With the BDS movement launching a campaign against the one Jewish state (ignoring the multiple violations by other states), the movement CAN be considered anti-Semitic. Adding the fact that BDS is against any Zionist presence in Israel, proves that it MUST be considered anti-Semitic.
However, I do not write to expose BDS for the repugnant, bigoted organisation that it clearly is, but rather to highlight how the movement works against the Palestinian people and results in Israel’s continued occupation of the West Bank. Although many supporters might not be deterred from supporting an anti-Semitic campaign, I suspect and sincerely hope that more would be deterred if they knew the impacts of their actions on Palestinians.
After SodaStream, took a decision to relocate from the West Bank to the south of Israel, BDS hailed the decision as a victory for the Palestinians. It was anything but, as 500 Palestinians that had been employed by the factory lost their jobs, not mentioning the impact of the move on the local Palestinian economy. The factory also served as a median for Israeli-Palestinian cooperation, with the 500 Palestinians working alongside 450 Israeli Arabs and 350 Jews, as equals. If BDS were to succeed, many Palestinians would find themselves in a similar predicament. Anybody who can support this move shows a disregard for Palestinian quality of life and a lack of understanding of basic economics.
Second, despite the BDS movement being an effective propaganda tool to mobilise the general public against Israel, governments and most corporations have been reluctant to back it, limiting its effectiveness on the intended target. By falsely proclaiming that BDS is the solution, the tool to bring liberation and prosperity, it discourages Palestinians from engaging in peaceful negotiations with Israel. History suggests that in the absence of a negotiating partner, Israel opts to maintain the status quo and prioritise security over solution, whereas when a serious negotiating partner does emerge, it shows a willingness to compromise and an aptitude for solutions. Accordingly, to support BDS is to work against the establishment of a Palestinian state and against a peaceful solution.
Co-founder of BDS, Omar Barghouti, choses to reside in the Tel Aviv suburb of Jaffa, and his involvement is only made possible by Israel’s commitment to liberty and freedom of speech. Casting aside the ethical problem with this, Barghouti’s dwelling place works against Palestinian interests and this is further enforced by the fact that he is currently enrolled at Tel Aviv University, reaping the benefits of education in an institution he wishes to boycott. By operating in Israel, the BDS movement has unintentionally promoted the very body it seeks to delegitimise, as a society of freedom and tolerance. The subsequent improvement to Israel’s image naturally increases support for Israel and the end result is less international pressure on Israel’s government to resolve or improve the Palestinian’s situation.
Lastly, the BDS movement surpresses the Israeli left, a faction that has always lobbied extensively for Palestinian rights, and as part of the electorate, it is likely to be more influential in initiating change than an ineffective boycott campaign. BDS’s blatant prejudice towards Israel creates a sentiment of isolation and vulnerability within Israel, which only generates more support for its current, security obsessed Likud government, which has done little for the Palestinian cause and has overseen an acceleration in settlement construction. The BDS movement therefore works against political forces within Israel that are best placed to assist the Palestinians.
In sum, the BDS movement must be exposed as an anti-Semitic organisation, and one which undermines its stated goals.