The Campaign for Academic Boycotts of Israel Has Stalled

Sept. 6 2019

In 2015, the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the Jewish state (BDS) seemed to be making strides in the universities, as the National Women’s Studies Association followed in the footsteps of other scholarly organizations in endorsing a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. But, notes Jonathan Marks, no scholarly organization has passed a BDS resolution since then—which suggests that the tide may be turning:

[BDS] lost big at the American Historical Association in 2016. The Modern Language Association grew so tired of BDS propagandists that they passed an anti-BDS resolution in 2017. BDS even lost in anthropology—among the most politically lopsided disciplines—when the American Anthropological Association narrowly defeated a boycott resolution three years ago.

This year, BDS lost the Society for the Study of Social Problems, an organization committed to the pursuit of “social justice” with no compunction about passing resolutions on subject matters outside its members’ range of expertise. The BDS resolution failed at the same time that one in support of the Green New Deal passed.

At this past weekend’s annual meeting of the American Political Science Association (APSA), yet another BDS effort was turned back. As a sign of the relative weakness of BDS in the political-science field, activists targeted only . . . one of 49 “sections” within APSA. . . . But even at this early stage, opposition was sufficient to turn the resolution back.

Nonetheless, Marks concludes, it would be a serious mistake to become complacent.

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More about: Academic Boycotts, BDS, University


The Evidence of BDS Anti-Semitism Speaks for Itself

Oct. 18 2019

Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs recently released a lengthy report titled Behind the Mask, documenting the varieties of naked anti-Semitic rhetoric and imagery employed by the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the Jewish state (BDS). Drawn largely but not exclusively from Internet sources, its examples range from a tweet by a member of Students for Justice in Palestine (the “world would be soooo much better without jews man”), to an enormous inflated pig bearing a star of David and floating behind the stage as the rock musician Roger Waters performs, to accusations by an influential anti-Israel blogger that Israel is poisoning Palestinian wells. Cary Nelson sums up the report’s conclusions and their implications, all of which give the lie to the disingenuous claim that critics of BDS are trying to brand “legitimate criticism of Israel” as anti-Semitic.

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More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS, Roger Waters, Social media