As leftist college activists gear up to celebrate Israel Apartheid Week (which, the Jerusalem Post notes, puzzlingly runs for two weeks from March 7 to March 20), NGO Monitor has launched an interactive website called the “BDS Sewer System” to help shed some light on the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement:
Israeli Apartheid Week, an effort by groups and activists supporting boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel to discredit it and label it an “apartheid state,” kicked off Monday in many cities and college campuses worldwide.
In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, the group NGO Monitor has announced its efforts to combat Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW) with the “BDS Sewer System” which provides detailed information, in graphic form, on the sources of delegitimization campaigns against Israel.
“This ‘Sewer System’ map details and explains the complex network of non-governmental organizations and their funders that lead this campaign,” NGO Monitor president Gerald Steinberg told the Jerusalem Post. “Most importantly, it is a tool for students to demonstrate the illiberal and ‘anti-human rights’ nature of the movements they face on campus.”
The BDS movement is often misleadingly portrayed as a “grassroots” campaign. In fact, as the BDS Sewer System map points out, the movement is actually top-down. Foreign governments, the European Union, and foundations like the New Israel Fund often help finance activist NGOs that organize individual boycott campaigns, which often involve community or campus activist groups.
While BDS doesn’t do much damage to Israel from an economic standpoint, it does have a political impact because it promotes the delegitimization of the Jewish state. That’s why it’s important to have tools — like the BDS Sewer System — that explain who is propping up the movement, and why.