- General Issues
- 2011 >
- Time to Negotiate the Northern and Southern Sectors of the Israeli-West Bank Border
- President Peres and Dr. Ashrawi: Thank You for Staying on Track
- Playing the Victim Card Will Not Bring Peace
- Negotiations By the Parties
- The World Should Help the Palestinian Hunger Striker
- ...and only afterwards move to discuss the topic of Jerusalem
- A Question of Accountability
- Israel Twisting in the Wind
- Netanyahu: Too Big for His Britches
- Netanyahu's "Israeli Comfort"
- How Shaul Mofaz Can Jump-Start the Peace Process
- Netanyahu on the Brink
- Time for Taking Stock
- Israel in Wonderland
- Whatever Happened to the Quartet?
- The Palestinians Want to Negotiate
- A Time for Hope and a Call for Restraint
- Israel Can Win in Gaza, But Not Now
- Congratulations to the New State of Palestine!
- Security and Borders: Both Required for Peace
- It Is Up to Israel to Restart Peace Negotiations
- Israel and Palestine: Changing the Terms of Agreement
- The Knesset Bill to Increase the Number of Women that Elect the Chief Rabbis Is Important for Jewish Women
- Proposal on Governance of the Holy Basin
- Time for Netanyahu to Reach Across the Aisle
- Tzipi Livni's Challenge
- Women Should Be Free to Pray at the Wailing Wall
- Proposed Highway through the Jordan Valley Will Backfire on Israel
- 2014 >
- We Should Applaud Herzog and Livni for Reclaiming Zionism
- The Next Israeli Government
- West Bank Citizenry and Receipt of Individuals of Palestinian Origin
- What Next for Israel?
- Palestinian statehood
- Mischief in the Trade Legislation would Hinder Progress
- What Next for America?
- Could American Firms Choose to Gradually Disinvest from Israel?
- Boycotting Israel is not anti-Semitism
- 2016 >
- 2017 >
- 2019 >
- 2020 >
- 2023 >
- About the Authors
Boycotting Israel is not anti-Semitism
June 17, 2015
While governments hesitate, we are heartened by the growing grass-roots efforts for BDS in in America as well as in the European Union. These letters in the June 15, 2015 issue of The Washington Post offer needed clarity.
Allan C: Brownfield:
In the June 13 news article “In Israel, concerns rising over boycott movement,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to the movement to boycott Israel or disinvest from those doing business in the occupied territories as “anti-Semitic.” Similarly, Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who recently presided over a meeting that raised more than $20 million to fight this movement, referred to it as “anti-Semitic.” Whether one agrees with this movement or not, and many Jews are leading participants, the fact is that it is in no way “anti-Semitic.”
Judaism is a religion of universal values. Israel is a sovereign state. It has violated international law by occupying the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The boycott movement is a nonviolent effort to show opposition to this occupation, similar, its advocates argue, to the sanctions movement against South Africa to show opposition to apartheid. Hatred of Judaism or Jews, which is what constitutes anti-Semitism, appears to be absent from these boycott efforts.Only by redefining “anti-Semitism” to mean criticism of Israel can such a charge be sustained. Israel’s policies in the occupied territories should be debated on their merits, and defenders of the occupation should not hide behind false charges of “anti-Semitism.”
William F. Simonds:
The recent news article about the movement to boycott Israel failed to highlight an interesting aspect of the burgeoning boycott, divestment and sanctions, or BDS, movement, namely the increasing number of Jews in the United States and elsewhere who support some form of boycott. The liberal American Jewish Americans for Peace Now supports the boycott of products made in Israeli settlements. The progressive Jewish Voice for Peace, which this year fully embraced the Palestinian call for BDS, has grown to 65 chapters.
Given their support for the U.S. civil rights movement in the 1960s and the proud Jewish tradition of nonviolent resistance against injustice, it makes perfect sense that more American Jews are choosing to join the peaceful Palestinian call for BDS.