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Is BDS anti-semitic? Show more Show less

BDS stands for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. It is a non-violent, Palestinian led political campaign that advocates for and promotes various forms of finanical protest against the state of Israel. The objective of BDS is to pressure Israel into abiding by international law, which includes ending the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, granting Arab-Palestinians Israeli citizenship, and allowing displaced Palestinian refugees the right to return to their cultural and ancestral homeland. It’s often compared to and seeks to emulate the South African anti-apartheid movement from the 1980s. However, the movement has been accused of being ant-semitic due to the nature in which it targets the world’s only Jewish state, and how those attacks affect Jewish people in Israel and abroad.

Yes, BDS is anti-semitic. Show more Show less

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BDS seeks to delegitimize and destabilize Israel.

BDS opposes Jewish people's right to self-determination, and compounds the physical aggression that has been threatening Israel's existence since it's conception. Denying Jewish people the right to their own state is anti-semitic.
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Context

The Argument

The leaders and supporters of BDS (Boycott, Divest, and Sanction) claim that their aim is to place financial pressure on the state of Israel until they unoccupy Palestinian territory and abide by international human rights laws in regards to the people of Palestine. However, many of those who oppose BDS “believe that the real aim of the antisemitic boycott movement is of course the delegitimization of the State of Israel.” [1] Israel has been faced with a multitude of existential threats since it was founded in 1948, and BDS is “another attempt to demoralize and destabilize a critical U.S. ally. Compounding these challenges is economic aggression.” [2]The argument that BDS is anti-semitic is based off the premise that BDS is denying Jewish people the right to self-determination and an autonomous state of their own. “The idea that all other peoples can seek and defend their right to self-determination but Jews cannot,” declared US Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer in 2017, “is antisemitism.” [3] In addition, once that statehood has been achieved, it shouldn't be taken away. The argument as to whether or not the state of Israel ever should have come into existence is no longer relevant - Israel, in the modern day, is home to millions of people with a new and distinct identity and culture. Present day citizens had nothing to do with the conception of the Israeli state in 1948, and "Anti-Zionism proposes nothing less than the elimination of that identity and the political dispossession of those who cherish it.” [3] BDS seeks to consistently undermine the comfort, security, and quality of life of Jewish people in Israel who are trying to carve out a safe space for themselves in a world that has targeted them for centuries. Claiming that Israel should be a state for all its citizens, with equal rights for Jewish people and non Jewish people is a form of delegitimization that is inherently anti-semitic.

Counter arguments

Framing

Premises

[P1] Some people believe BDS is anti-semitic because it seeks to delegitimize the Jewish state of Israel. [P2] By using economic aggression to destabilize the country and make it so the government can no longer prioritize the needs and desires of Jewish people, it's infringing on the rights of Jewish people and is therefor anti-semitic. [P3] BDS is disrupting the lives of Israeli Jews who are trying to find peace and safety in a world where they are largely discriminated against.

Rejecting the premises

Proponents

Further Reading

References

  1. https://www.adl.org/resources/backgrounders/bds-the-global-campaign-to-delegitimize-israel
  2. https://www.wsj.com/articles/congress-can-fight-the-boycott-israel-movement-1432591991
  3. https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/mar/07/debunking-myth-that-anti-zionism-is-antisemitic

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 4 Jun 2020 at 03:45 UTC