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New Anti-BDS Law is Gift to BDS

By Ralph Seliger

BDS is noxious because it singles out Israel for blame in the ongoing conflict, and it tends to penalize individual Israelis, including universities — the most liberal anti-occupation sector of Israeli society.  Moreover, the official movement headed by Omar Barghouti advocates an unlimited “right of return” by Palestinians to Israel, which would end the right of Jewish self-determination in Israel.

But people should not be barred simply because they have political beliefs that are unpopular or controversial (even if noxious).  This undermines Israel as a liberal democracy.  The law would also penalize people like members of the board of Partners for Progressive Israel, which advocates a limited boycott of West Bank settlements but not Israel as a whole.  This is Ameinu’s statement on the new law:

New York, (March 6, 2017) — “The Knesset’s new law, which bars entry of any person believed to have called for boycotts of Israel or the West Bank settlements, is an affront to Israel’s core values and plays directly into the hands of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement,” declared Kenneth Bob, President of Ameinu.

Bob stressed, “While Ameinu stands in complete opposition to the BDS Movement and does not support boycotts, we understand why some progressives choose to distinguish between Israeli products and those from the settlements as a tactic in their fully justified struggle against occupation.  For the sake of Israel’s security and legitimacy, the Government of Israel should never take actions that reinforce the Far Left’s claim that Israel and its supporters use the power of the state to violate the freedom of speech of their opponents.”

Ameinu is the largest progressive Zionist organization in North America and today’s embodiment of the more than 113 year old Labor Zionist movement in the United States.  Gideon Aronoff, Ameinu’s CEO, added “As Zionists Ameinu is dedicated to the principles of the Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed Israel to “be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel.” It is truly unfathomable that the leaders of the Government would enact a law that directly contradicts these essential Jewish and Zionist principles. This new law is a gift for Israel’s enemies and a deep offense for those who love the Jewish State.”

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