“We are challenged yet again,” Isaac Herzog stated at the UN last Wednesday, “Rather than understanding that Israel is here forever, it is the only nation being challenged for its mere existence.” He went on to explain that Israel faces new challenges from the, “the underlying efforts of BDS.” He referred to the BDS movement as, “part of a major onslaught all over the world.” Herzog was drawing a parallel between the Anti –Semitism of his father’s day, which was to deem Zionism as racism, to what he sees as the anti-Semitism of today, The BDS movement.

Isaac Herzog was there to pay tribute to the historic speech delivered by Chaim Herzog when he spoke out against UN resolution 3379, better known as the “Zionism is racism” resolution and symbolically tore up the resolution before the UN. As I sat in the UN chamber, listening to Herzog tell the epic story of his father’s bold stance at the UN, I couldn’t help but wonder, will the world head his message?

The room erupted with applause as Herzog took the podium and at several moments throughout the speech. I saw Herzog’s speech as a way of drawing a parallel between the Anti –Semitism of his father’s day, which was deeming Zionism as racism, to what he sees as the Anti- Semitism of today- the BDS movement.

This was reinforced by Natan Sharansky when he explained his experience in visiting campuses across America and witnessing Jewish students who are afraid to show that they support Israel and say that they are Jewish.

Other notable guests included Secretary of State John Kerry, American Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power and Secretary General Ban Ki- moon. While all of these individuals eloquently addressed the rise of anti- Semitism that is plaguing our world, none of them directly addressed the issue of BDS.

It was clear from Herzog’s words though that he intends to be a part of the force that will make this difference. “We are fed up of being labeled, of being shut out” he stated, “as being signaled out as something different. We have a great story to tell. We contribute enormously to humanity.”

This was reinforced by Natan Sharansky when he explained his experience in visiting campuses across America and witnessing Jewish students who are afraid to show that they support Israel and say that they are Jewish.

Bougie explained that his father started his speech by commemorating 37 years since Kristalnacht, the night of broken glass. This day, ironically coincided with the day that the UN resolution 3379 was proclaimed. His father bore a personal connection to this event as he had liberated Nazi concentration camps with British forces in WW2.

While Herzog reiterated that, “the only way to end that conflict is by getting to peace with the Palestinians, not through unilateral steps but by both leaderships, bold steps by both leaderships, and in recognizing each other mutually with respect,” he also drew a correlation between his father’s brave stance and the positive effect it had on peace and foreign policy.

“That was 1975,” he stated, “two years later Anwar Sadat landed in Israel and made peace with Menachem Begin. Now that we are remembering a great man. May we hope that we shall shatter the feeling that is hopeless and reach a feeling of peace.”

Clearly, Herzog thinks that BDS isn’t good for peace. Will the world heed his message?