Throughout modern history, boycotts such as the American colonial boycott of British goods to the Montgomery Bus Boycott have been used as a peaceful method of coercing a government or company to capitulate to certain demands. It would seem rather odd that such a movement would exist against Israel, the sole democracy in the Middle East. This is especially true when you pit its human and civil rights record against those of its neighbors. BDS supporters will try to fool you into believing that all they're seeking to do is force Israel to negotiate for a two-state solution, The harsh reality, however, is that the BDS movement is little more than a wolf in sheep's clothing. It disguises itself as a movement seeking to promote peace and justice for the Palestinians. It's true aspirations couldn't be more sinister, though, and, just in case the anti-peace statements from the leaders of BDS aren't enough alone to convince you of this, here's a quick overview of the side of the BDS movement that its supporters don't want you to know.
The BDS movement's sole purpose is to demonize Israel and delegitimize its right to exist. They do this by making ludicrous comparisons between Israel and apartheid South Africa. Since minorities in Israel have the same rights as Jews, even blacks who lived under South African apartheid call this claim absurd. Israel's Declaration of Independence explicitly called upon its Arab inhabitants to participate in the development of Israel and "participate in the upbuilding of the State of Israel." It seems they've heeded this advice well, as Arabs are now represented by the third largest party in the Israeli Knesset.
One major farce that the BDS movement fabricates is that Israel is solely responsible for the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For BDS, facts seem pointless, as they don't support this baseless accusation. They blatantly create lies to paint Israel as the aggressor and claim that Israel has always rejected peace with the Palestinians. The facts are that peace has been within grasp several times throughout history, but it was the Palestinians who said no. It was Mahmoud Abbas in 2008 who rejected peace proposals that Israel had agreed to. It was then-PLO president Yasser Arafat who neglected his responsibility under the Oslo accords to prevent Palestinian terrorism. To BDS activists, facts are relative; they should only be mentioned if it supports their sinister agenda.
Aside from BDS cherry-picking facts, the movement is saturated with antisemitism. Many of their boycotts and activities have little to do with Israel itself. Just recently, a Jewish reggae singer named Matisyahu was the target of a vicious slander campaign by the BDS movement, who sought to have him disinvited from a Spanish music festival. Matisyahu is not Israeli. The only possible connection he'd have to Israel is that he's Jewish, and Israel is a Jewish state. He was only attacked because he was Jewish. Aside from individual examples of antisemitism, however, the fact that they single out the Jewish state of Israel for its so-called "human rights violations" while glossing over the horrific human rights records of Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia and Syria only further strengthens their status as being nothing more than a political front for antisemites.
No matter how you look at it, the BDS movement really has no legitimacy. Its campaign against Israel for human rights violations is baseless, as Israel is the only country in the Middle East where the human rights and civil liberties for all genders, faiths, and sexual orientations are preserved. Contrary to what they might want you to believe, peace is a two-way street. The Palestinians must be committed to peace as much as the Israelis. An agreement based solely on Israeli concessions isn't peace; it's surrender. If BDS were so concerned about the Palestinians to begin with, they'd realize that many Palestinians themselves don't even support the movement and actively engage in business with Israel. Many companies that BDS targets for boycotts regularly employ Palestinians. Their continuous targeting of individuals just for being Jewish showcases their racist agenda and, just like terrorist organizations such as Hamas, target Israel merely because it's Jewish.
My name is Benjamin Jaffe. I was born and raised in South Florida and plan on majoring in political science at Hebrew University in Israel.