Students at Brown University recently voted to approve a resolution calling on the school to support a Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) movement against the state of Israel. Brown University President Christian Paxson told the students to take a hike, but this won’t be the last you’ll hear of BDS. Campus activists claim that such resolutions will put economic pressure on Israel to “pursue peace.”
Don’t believe their lies: BDS isn’t about economically harming Israel, it’s a radical ploy masterminded by prominent anti-Semites to destroy the Jewish state. Supporting BDS would not only threaten American interests in the Middle East but effectively wipe Israel off the map. It is time we start labeling BDS what it truly is: anti-Semitic and stupid.
Unfortunately, BDS looks to be gaining steam in the U.S.. Student activists have passed BDS resolutions at 31 campuses across the country since 2015. The New York Times magazine recently ran a cover story on BD written by a controversial journalist. And powerful members of Congress like Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar have openly embraced the movement.
This comes off years of work from activists who have sought to reintroduce BDS into the mainstream. Grassroots supporters of the movement typically dress up their cause by using jargon like “fighting for dignity” or “punishing human rights abusers!” These slogans are little more than a slick marketing campaign meant to disguise the movement’s aims.
Don’t take my word for it: just ask BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti who has openly advocated the abolition of the Jewish state. In Barghouti’s ideal world, the Jewish state would be nixed in favor of “a unitary state, where, by definition, Jews will be a minority.” Israel, of course, would no longer exist as a Jewish state if the majority of its population were not Jews.
In addition to calling for the destruction of Israel, Barghouti has promoted extremist rhetoric and anti-Semitic language. He’s advocated for violence against Israelis and labeled the Jewish state as the “most violent entity that exists in [the Middle East].” Yes, he seriously believes Israel is the most violent entity in the Middle East, not terrorist groups or Iran.
With all this in mind, it is still fair to ask why average Americans should pro-actively push back against BDS. Why should Israel matter to me? Isn’t Israel slowing down the peace process? All good questions with clear answers.
To start, America and Israel share a special relationship built on similar values and principles. Both of our great nations have a strong history of respect for human rights and dignity. The Jewish state works to promote American interests in the Middle East and sends it young men and women to fight radical Islamist terrorist groups like Hezbollah.
Israel also serves as a hub of technological and business innovation. Dubbed the “Start-Up Nation,” the Jewish state has an impressive number of start-ups per capita, clocking in nearly one start-up per 1,400 people. Many of these companies have created software that Americans use every day, like the rideshare app Via and navigation system Waze.
Incredible breakthroughs by Israeli companies have also been made in military technology and the medical field. These technologies both save and improve American lives. Not to mention that many U.S-based technology giants maintain research and development centers within the Jewish state.
By the way, don’t believe the popular claim parroted by BDS advocates that a boycott of Israel would help push forward a two-state solution. Every time that Israeli leaders have come to the table for peace, the Palestinian leadership has backed out. And can you really blame them? The last Arab leader to sign a peace agreement with Israel was Egyptian President Anwar Sadat who was gunned down by extremists.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas may share the same fate if Barghouti and his fringe followers have their way. “No Palestinian, rational Palestinian, not a sell-out Palestinian, will ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine,” argued Barghouti in 2013. By Palestine, he means all of modern-day Israel.
These are only a few of the reasons that we must stand with the Jewish state against the BDS movement and its allies. As Americans, we have an obligation to protect our friends. And to be sure, and we have no greater friend in the Middle East than Israel.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.