Israel Advocacy News May 13, 2013: Attempted divestment at University of California Santa Barbara and the BDS machine



Attempted divestment at UCSB and the BDS machine

Source: The Jewish Journal of Greater L.A., 5-13-13

Over the last month the UC Santa Barbara student government has been voting on a resolution to divest from companies doing business with Israel….READ MORE

Israel Advocacy News April 24, 2013: Defending Israel against campus attacks



Defending Israel against campus attacks

Source: New Jersey Jewish News, 4-24-13

This past month has seen an intense increase of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) activity on North American campuses, especially in California. Motions brought by anti-Israel students to their student governments calling for the divestment….READ MORE

Israel Advocacy Op-ed March 1, 2012: Dore Gold: Now playing on a campus near you Israel Apartheid Week ignorance, lack of regard for facts



Now playing on a campus near you: ignorance, lack of regard for facts

Source: JWeekly, 3-1-12

Anti-Israel hatred on campus crests each year during an event called “Israel Apartheid Week.”

With its ominous name and programs that thrive on ignorance and blind disregard for the facts, tens of thousands of college students are urged to rise up against Israel — painfully evoking the types of racist characterizations of the Jewish people that defined attitudes once heard in Europe in the middle of the last century.

This year’s display of anti-Israel fervor is currently occurring on or near campuses around the United States and Europe. In Berkeley, there were two main events this week, and three more next week. Starting Monday, March 5, IAW will also crank up in Canada, the Arab world and South Africa.

These campus initiatives were incubated in 2001 at the first Durban Conference, proclaiming “no apartheid South Africa in the 20th century and no apartheid Israel in the 21st.” This battle cry sparked the BDS movement calling for boycotts, divestment and sanctions to punish Israel, and it all evolved into an invective-loaded campaign that found a degree of favor on campuses coast to coast, not to mention among some labor unions, churches, media and cultural institutions.

But it is based on a lie.

Typically, those hurling these charges against Israel hope that their audiences are ignorant of the facts. In apartheid South Africa, blacks were not allowed to use white hospitals, they could not attend white universities and they could not participate in the South African parliament.

Visit Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem today, or any other hospital or health facility in Israel, and see Jewish and Arab doctors caring for Jewish and Arab patients. Witness for yourself at Hebrew University or any institution of higher learning as Jewish and Arab professors teach students of different backgrounds. Go to the Knesset, and observe the debates involving both Jewish and Arab parliamentarians.

Given this reality, Justice Richard Goldstone, a former judge on the South African Supreme Court, wrote in the New York Times on Oct. 31, 2011: “The charge that Israel is an apartheid state is a false and malicious one that precludes, rather than promotes, peace and harmony.”…

Two posters from the “Step Up For Israel” campaign, which is designed to counter  activities such as Israel Apartheid Week   images/courtesy of

Two posters from the “Step Up For Israel” campaign, which is designed to counter activities such as Israel Apartheid Week images/courtesy of

No nation has fought racism more consistently than the Jewish people, whether through the anti-apartheid activists in the South African Jewish community or through those American Jews who joined the civil rights movement. When Israeli medical teams rushed to international disaster zones in Turkey (1999), Kosovo (1999), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2008) and Haiti (2010), helping the afflicted regardless of their race or creed, they were driven by the core Jewish value of tikkun olam….READ MOR

Israel Advocacy News February 21, 2012: Boycott of Israel Hits Campuses and Churches



Boycott of Israel Hits Campuses and Churches

Source: Algemeiner, 2-21-12

University of Pennsylvania campus. Photo: wiki commons.

First came an entire conference dedicated to boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) at the University of Pennsylvania. More recently, the Presbyterian Church approved a report calling for divestment from three companies because of their sales to Israel. All in all, February has seen the anti-Israel BDS movement gain significant steam.

On Feb. 17, the General Assembly Mission Council of Presbyterian Church USA decided to receive a report from the Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI), including a resolution recommending that Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard (HP), and Motorola Solutions “be placed on the General Assembly Divestment List until such time as they have ceased profiting from non-peaceful pursuits in Israel-Palestine.” The recommendations will now go before the church’s 220th General Assembly, set for June 30-July 7.

