This week over 30 global Jewish organizations have offered a statement to affirm the BDS movement, urging governments and other
institutions to take effective
measures to defeat white supremacist nationalist hate and violence and
to end complicity in Israel’s human rights violations.
“We write this
letter with growing alarm regarding the targeting of organizations that
support Palestinian rights in general and the nonviolent Boycott,
Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)
movement, in particular. These attacks too often take the form of
cynical and false accusations of antisemitism that dangerously conflate
anti-Jewish racism with opposition to Israel’s policies and system of
occupation and apartheid.
We live in a frightening era, with growing numbers of authoritarian
and xenophobic regimes worldwide, foremost among them the Trump
administration, allying themselves with Israel’s far right government
while making common cause with deeply antisemitic and racist white
supremacist groups and parties.
From our own histories we are all too aware of the dangers of
increasingly fascistic and openly racist governments and political
parties. The rise in antisemitic discourse and attacks worldwide is part
of that broader trend. At times like this, it is more important than ever to distinguish
between the hostility to or prejudice against Jews on the one hand and
legitimate critiques of Israeli policies and system of injustice on the
The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition
of antisemitism, which is increasingly being adopted or considered by
western governments, is worded in such a way as to be easily adopted or
considered by western governments to intentionally equate legitimate
criticisms of Israel and advocacy for Palestinian rights with
antisemitism, as a means to suppress the former. This conflation undermines both the Palestinian struggle for freedom,
justice and equality and the global struggle against antisemitism. It
also serves to shield Israel from being held accountable to universal
standards of human rights and international law.
Israel does not
represent us and cannot speak for us when committing crimes against
Palestinians and denying their UN-stipulated rights.
The Nobel Peace Prize-nominated, Palestinian civil society-led BDS
movement for Palestinian rights has demonstrated an ongoing proven commitment
to fighting antisemitism and all forms of racism and bigotry,
consistent with its dedication to the Universal Declaration of Human