As international efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state and harm it economically grow in strength and number, Israel’s Mission to the United Nations is looking to take on the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) and raise awareness of the BDS campaign’s anti-democratic and often anti-Semitic behavior.
To that end, Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, has announced an anti-BDS conference, to be held at the United Nations, entitled “Building Bridges, Not Boycotts”.
Slated for May 31st, the conference is a joint effort of the Israeli Mission to the UN and a wide range of organizations including the World Jewish Congress, Keren HaYesod/United Israel Appeal, the American Center for Law and Justice, the ADL, StandWithUs, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), Israel Bonds, Bnai Brith International, the Hillel movement, and CAMERA.
The event, which is expected to draw some 1,500 activists, jurists, and media figures, will be headlined by Jewish reggae star Matisyahu, who will give a special performance in the UN’s General Assembly Hall.
Matisyahu was himself targeted by BDS activists in 2015, when a Spanish festival initially cancelled his appearance. The Rototom Sunsplash Festival later backtracked, however, following a public outcry, with Matisyahu being ultimately allowed to perform.
Other prominent attendees of the conference will include Israeli Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein and World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder.
“The anti-Israel narrative on campuses and in diplomatic halls has spun out of control and has proven itself to be part and parcel with an anti-Semitic agenda, aimed at delegitimizing the Jewish state and its right to exist,” said Lauder. “Our enemies have tried to defeat us militarily and economically, and they have failed. Now they are trying to defeat us politically, and although they may think that this time they are winning, we will not stop fighting until they fail.”