t’s enormously frustrating when the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) – which should be working with us―instead undermines the pro-Israel community’s efforts to combat antisemitism. Too often, ADL gives a “free pass” to Islamist, BLM, and other left wing antisemitism. ADL now appears ready to hand out “free passes” to radical Islamist antisemites on college campuses, during ADL’s new partnership with Hillel.
The partnership calls for ADL’s “experts” to determine what is antisemitic. Yet, absurdly, when describing how the ADL-Hillel partnership will operate, ADL’s “experts” announcedthat “a BDS resolution alone would not count as antisemitism,” but “might”―might (!)―count as antisemitism if Jewish students were excluded from the debate on the resolution.
It is deeply concerning that ADL’s “experts” are ignoring the fact that BDS resolutions are invariably antisemitic. These sinister BDS resolutions are propagated on college campuses by the antisemitic hate group Students for Justice in Palestine.
ZOA has been combatting BDS resolutions on college campuses for almost two decades―and we’ve never seen one that wasn’t antisemitic. BDS resolutions single out Jews to Boycott, Divest from, and Sanction (BDS) and Delegitimize. BDS targets and harms Jewish students, Jewish professors, Jewish-owned businesses, American businesses that trade with Jews, Jewish workers, Jewish farmers, Jewish academic institutions and academic exchanges, Jewish speakers, Jewish college clubs, Jewish artists, Jewish musicians, artists of any faith that wish to perform in the Jewish state, Jews whose “sin” consists of living their lives and raising their children in the Jewish homeland, and the Jewish state herself.
Singling out and targeting Jews for boycotts, divestment, sanctions and delegitimization, as BDS does, is the very essence of antisemitism. The Nazis’ campaign to annihilate the Jewish people began with the Nazi boycott of Jewish-owned businesses and Jewish professional offices on April 1, 1933. Nazi Brownshirts stood outside Jewish shops and offices holding signs saying “Don’t Buy from Jews,” and “the Jews are our Misfortune.” Back in 1896, Theodore Herzl wrote in his famous book, The Jewish State, that boycotts of Jewish businesses (“Don’t Buy from Jews!) were one of the types of anti-Jewish persecutions that required the existence of a Jewish State.
BDS also relies on falsehoods about Jews and the Jewish state that reek of classic antisemitic canards – such as outrageously and falsely accusing Jews and the Jewish state of perpetrating war crimes, human rights violations, and “genocide.”
Longtime (fmr.) Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon succinctly explained it: “BDS is the 21st Century incarnation of an old disease called antisemitism.”
Campus BDS resolutions today also often demand that colleges and college clubs must boycott and divest from businesses on the misnamed UN Human Rights Council’s database of companies that do business with Israel. As Ambassador Danon further explained: “This [UNHRC] ‘blacklist’ is all too reminiscent of dark periods in our history when Jewish businesses, or those who sought to conduct business with us, were boycotted and sanctioned.”
Moreover, BDS organizations are run by terror operatives from the murderous, designated terror organizations Hamas and the PFLP. (See “TERRORISTS IN SUITS: The Ties Between NGOs promoting BDS and Terrorist Organizations,” Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs.).
Students for Justice in Palestine – the promoter of most campus antisemitic BDS resolutions – also has terror ties. SJP officially glorifies, hosted, held rallies for, and fundraised for PFLP terrorist Rasmea Odeh, the convicted mastermind responsible for a grocery store terror bombing in which the PFLP murdered two young Jews.
The Palestinian Authority – which continues to pay Arabs to murder Jews – also promotes BDS, in direct violation of the PA’s obligations under the Oslo agreements to cooperate with Israel economically. ADL should not be giving a “free pass” to the resolutions promoted by these groups.
Ambassador Danon properly explained that, “Only a coalesced effort, a united front, can amplify the truth, stop the lies, and eventually put an end to BDS.”
Morton A. Klein is the president of the Zionist Organization of America, ZOA.