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Is BDS anti-semitic? Show more Show less

BDS stands for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. It is a non-violent, Palestinian led political campaign that advocates for and promotes various forms of finanical protest against the state of Israel. The objective of BDS is to pressure Israel into abiding by international law, which includes ending the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, granting Arab-Palestinians Israeli citizenship, and allowing displaced Palestinian refugees the right to return to their cultural and ancestral homeland. It’s often compared to and seeks to emulate the South African anti-apartheid movement from the 1980s. However, the movement has been accused of being ant-semitic due to the nature in which it targets the world’s only Jewish state, and how those attacks affect Jewish people in Israel and abroad.

Yes, BDS is anti-semitic. Show more Show less

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BDS allows for anti-semitism to flow more freely in certain communities and institutions.

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Context

The Argument

Singling out and attempting to delegitimize the world's only Jewish state is the latest mutation of the world's oldest hatred. Specifically, the goals of the BDS are far from attaining any peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a two-state solution. Instead, as freely stated by BDS co-founder and leader Omar Barghouti, "We oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine."[1] The dissolution of the world's only Jewish state would quickly turn into a nightmare for the Jewish population residing there. In a majority Palestinian state— under the Islamist leadership of a figure like Hamas— would entail the massacre or oppression of any minority that resides there.[1] Thus, the question regarding whether or not BDS or anti-Zionism is antisemitic is self-explanatory. How could the call for the dismantling of the world's only Jewish state not be antisemitic? On the other hand, calls demanding change within the Jewish state are not antisemitic, nor are statements that bring to light Israeli war crimes. But again, calls demanding for the end to a Jewish state are, inherently, driven by antisemitic sentiment. Moreover, BDS has been extremely successful in fueling the flames of antisemitism worldwide by stigmatizing Jews all over the European and North American continent.[1] A recent bipartisan US House of Representatives resolution noted BDS “leads to the intimidation and harassment of Jewish students and others who support Israel.”[2] Trudeau noted how Jewish students feel “unsafe on campus” and the European Fundamental Rights Agency’s recent survey among European Jews found similar trends.[3] As the Israeli government report correctly noted: Partly because of BDS, “the West has become desensitized to antisemitic discourse when it appears in an anti-Israel context.”[1] Just take a recent German court decision where the judges ruled that the firebombing of a synagogue in Wuppertal was not antisemitic but merely a political protest against Israel. Thus, in fighting antisemitism, there can be no ambivalence towards the rhetoric of BDS.

Counter arguments

BDS is not affiliated with growing antisemitism. Although antisemites might claim a confederation to BDS, this is false and only works to harm the movement. The Palestinian rights movement has repeatedly denounced anti-semitic attacks. Moreover, this anti-Jewish bigotry claimed to come out of BDS is a hoax perpetrated by those desperate to silence the growing movement regarding Palestinian freedom. According to writer David Letwin, "In reality, the 2005 BDS call, modeled on the earlier BDS call against apartheid South Africa, is a rights-based campaign for justice and equality that explicitly condemns anti-Semitism, along with all forms of racism."[4] BDS simply demands an end to Israel's occupation of the 1967 territories, full equality for Palestinians with Israeli citizenship, and the right of return for Palestinian refugees driven from their homes during the Nakba of 1948. In shorty, BDS rejects Zionism— a colonial ideology that demands a Jewish-supremacist state in Palestine— not Judaism or Jews. But Israel supporters are unable to refute this distinction, thus they try to erase it by clamoring antisemitism.[4]

Framing

Premises

Rejecting the premises

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.ajc.org/news/bds-is-antisemitic
  2. https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/116/hres246/text
  3. https://www.cufi.org/trudeau-blasts-bds-movement-as-anti-semitic/
  4. https://www.nj.com/opinion/2020/01/bds-is-anti-zionist-not-anti-semitic-opinion.html

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This page was last edited on Friday, 3 Jul 2020 at 15:01 UTC