The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and anti-Israel groups world-wide are increasing their focus on governmental and political arenas. Their initiatives in these arenas are becoming increasingly-sophisticated. The latest letter by Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Betty McCollum, Rashida Tlaib and others, threatening sanctions on US aid to Israel, is a prime example of this trend.The letter circulated by the congresswomen at the end of June warns, “Should the Israeli government move forward with the planned annexation... we will work to... pursue conditions on the $3.8 billion in US military funding to Israel, including human rights conditions.” The internal email circulated by Ocasio-Cortez to members of congress soliciting their signatures contains a list of “supporting organizations.” This list is a Who’s Who of US BDS groups, some of which are linked to US-designated terrorist organizations. These include Defense for Children International Palestine (DCIP), American Muslims for Palestine, and the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR).DCIP’s employees and board members have been linked to the murderous designated terrorist group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Key members of American Muslims for Palestine and its affiliated groups were previously members of organizations shut down by the US authorities for channeling funds to Hamas. The USCPR was exposed as the fiscal sponsor of Omar Barghouti’s terror-linked BDS National Committee, the self-proclaimed leader of the global BDS movement.The list of supporting organizations also includes Jewish groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow.As noted, the letter, which was also signed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, is an example of the BDS network’s increasingly sophisticated, operations in the political arena. The letter is carefully constructed to appeal to Democratic politicians closer to the political center, while slipping in BDS claims and objectives along the way.While presumably threatening sanctions only if Israel chooses to apply its sovereignty to areas in Judea and Samaria, the letter declares that Israel is already committing a “war crime” and “de facto annexation since 1967,” regardless of whether it actually moves forward with applying sovereignty. By convincing additional representatives to sign on to a letter making such claims, its initiators hope to bring such positions closer to the mainstream.The reference in the letter to “human rights conditions” on US aid to Israel is a veiled reference to the legislation being advanced by McCollum, as part of the cleverly-named “No Way to Treat a Child” campaign. This campaign seeks to end US aid to Israel due to Israel’s detention of Palestinian minors. The fact that these minors are often involved in violent terrorism, and that they are a primary target of the Palestinian Authority’s and Hamas’s terrorist incitement, is of course ignored.In fact, while the letter was circulated by Ocasio-Cortez, from its language, it appears to have most likely originated in McCollum’s office, where it was likely formulated with the help of BDS groups such as DCIP and USCPR. It may well be that the letter’s initiators felt that it would be better if the letter was not circulated by McCollum (or by Rashida Tlaib), given that the two have become strongly identified with anti-Israel positions.AS REVEALED in the recently-published Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs’ study, “The Battle over BDS: Trends, Lessons, and Future Trajectories” (written by the author of this op-ed), the BDS movement has been expanding its focus on the political and governmental arenas across the globe.On the national level, this has found expression in the activity of BDS-supporting groups in the UK Labour Party, Spain’s Podemos, and South Africa’s African National Congress.On the municipal level, BDS groups are expanding their efforts to promote anti-Israel measures in local councils. This trend, which had previously appeared in cities throughout Western and Central Europe, is now appearing to a greater degree in North and South America.Meeting these challenges in the US and globally will require investment in research capabilities, relationship-building, and smart communications strategies. It will also require improved cooperation between pro-Israel actors within and across countries and continents.The extremist goals, terrorist links and antisemitism of the BDS groups leading such initiatives must be exposed. Extensive efforts must be made by Jewish groups to strengthen relationships with other communities and constituencies.Legal tools and legislation have also been shown to be important elements in such counter-BDS strategies.The last several years have shown that when the pro-Israel community invests the requisite resources, learns the lessons of past efforts, and acts in a coordinated manner, BDS initiatives can be defeated and rolled back. Countered correctly, the BDS movement, can, over the long-term, be successfully contained.The writer is a Fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and Kohelet Policy Forum, and the author of the recent JCPA study “The Battle Over BDS: Trends, Lessons & Future Trajectories”. Follow him on twitter @fredman_a.