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June 26, 2013 3:48 pm

BDS Momentum Quashed at UC Santa Barbara

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avatar by Josh Arons

Students at Santa Barbara who oppose BDS.

The anti-Israel, boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement has infiltrated numerous state universities in California and has spread untruthful propaganda about the State of Israel. Unfortunately, the anti-Israel movement’s scare tactics have worked by persuading student government associations at UC Davis, UC Berkeley, and UC Irvine to boycott Israeli products and to divest from Israeli companies. Many thought that other California state schools such as UC Santa Barbara would adopt nearly identical BDS policies, however they haven’t fallen into the trap, yet.

In fact, the BDS movement’s cause was struck a serious blow when a BDS resolution was defeated at a very important UC Santa Barbara Student Government Senate hearing. The defeat of the BDS resolution at UC Santa Barbara was certainly an unexpected victory and showed the resilience of pro-Israel groups on UCSB’s campus.

The BDS movement, which also partnered with the fringe Occupy Movement, devoted a great deal of resources to ensuring that UCSB would be an “Israel-free” campus. However, the hypocritical and intolerant BDS movement at UC Santa Barbara saw that fair-minded students rejected its message. Indeed, the overwhelming majority of students at California state universities recognize that the State of Israel shares values with the United States and does not deserve to be demonized by the BDS movement. Most California students recognize that the BDS movement’s efforts to impose all blame on one side of the Israeli-Arab conflict represent an extreme position that is well outside of mainstream opinion.

The BDS movement represents a radical minority of students. Furthermore, it is disheartening to see a noticeable number of self-identifying Jews being affiliated with this group that clearly has an anti-Jewish agenda and which is guilty of a glaring double standard. Indeed, the BDS movement advocates boycotting Jewish owned businesses in Israel, while approving of doing business with Arabs residing in Israel and with Palestinians that reside in the West Bank and Gaza.  Likewise, the BDS movement remains silent about the absence of civil liberties, democracy, religious freedom, and women’s rights throughout the Arab world.

The BDS movement seeks to malign the State of Israel, the only country in the Mideast that celebrates and protects the rights of all ethnic, national, political, and religious groups, including minorities. While the BDS movement claims to favor peace, it denies the Jewish people’s right to live in peace in its ancestral homeland. The BDS movement does not advance the prospects for peace as it supports extremist Palestinian groups that seek to eliminate any Jewish presence in the Mideast.

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At UC Santa Barbara, the BDS movement has made it clear that it rejects true ethnic, national, and religious diversity in the Mideast.  A crystal clear example of this is that the BDS movement Facebook page at UC Santa Barbara explicitly disregards the Jewish people’s presence in Israel. Indeed, the Facebook page features a Palestinian flag entitled from the “River to the Sea.”

Banner image on the Facebook page.

This slogan is referring to the original Palestine mandate, which stretches from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. The use of the slogan from the “River to the Sea” reveals that the BDS movement group is demanding all of Israel’s territory for the Palestinians and the expulsion or liquidation of the millions of Jewish Israeli citizens.

Further, the Facebook page includes only Palestinian imagery, and is absent of the blue and white colors shown on the Israeli flag. The BDS movement at University of California Santa Barbara has made it clear that it does not recognize the Jewish people’s right to live in their national homeland. Indeed, this organization gives economic, moral, and political support to the extremists who seek to undermine and destroy the State of Israel, sixty-five years after its founding in 1948.

Josh Arons is an intern at the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA). This piece was originally published in the CAMERA on Campus Blog In Focus.  He is an undergraduate student at UMass-Amherst.

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