The New Anti-Semites*
By This report was published by Zachor Legal Institute, and with StopAntisemitism.org and re-priinted here with premission
Tuesday, December 17th, 2019 @ 1:55PM
The Radicalization Mechanism of the BDS Movement and the Delegitimization Campaign Against Israel –
Foreword – by Marc Greendorfer*
Marc Greendorfer is President of Zachor Legal Institute, a civil rights advocacy organization, which prepared this report on behalf of StopAntisemitism.org
Anti-Semitic incidents, including those involving violence, are rising in the US and throughout the world. While anti-Semitism is oftentimes considered the oldest hatred in our civilization, a toxic mutation of this ancient evil in the form of anti-Israelism or anti-Zionism is spreading. Making
matters worse, hate groups on the Left and Right are joining forces, with the backing of designated foreign terror organizations, to inject this movement of intolerance and delegitimization into social justice campaigns, schools, government and society as a whole.
We have prepared the report that follows, “The New Anti-Semites”, to document how this contemporary hate, as disseminated by the so-called “Boycott, Divest and Sanction” (BDS) Movement, is negatively influencing large segments of the United States’ population and creating a dangerous environment that normalizes vilification of Jews, something that history has shown to have deadly consequences. The objective of this report is to expose the BDS faux ”civil rights” movement for what it is – a delegitimization campaign with genocidal aims, rather than the human rights movement that it purports to be.
Our report contextualizes the delegitimization campaign and its contribution to the rise in global anti-Semitism and radicalization of public discourse in Western society, and the United States in particular. Our research shows that the core of BDS activism is discrimination as well as delegitimization of Israel and the entire Jewish people. Centuries-old canards are being resurrected by BDS activists, alleging that Jews kill children, drink their blood, poison communities, have dual loyalties, are modern-day Nazis and maintain the Apartheid state of Israel, exacerbated in the 21st century by the viral effects of online propagation. This alarming campaign infects schools, universities, local and national politics, corporate activity and public policy, creating a culture where anti-Semitism is mainstream and putting Jews and other supporters of Israel at risk of extreme harassment as well as physical harm. Recent news reports show that BDS activists have even been successful in injecting their incendiary campaigns into elementary and high school curriculums, raising the specter of an entirely new generation being indoctrinated to exhibit the type of hate that many of us thought could never again be repeated.
The anti-Semitic orientation of BDS is no surprise when one examines the members of the group that created and manages BDS, the BDS National Committee (BNC). As described in a recent report: Terrorists in Suits, a research project of the Israeli government on the origins and structure of BDS, the BNC consists of five organizations designated by the U.S. as foreign terrorist organizations1. These groups, along with the Palestine Liberation Organization, which has been shown to provide funding and organizational management to BDS, have added social activism to its terror arsenal against Israel and Jews. As we advised the U.S. Department of Justice in 2018 when we asked the government to investigate whether BDS provides material support to terrorism, and as our federal court amicus briefs and published scholarship detail, BDS is not only a continuation of the decades-old Arab League boycott of Israel, it was explicitly organized to be a less overtly violent “civil rights” campaign to disenfranchise Jews from their right to self-determination in their historic homeland of Israel. While militarized terror operatives continue to shed Jewish blood in Israel and beyond, BDS activists act to obscure the public’s understanding of Israel’s self-defense actions and build
The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) is the coordinating body for the BDS – Movement worldwide. The first and primary member of the BNC is the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine, known outside of the Palestinian territories as the “Palestinian National and Islamic Forces” (PNIF). PNIF was founded by Yasser Arafat and is comprised of five US-designated terrorist organizations including Hamas, The Popular Front For The Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), The Popular Front – General Command (PFLP-GC), the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). In addition, members of PNIF include Khalid al-Batsh, a senior member of the PIJ and Jamil Mezher, a member of the political bureau of the PFLP. Ghassan Zeidan, now deceased, was a Central Committee member of the PLF and a member of PNIF, as was Iz Al-Din Kasab, a Hamas representative. Further, Haidar Eid, a BNC representative, made it clear that Hamas and other Islamic movements were represented on the BNC.
political bad will against Jews and the Jewish state. The research in this report indicates that these methods yield results that are not contained to political hostility alone, but also encourage and even contribute directly to outright violence. The breeding of a politically hostile climate, the normalization of hate speech and encouragement of violence is a corrosive phenomenon that is not contained to Jewish life in Western democracies—it is the radicalization of the entirety of Western democracies, including our own.
The BDS strategy has paid significant dividends to those who seek to harm and disenfranchise Jews. As the following report documents, an unlikely marriage of convenience between BDS groups and neo-Nazi supporters on the Right and academics on the Left is burgeoning, albeit informally.
What is critically needed is greater recognition of the problematic trend of growing anti-Semitism, an agreed-upon definition of what anti-Semitism is, and the legislative means to penalize those engaged in this practice. While progress is slow in these areas, it is becoming more visible.
A number of significant events have occurred recently that draw attention to rising anti-Semitism, in addition to the publication of this report itself. A United Nations report “Combatting Antisemitism to Eliminate Discrimination and Intolerance Based on Religion or Belief,” released in September 2019, “notes claims that the objectives, activities, and effects of the BDS movement are fundamentally anti-Semitic.” In addition, in May 2019 German lawmakers in the Bundestag voted in favor of a motion to recognize the international BDS movement as an entity that uses anti-Semitic tactics to fulfill its political goals.
The International Holocaust Remembrance Association (IHRA) is playing a significant role in garnering consensus of a definition for anti-Semitism. Under the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism is effectively identified as a form of race and national-origin discrimination, alongside classic anti-Semitism. The United States government, as well as approximately 40 countries in Europe, South America and Australia, have accepted the IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism. There has been some action by U.S. government agencies to codify the IHRA’s definition of anti-Semitism into law and regulations, including the Department of Education’s efforts to include anti-Zionism as a form of discrimination under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, but much more needs to be done to have a tangible effect on the damaging impact of BDS.
We are heartened to see the beginning of government efforts to prevent the spread of anti-Semitism. What is missing are specific and clear laws that incorporate the IHRA anti-Semitism definition and enforcement of those laws. In the United States, once there are laws at the federal or state level explicitly defining and proscribing anti-Semitism, we will have the tools to provide justice for the victims and send a clear message to hate groups that they can’t commit anti-Semitic acts without consequence. So far, Florida and South Carolina have adopted laws that define anti-Semitism, and we advocate for additional states to follow suit.
The words and deeds of BDS movement supporters must not be ignored, especially by those of us who are living reminders of the near-extermination of the Jewish people. This pattern of demonization, delegitimization and, ultimately, elimination is one that has repeated itself over the millennia. Those who think that what happened in World War II Europe could never happen today in the United States must be educated on how to prevent the history of anti-Semitism from being a prelude to the future.
* The New Anti-Semites report was published by Zachor Legal Institute, and with StopAntisemitism.org and reprinted here with permission
**Marc Greendorfer is President of Zachor Legal Institute, a civil rights advocacy organization, which prepared this report on behalf of StopAntisemitism.org