Last Wednesday in Montreal, a Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) supporter was arrested for painting swastikas on a synagogue of the largest city in Canada’s Québec province. He also had a tank of gasoline to set the temple on fire. This wasn’t the first time someone vandalized a temple in the name of anti-Zionism. Anti-Zionists often engage in the same hate crimes and rhetoric as Neo-Nazis.
Next week, the student government at Florida State University (FSU) plans to vote on a BDS resolution to pressure the university into divesting from all businesses that are owned by Israeli Jews or do business with Israeli Jews. We all know the song and dance that anti-Israel activists will perform trying to persuade us that BDS isn’t antisemitic. It’s far from convincing, especially considering the student championing this resolution at FSU is an open antisemite with a long history of publicly expressing his hatred for Jews.
Introducing this hateful resolution is just the latest attempt for student senator Ahmad Daraldik to use his position to further his racist cause. Earlier this year, he faced calls to step down from his position after hateful social media posts that were brought to light. Daraldik shared a fake photo of an Israeli soldier and commented “Stupid Jew thinks he is cool.” He defended notorious terrorist and two-time airplane hijacker Leila Khaled, calling her a “powerful leader.” He has posted swastikas on Facebook and even created a website where he offensively compared Israel to Nazi Germany. “The Holocaust never ended,” the website read. “It just moved to Palestine.”
These are not the words and actions of a person who is concerned with human rights issues or genuinely wants peace between Israelis and Palestinians – as he and many BDS “activists” would have you believe. These are the words and actions of an individual who not only hates Jews but supports violence against them.
It appears for now that Daraldik will settle for economic discrimination against Jewish businesses and he is doing everything within his power as President of the Student Senate to push this measure through. It’s not enough for him to be a virulent antisemite in his personal life. He won’t stop until it is official university policy to discriminate against Jews.
BDS is deeply rooted in antisemitism and cannot be allowed to gain a foothold on the FSU campus. On its face, BDS encourages discrimination against businesses because of the national origin of its owner. That is disgusting and illegal in many countries, including the United States. When BDS proponents spread lies about Israel, American Jews are often the only victims. Passing a resolution that encourages this racist policy will only serve to exacerbate the already hostile climate for the FSU Jewish community.
To put it plainly, perpetuating the anti-Israel vitriol spread by Daraldik and radicals like him is bad for FSU. One only needs to look at Daraldik’s record of hate speech to see the true intention behind the resolution pending before the student government. The fact that someone with his hatred of Israel and the Jewish people is spearheading this effort should concern any decent-minded person.
BDS activists can keep on shouting that “anti-Zionism isn’t antisemitism” all day, but as long as anti-Zionists try to set synagogues on fire, engage in antisemitism, and attack Jewish students with BDS resolutions, the movement is a violent threat to Jews. The FSU community will not be fooled into following behind this banner of hate.