As correctly pointed out in “Recognize and speak out against anti-Semitism” [Opinion, June 26], the “boycott, divestment, sanctions movement” (BDS) is, at its core, anti-Semitic.
Many intelligent, passionate supporters of Palestinian rights will balk at this assessment. They have been persuaded that BDS is the best way to effect positive change in the Middle East. Unfortunately, they are unaware, or choose to ignore, that the founding goals of BDS are firmly rooted in hatred of Jewish people. BDS employs inflammatory language and imagery to equate all Jews everywhere with Israeli government policy, and Israeli government policy with Nazism.
Don’t misunderstand: Israel is not perfect, and legitimate critiquing of its policies is important and necessary. Israeli citizens do it every day. But BDS supporters demonize an entire country and perpetrate hate incidents against college students, including some in Bellingham, Olympia and Seattle simply because they are Jewish.
Rather than divesting, true supporters of Palestinians and a two-state solution should invest in businesses and infrastructure in the region to create a viable economic future for all. And university administrations here should actively protect Jewish students and promote open dialogue on both sides of this complicated and nuanced issue.
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Hilary Bernstein, Pacific Northwest Regional director, Anti-Defamation League