Commentary Magazine

BDS Invents New Ways to Embarrass Itself

Although the campus boycott movement just lost a big vote at the University of California, Santa Barbara–16 to nothing, no less–its proponents can take solace in a recent win at that center of authoritative Middle East analysis, California State University-Long Beach. There, a divestment resolution targeting companies that allegedly “take part in the oppression of Palestinians” passed the student Senate on a 15-7 vote.

This victory, like most of the others this year, was unintentionally revealing.

The boycott movement on American campuses often denies that it is linked to the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, for example, student supporters of this year’s divestment resolution preposterously insisted that their resolution, which describes Israel as an “Apartheid Regime” and calls for divestment, is somehow “not BDS.”

But the activists of CSU-Long Beach are refreshingly honest. As Rachel Frommer of Algemeiner reported, they boasted of the sponsorship not only of pro-BDS Jewish Voice for Peace but, more strikingly, of the extremist International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network. Some tidbits from that organization’s charter:

“Zionism, in all its forms, must be stopped.”

“Zionism is racist.”

Israel today “continues a long history of Zionist collusion with repressive and violent regimes, from Nazi Germany to the South African Apartheid regime.”

“Israel is an atomic bomb that should be urgently dismantled for the sake of saving the lives of all its current and potential victims.”

You get the idea. That’s the kind of crew with whom divestment activists are in bed.

The resolution itself makes no bones about its opposition to the state of Israel itself, declaring that “the Israeli State’s forces” have been occupying the Palestinian people since 1946. Presumably, they have in mind this discredited series of maps, which begins in 1946. Indeed, in 1946, Jews cover a small percentage of Mandate Palestine. While the failure of the resolution’s proponents to Google when the state of Israel was declared speaks volumes, so also does the supposition, completely in line with the views of the International Jewish  Anti-Zionist Network, that any Jewish presence on the land constitutes “occupation” deserving of sanction.

CSU-Long Beach’s president, Jane Conoley, made it clear not only that she opposes the resolution but also that she considers BDS to be “opposed to the existence of the state of Israel.” Thanks to the frankness of the activists behind the resolution, I trust that more and more will come to view BDS in the same light.

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