The BDS movement: Sinister ramifications for Israel

What Israel and all those that support the Jewish state can do is remain strong and united against the onslaught of this sinister movement.

Anti-BDS poster (photo credit: JWG LTD)
Anti-BDS poster
(photo credit: JWG LTD)
Most people over the past 15 years have heard or read about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Founded by two virulent antisemites, Omar Barghouti and Jamal Juma, it’s a propagandist campaign conducted against the State of Israel and the Jewish people worldwide. However, relatively few understand its history, and its ramifications for the Jewish state.
The roots of BDS date back to the Arab League’s boycott of Israel in 1950, two years after the successful War of Independence. The purpose of the boycott was to starve the Jews out of their new homeland. Failing this but with varied success, other incarnations such as blacklisting of countries, organizations and corporations doing business with Israel were attempted throughout the ensuing years.
As an example, in 2001, under the tutelage and sponsorship of Yasser Arafat, a Jew named Adam Shapiro and his Palestinian wife, Huwaida Arraf, created the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). Ostensibly created as a pro-Palestinian peace movement, Shapiro and Arraf called for a combination of violent and nonviolent resistance to bring down the Jewish state. Arraf admitted such in a letter to The Washington Post, stating that the group works in cooperation with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (the PFLP), Palestinian Islamic Jihad and even Hamas. As one of a myriad of precursors to BDS, Arraf and Shapiro managed to create a worldwide network to delegitimize the Jewish national homeland throughout the US and Canadian college systems and in Europe.
Another example is Al-Awda.
Al-Awda is a founding member of the Global Palestinian Right of Return Coalition (GPRRC), a group of 12 organizations advocating for “Palestinian refugees internally displaced in Palestine and in exile.”
The GPRRC is a member of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), which coordinates the anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions movement worldwide. The central organization in the BNC is the Palestinian National and Islamic Forces (PNIF), which includes five US-designated terrorist organizations: Hamas, the PFLP, the Popular Front – General Command, the Palestine Liberation Front and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
It’s important the uninitiated recognize that BDS does not exist in a vacuum or just on American campuses. It is part and parcel of an insidious movement of coordinated organizations grouped together with one focused goal, the destruction of the State of Israel by any means.
With tentacles spread throughout the world, often aided by left-wing media and academia, they have insinuated themselves on campuses, youth groups, board rooms, labor unions and even pro-Palestinian Jewish organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) and Jews for Justice for Palestinians (JfJfP).
Most assuredly, BDS is not an innocuous movement of a bunch of rowdy college kids acting stupid. In reality, it’s a poison replete with every antisemitic trope and libel that has haunted the Jewish people for millennia. It’s an attack not upon Israeli policy vis a vis the Palestinians, or settlements or statehood. It’s an assailment against Israel as a Jewish state and an antisemitism movement against Jews throughout the world.
What’s the answer? How do Israel and Jews in general counter accusations by the UN, the EU and all the faux-liberals in and out of government that buy into BDS propaganda? It’s a daunting task that may defy an answer. As a truly antisemitic movement, there is no way of convincing people of that predilection otherwise.
To explain the land of Israel with Jerusalem as its capital is the ancestral homeland of the Jewish people falls upon deaf ears, as do the numerous attempts of sharing the land in peace with the Palestinians predating 1948. Would clarifying that the wall and checkpoints separating both people were put in place not to create apartheid but to stem school attacks, bus bombings and mass murdering of Jews in restaurants and theaters change anything? Could Israel bring about modification within BDS by explaining Gaza was abandoned in 2005 while leaving all infrastructure in place as a gesture of peace? The answer to these questions is quite obvious.
What Israel and all those that support the Jewish state can do is remain strong and united against the onslaught of this sinister movement. They must continue building an economically strong nation of innovation and science, be open to peace but not acquiescence and have faith in the Creator who led them back to their ancestral homeland.
The author is the founder of the ZOA of Southwest Florida and has been its president for the past 10 years. He has a master’s degree in international relations from CCNY and resides in Naples, Florida.