Is Israel’s anti-BDS campaign fueling anti-Semitism ?

Not long ago, a Jewish former neighbor of mine wrote to me to ask whether, as a member of Jewish Voice for Peace, I support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

I replied that I’ve supported boycotts of companies that promote Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land for years now; otherwise, I explained, I would be complicit in a serious offense against humanity and international law.

I also referred him to the Jewish Voice for Peace website for more information about the tactics endorsed by a wide range of organizations in the hope that economic pressure, added to political action, will hasten the occupation’s end.

A simple answer to a simple question? Well, not to my old neighbor, who wrote back to assure me that, whatever I may say, my real objective is the “destruction of the Jewish state.”

He assured me that as long as I criticized Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land, I was an enemy, unworthy of further discussion.

Though saddened by this broadside – no less by its dogmatism than by its invective – I can’t really say I was surprised.

Israel’s anti-BDS campaign is now in full overdrive, and for anyone who takes it seriously, as my former neighbor evidently does, the predictable first casualty of its propaganda is truth. The first beneficiary, I fear, may be anti-Semitism … : ELECTRONIC INTIFADA

 

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