From Feb. 3-5, a national BDS conference at Penn armed was an anti-Israel training ground for college students, including sessions such as “The Economics of Israeli Occupation” and “Connecting with Grassroots Palestine,” with the stated goal of “touching on every aspect of the multifarious global effort to heed the BDS Call and bring an end to Israel’s system of oppression, segregation and dispossession.”

Don’t think BDS activity within the church and on campus takes place in respective vacuums, said Ethan Felson, vice president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) and the organization’s expert on divestment.

“When we take a look at the pro-BDS groups in the churches, they all were reporting on the Penn BDS conference, and the campus BDS movements are looking closely at what’s happening in the churches, each eager to trumpet a success of the other,” Felson said during a Feb. 14 conference call with reporters.

The recent growth of BDS hasn’t been limited to Penn and the Presbyterian Church within academic and religious spheres. At its quadrennial General Conference in April, the United Methodist Church will also consider a resolution to divest from Caterpillar, HP, and Motorola. At Harvard University, it won’t be surprising if BDS is a hot topic at a March 3-4 conference on the “One State Solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Paul Beran, a noted BDS activist, chairs the outreach center of Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies….READ MORE

Israel Advocacy Op-ed February 20, 2012: The demonization of Israel




The demonization of Israel

Op-ed: For anti-Israel Palestine fans, Jewish state has become shorthand for all manner of evils

Source: YNet News, 2-2o-12

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement more commonly known as BDS is the new abbreviation stalking American campuses. But at least for the University of Pennsylvania, the immediate crisis has presumably passed. The BDS Conference arrived and left the campus without untoward incidents.

Passions were inflamed and rhetoric heated up, but University President Amy Gutmann and Chair of the Board of Trustees, David L. Cohen, announced they would not be moved by the call to boycott Israeli educational institutions or divest the university of its securities in companies that do business with the Jewish State even as they wrapped the decision to host the conference as a commitment to academic freedom.

Does this mean the Conference failed in its proclaimed strategy of mobilizing the campus around a set of actions to end what they call Israel‘s occupation of Arab lands? With its stated objectives rejected even before the conference began, one might be tempted to dismiss this movement as marginal despite the relatively large numbers of students and faculty attending its workshops and lectures. And its calls for one state of Palestine presumably in accordance with what was proclaimed as a clear and universal consensus on international law might be described as either utopian or wildly out of touch with reality and most especially, with the terms of the rulings so glibly but selectively cited.

While the notion of a single Palestine is not new and has been rejected not simply by most Israelis but also by almost all officials trying to broker an agreement, it has been resurrected to provide a common stock of references and allusions primarily to delegitimize the idea of the Jewish state as illustrated now by the forthcoming conference at Harvard University entitled “One State Conference: Israel/Palestine and the One State Solution.”

Radically recasting the language conventionally deployed to talk about Israel and the conflict, BDS leaders remove words that might engender a favorable view of Israel or promote the kinds of compromises that take Israel’s interests as seriously as those proclaimed by the Palestinians. How can one be reconciled to a Jewish state that is described – wrongly – as practicing apartheidREAD MORE

Israel Advocacy Op-ed February 15, 2012: Giulio Meotti: Anti-Israel BDS campaign seeks Israel’s destruction



Giulio Meotti: Seeking Israel’s destruction

Op-ed: Anti-Israel BDS campaign hides its ultimate goal of eliminating the entire Jewish State

Source: YNet News, 2-15-12

The annual Israeli Apartheid Week, dubbed “anti-Semitic hatefest” by Canadian author Howard Rotberg, is approaching again. As every year the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign will play a key part in this eighth edition.

A large conference of the BDS was just held in Bologna, Italy. The forum selected three areas on which to concentrate efforts in 2012: Israel’s arms industry, pharmaceuticals industry and tourism.

The choice of companies to boycott reveals BDS’ extremism and hatred for the very existence of Israel within any borders. The targets are the Jewish people and nation, not merely the communities of Judea and Samaria. Indeed, BDS is boycotting companies that just say “Made in Israel.”

Western universities are a primary target of the BDS campaign. Over the last weekend, a BDS conference took place at the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League institution in the heart of Philadelphia, where some academics taught US students how to demonize Israel “in every classroom….READ MORE

As was the case with the Arab League, which used the boycott as a means for isolating Israel worldwide, BDS is not about Israel’s size – rather, it is about her very existence.

Giulio Meotti, a journalist with Il Foglio, is the author of the book A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel’s Victims of Terrorism