JERUSALEM, Israel - For years, supporters of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS Movement have argued that economic weapons like boycotts and sanctions would be the key route to peace.
But the recent Abraham Accords and their peace for peach approach have led to a significant setback for BDS and are proving them wrong.
The roots of BDS against Israel go back hundreds of years.
“The BDS Movement is nothing new here. I mean, economic boycotts have been a key hallmark manifestation of anti-Semitism from time immemorial,” said Elan Carr, Special Envoy to combat anti-Semitism under former President Trump.
Carr, who is now part of CAM (Combat Anti-Semitism) says from the Middle Ages to Nazi Germany, economic boycotts have been a weapon against Jewish communities.
“That’s what BDS is. BDS [says] don’t buy from the Jews. In this case, the Jewish State, the Jewish collective. So, there’s really nothing new about this malicious, evil, form, manifestation of Jew-hatred. We’ve got to recognize it as such,” Carr told CBN News.
Ben Moore, Chief Strategist and Foreign Media spokesman for Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, said there are dozens of examples of the “senior leadership of BDS propagating anti-Semitic ethos, motifs, libels, conspiracy theories.
But now, some see the economic agreement in the recent Abraham Accords between Israel and four Muslim countries as a strike against BDS.
“I saw one headline that said the Abraham Accords mark the death of the BDS movement. Now, I think that’s a little premature, but we certainly can say that the Abraham Accords are the beginning of the end of the BDS Movement,” Carr explained.
“They’ve suffered a major blow to their narrative and to what they’ve been propagating for over a decade, saying that boycotts are the answer to peace. The Abraham Accords have clearly shown that that is not the case, rather quite the opposite,” Moore told CBN News.
But Moore cautioned that while BDS is reeling from this defeat it won’t stop them.
“Their end goal is to harm Israel any way possible so it’s very likely they’ll just find a new avenue to attack Israel through many different ways possible,” Moore said.
One recent example shows that BDS can draw support from a more recent movement. In a virtual discussion group, Temple University Professor Marc Lamont Hill claims that Israel is part of white supremacist imperialism.
“And so Black Lives Matter is explicitly talking about the dismantling of a Zionist project, dismantling of a settler, colonial project and very explicitly embracing BDS on those grounds,” Hill said in the video.
According to Moore, BDS has been trying to hijack the progressive value system for more than a decade.
Moore said that while everyone who is a part of BLM might not support BDS, “what we do see with the leadership of the Black Lives Matter [is] adopting these values.” He said he would encourage them to look at the “whole picture” and not the “propaganda they’ve been subjugated to from the BDS Movement.”
He sees the Abraham Accords as the best way to fight BDS and what’s behind it. He also emphasizes the importance of listening to the ultimate message of this dangerous movement.
“One just needs to look at their mantra, from the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free. That doesn’t leave much room in the middle for Israel to exist,” he said.
Carr hopes and believes the Biden administration will keep up the fight against anti-Semitism.
“Secretary Blinken praised the Abraham Accords and said this is the path for the future,” Carr explained. He also noted that the Biden administration had expressed “deep concern” over the recent ICC ruling that it had authority to examine and prosecute Israelis and Palestinians for alleged war crimes.
Even so, both Carr and Moore maintain that it’s important to remember that neither BDS nor anti-Semitism will simply fade away. They encourage supporters of Israel to keep a keen eye on the movement, its leaders and allies.
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