Economic Opposition to B.D.S.

B.D.S. is a movement to boycott, divest, and sanction Israel. The goal is to harm Israel economically until Israel unilaterally ends its occupation of the West Bank. However, Israel learned from its unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, which has been followed by continual rocket fire into Israel, that Israel cannot unilaterally end the occupation before it negotiates a peace treaty with the Palestinian Authority.

Several American supporters of Israel are alarmed by the growth of B.D.S. and its potentially negative economic impact on Israel. These pro-Israel Americans have proposed anti-boycott laws that have been challenged for infringing on free speech.

Rather than proposing legislation to impose civil and criminal penalties on organizations that participate in B.D.S., a more effective approach might be to form a non-profit Clearing House dedicated to opposing B.D.S. economically. Hopefully, a Clearing House would be funded by pro-Israel American individuals and organizations.

A Clearing House would monitor all B.D.S. activities, maintain lists of all organizations targeted by B.D.S., impose economic penalties on participants in B.D.S., and invest in organizations which refuse to participate. More specifically, a Clearing House can oppose B.D.S. economically by
(1) boycotting and divesting from organizations which participate in B.D.S., and
(2) steering investments to organizations targeted by B.D.S.

About the Author
Ted Sheskin is an emeritus professor of industrial engineering and the author of a textbook, Markov Chains and Decision Processes for Engineers and Managers. He has published peer-reviewed papers on engineering systems and mathematical algorithms. His letters to editors addressing politics, economic policy, and issues facing Israel and American Jews have appeared in the NY Times, Daily News, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Cleveland Jewish News, Jewish Week, the Forward, and Jewish Voice.
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