promoting hatred of Jews will their people accept a peace with the Jew’s eternal homeland.