BDS: The movement to destroy Israel
BDS: The movement to destroy Israel

Having failed to destroy Israel on the battlefield, the Palestinian Arabs are determined to use Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) to delegitimize and dehumanize the Jewish state. By positioning Israel as racist and apartheid state, Israel can be denounced as an illegitimate entity that has neither a moral right to exist nor a raison d'être. This is the primary and unifying belief of the BDS movement. 

The only solution is to abolish Israel and replace her with an Arab Palestinian state under a Muslim majority. There is no pretense of resolving the Arab/Israeli conflict through compromise or a two state-solution. Destroying Israel has been a primary objective of the Palestinian Liberation Movement (PLO) from the outset.

In a Radio PLO broadcast in Hebrew on October 31, 1967, Ahmad Al-Shuqayri, who founded the PLO in May 1964, announced “Filastin is the homeland of the Palestinian people.” They and the Arab nation will never relinquish their patrimony. “We will fight until Israel is destroyed …One hundred thousand Arabs surround you; they will not leave Israel alone and allow it [to] exist.” He urged Jews to leave Israel to other countries so they will enjoy peace, prosperity and stability. The Balfour Declaration precipitated the calamity and only Jewish emigration from Palestine will end the catastrophe. [1]

Article 15 of the Hamas Covenant of August 1988, explains why the destruction of Israel is not negotiable; it is a religious imperative: “The day that enemies usurp part of Moslem land, Jihad becomes the individual duty of every Moslem. In face of the Jews' usurpation of Palestine, it is compulsory that the banner of Jihad be raised.”

The BDS movement began on July 9, 2005, when the Palestinian Arabs issued an appeal for an international BDS campaign against Israel “until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights.”  Their demands include: 1. Ending Israeli “occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and removal of the security fence; 2. Acknowledging “the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and; 3. “Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN resolution 194.[2]

By boycotting Israeli products, members of the academic and scientific community, companies doing business with Israel and intimidating those investing in Israeli pension funds, BDS advocates want to isolate Israel, disrupt her cultural and commercial affiliations and manipulate world public opinion against her.  Since Israel enjoys support from Christians and other non-Jews, undermining their backing and committed relationships is another prime objective. [3]

The twisted road to Auschwitz began when Adolph Hitler succeeded in delegitimizing, marginalizing and dehumanizing the Jews.
These lies and fabrications will lead to the delegitimization of the Jewish state. Throughout Jewish history, enemies of the Jewish people have discovered how to use delegitimization to “lethal effect.” The twisted road to Auschwitz began when Adolph Hitler succeeded in delegitimizing, marginalizing and dehumanizing the Jews. The process started when the Germans launched a nation-wide boycott on April 1, 1933 aimed at Jewish businesses and professionals.

Battles originate in the universities, but soon become subjects for journalists, academic and intellectual journals, media editorials, and Washington think tanks. Their articles promote the language of moral equivalence against Israel. These negative characterizations are mirrored in the biased type of courses offered by universities, which will profoundly influence future generation’s views. [4]

“In Burning Campus? Rethinking Israel Advocacy at America’s Universities and Colleges,” political scientist Mitchell Bard, found that “While the majority of students may not buy into the notion that Israel is an apartheid state or that the country has no right to exist, many do have serious questions about Israel’s peaceful intentions and about its human rights record.” [5]

This influence can be seen on many campuses throughout the U.S. Though attempts might fail to force universities to divest from Israel or in boycotting Israeli academics, the result is that Israel’s image as a liberal democracy is distorted.  This fabrication provides the legitimacy for BDS and for protests on campus.

Some recent examples.  At Vassar, a private liberal-arts college in Poughkeepsie, N.Y, a group of students boycotted a course in the International Studies Program in the spring of 2014 because it included a visit to Israel. Students picketed and heckled the class. In the fall of 2015, attempts were made to boycott Sabra hummus because it is partially owned by an Israeli company. [6]

In February 2016, 10 Brooklyn College students disrupted a faculty meeting to demand “Zionists off campus.” When Yedidyah Langsam, a computer science professor and faculty council head, informed the students they were “out of order,” they called him a “Zionist pig.”[7]

The anti-Israel campaigns have already accomplished one major strategic objective observed journalist Ben Cohen; no one is embarrassed any more in calling for her destruction. The perception that Israel is or might be an illegitimate state creates the sense that her demise is possible and maybe even desirable. The absence of any or minimal response to this idea in elite circles means that is acceptable to express such views openly and unabashedly in civilized society.8

Before responding to the BDS attacks, it is important to understand the history and ideology of the movement, who supports this campaign, how the Jewish community responds to BDS, and the effectiveness of these attempts. Our enemies are relentless, which is why I wrote BDS: The Movement to Destroy Israelto provide a weapon to fight this insidious attempt to undermine Israel.

Alex Grobman, a Hebrew University-trained historian, has written three new books on Israel: BDS: The Movement to Destroy Israel; Erosion: Undermining Israel through Lies and Deception; and Cultivating Canaan: Who Owns the Holy Land?


1. Moshe Shemesh, “Did Shuqayri Call for ‘Throwing the Jews into the Sea,’” Israel Studies Volume 8 Number 2 (Summer 2003):76.


3. Joel Fishman, “The Relegitimization of Israel and the Battle for the Mainstream Consensus,” Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs Volume 6, Issue 2, (2012).

4. Jeffrey Herf, “A Pro-Hamas Left Emerges,” The American Interest (August 26, 2014).

5. Mitchell Bard, “A Burning Campus? Rethinking Israel Advocacy at America’s Universities and College,” The David Project (2012).

6. Mark G. Yudof and Ken Waltzer, “Majoring in Anti-Semitism at Vassar,” Wall Street Journal (February 17, 2016).

7. “Students interrupt Brooklyn College faculty meeting, demand ‘Zionists off campus,’” JTA (February 17, 2016); Richard Cravatts, “Anti-Semitism Denial:  Leftist professors and doublethink” Frontpagemag (October 22, 2014).

8. Ben Cohen, “The Ideological Foundations of the Boycott Campaign Against Israel,” American Jewish Committee (September 2007).