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BDS Unfazed by Netanyahu's Criticism

BDS spokeswoman dismisses PM's criticism of the movement as a "desperate attack", says governments are "taking action" against Israel.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 3/5/2014, 6:13 AM

Boycott sign
Boycott sign
Flash 90

The anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement was unfazed on Tuesday over the criticism leveled at it by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in his AIPAC speech.

BDS spokeswoman Rafeef Ziadah brushed off Netanyahu's words as a "desperate attack," according to the AFP news agency.

She further noted that governments were beginning "to take action to hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law."

In his speech earlier, Netanyahu said that “one movement that’s definitely on the wrong side of the moral divide is the movement to boycott Israel, the so-called BDS. That movement will fail.”

He further declared that “the BDS boycott movement is not going to stop that anymore than the Arab boycott movement could stop Israel from becoming a global technological power. They are going to fail.”

Netanyahu previously blasted BDS in a speech several weeks ago before a gathering of the Conference of Presidents.

“In the past, anti-Semites boycotted Jewish businesses, and today they call for the boycott of the Jewish state,” he said.

“The boycotters must be exposed for what they are: they’re classical anti-Semites in modern garb,” Netanyahu declared, adding, “We have to fight them. It’s time to delegitimize the delegitimizers.”

Among the leaders of the anti-Israel BDS campaign are left-wing Canadian Jew Naomi Klein, Roger Waters of the band Pink Floyd and physicist Stephen Hawking.

While the BDS movement sees some success, it has also seen quite a few failures. One such recent example was when actress Scarlett Johansson stepped down as an ambassador for Oxfam, after the group tried to force her to boycott Israel by not appearing in a commercial for Israeli company SodaStream.

In another incident of BDS fail, farmers from Gaza - which the BDS movement claims is under an “Israeli siege” - took part in a seminar for farmers inside Israel.

Israeli business leaders recently said that the boycott threats against Israel are “more bark than bite”, noting the concerns of a boycott have been blown out of proportion as a pressure tool against Israel.