Nothing Anti-Semitic About BDS Activism

Nothing Anti-Semitic About BDS Activism

by Stephen Lendman ( – Home – Stephen Lendman)

The global BDS movement is the single most effective campaign against Israeli apartheid ruthlessness.

Over time, growing boycotts, divestments and sanctions take their toll, inflicting economic and political harm on Israel, what’s essential to continue and strengthen.

It’s effectiveness is why dark forces in the US, other Western nations, and the Jewish state want the movement undermined and eliminated, even criminalized.

On Friday, Germany’s right-wing Bundestag passed a non-binding motion, declaring BDS activism anti-Semitic — a bald-face Big Lie.

There’s nothing anti-Semitic about anti-Zionism, anti-Israel, or promoting boycotts, divestments and sanctions of the Jewish state.

It’s over Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people, its apartheid viciousness, institutionalized racism, occupation harshness, state terror, preemptive wars, economic strangulation, land theft, ethnic cleansing, mass arrests, gulag imprisonments, torture, targeted killings, suffocating Gazans by slow-motion genocide, and a whole lot of other high crimes — accountability never forthcoming.

German parliamentarians turned truth on its head, claiming the global BDS campaign is “reminiscent of the most terrible chapter in Germany history.”

There’s nothing about BDS activism remotely similar to how Nazis mistreated Jews. In response to the motion, 60 Israeli academics slammed it, saying the following:

“We, Jewish and Israeli scholars…wish to sound alarm about… the growing tendency of labeling supporters of Palestinian human rights as anti-Semitic.”

“This trend is now escalating in Germany. Two German parties, the FDP and AfD, have tabled resolutions at the Bundestag that equate the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement with anti-Semitism.” 

“Coalition parties CDU/CSU and SPD are preparing a joint resolution that does so, too. This conflation is incorrect, unacceptable, and a threat to” German and European societies.

“We…defend the right of any individual or organization to” express justifiable criticism on any issues, including nation state policies.

BDS promotes nonviolence, respect for the rule of law, along with fundamental human and civil rights — not just for some people, for everyone.

The BDS movement “campaigns for the implementation of international law, often with regard to Israel’s occupation and settlements,” the Israeli academics said. 

It opposes “all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism. Many Jewish and Israeli groups either support BDS explicitly or defend the right to support it.” 

“One can debate and disagree with BDS, but a categorical de-legitimization of such non-violent means is wrong and counterproductive.”

Over “100 Palestinian civil society organizations (expressing support) for BDS are respected human rights organizations, associations of lawyers and engineers, committees of farmers and health workers, and unions of disabled and teachers.” 

Everyone is legally entitled to freely express views on all issues, including justifiable criticism of Israel.

It’s world’s apart from anti-Semitism. It’s all about wanting the Jewish state held accountable for its high crimes against Palestinians — for not being Jewish and praying to the wrong God.

Anti-Semitism reflects hatred of a people for their religious beliefs. Israel is a nation-state. Criticizing its ruthlessness is essential to challenge what’s clearly intolerable. Equating it to anti-Semitism is a bald-faced Big Lie.

Israel is run by Zionist ideologues, religious fundamentalists, and hardline fascists — a fantasy democracy like the US and other Western societies, the real thing not tolerated.

The only chance for Palestinian liberation is for Israel to be held accountable for its high crimes.

In January, the Orwellian Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019 – SASME (S. 1) was introduced in the Senate.

It had nothing to do with “improv(ing) defense and security…in the Middle East” – everything to do with banning constitutionally guaranteed views on all issues, no matter how divergent from Washington’s agenda – notably criticism of Israeli apartheid rule.

The measure failed to pass. Nor did the unconstitutional Israel Anti-Boycott Act.

In NAACP v. Claiborne Hardware Co. (1982), a landmark civil rights case, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the organization’s right to boycott white-owned businesses in Mississippi – protesting against segregation and racial injustice, its constitutional right.

The ruling stressed that states may not prohibit peaceful advocacy of a politically-motivated boycott, what First Amendment rights are all about.

Legislation delegitimizing BDS activism, prohibiting it, and falsely equating it to anti-Semitism was enacted by 27 states, around a dozen others considering it – flagrantly violating the Supreme Court ruling and fundamental First Amendment rights. 

If similar congressionally introduced legislation is enacted into law, it’ll do the same thing – subordinating constitutionally protected rights to Israel’s unlawful apartheid persecution of Palestinians.

Peaceful advocacy of any views, no matter how divergent from others, is what politically-protected speech is all about.

As of last month, over 100 anti-BDS measures were introduced at the US federal, state and local levels. Federal courts ruled against legislation in Kansas and Arizona, forcing both states to rewrite their laws to avoid litigation.

More legal challenges are coming. There’s no ambiguity about speech, media, and academic freedoms, the most fundamental of all rights in the US and other Western societies.

Losing them risks loss of all others, what tyranny is all about, its scourge growing in the West.

Days earlier, House and Senate GOP leaders Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell slammed BDS activism, calling the movement “toxic,” a bald-faced Big Lie. 

They falsely equated BDS with anti-Semitism. Samuel Johnson called patriotism the last refuge of a scoundrel. So is calling Israeli critics anti-Semitic.

McCarthy and McConnell turned truth on its head, claiming BDS is “a political and economic attack on Israel’s right to exist” — a bald-faced Big Lie.

They lied calling BDS “ugly.” They lied claiming the movement is “an effort to weaponize grievance politics and attack Israel’s sovereignty under the guise of defending the Palestinian cause.”

They lied saying its “real aim is to exclude, isolate and delegitimize Israel.” They lied claiming it “undermines direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority by placing all the blame on the Jewish state.”

They lied saying BDS activists “do not believe the state of Israel should exist.” A further litany of Big Lies followed.

They and likeminded congressional extremists support legislation at the federal, state, and local levels delegitimizing BDS activism, prohibiting it, and falsely equating it to anti-Semitism.

In February, legislation with an anti-BDS provision was passed by the Senate with a 77-vote majority. So far, comparable House action hasn’t followed.

It’s likely coming. Perhaps similar legislation will pass in 23 US states not going this far up to now.

Legislation equating BDS activism with anti-Semitism may be prelude to criminalizing its supporters — advancing totalitarian rule, making the US less safe and fit to live in than already.

VISIT MY NEW WEB SITE: (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at


My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

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