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February 24, 2016 2:52 pm

Jewish Human Rights Group Blasts BDS Campaign Against Trip to Israel Offered in Gift Bags for Oscar Nominees

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An ad released by the Palestinian BDS National Committee. All Oscar nominees will receive a voucher for a trip to Israel. Photo: Palestinian BDS National Committee.

A leading Jewish human rights organization berated supporters of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement on Wednesday for releasing an ad denouncing the inclusion of a trip to Israel in a gift bag presented to nominees of the 2016 Academy Awards, which will be held on Sunday.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Algemeiner he thinks the Palestinian BDS National Committee released the offensive ad due to worry that celebrities will travel to Israel and discover the truth about the Jewish state.

“Why the panic among anti-peace activists and BDSers about a bling package for the entertainment industry that includes a trip to Israel? Because anti-peace campaigners who promote the  Israel/apartheid screed know that truth is the ultimate disinfectant, and anyone who experiences life in Israel will reject their big lie tactics,” he said.
He said such lies include claims that Israel is an apartheid state and that Israelis are “inhuman goliaths who don’t want peace.”

Oscar nominees will receive gift bags that include a voucher for a $55,000, all-expenses-paid trip to Israel. Each voucher covers first-class flights and hotel accommodations for two people.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee on Monday released the advertisement on its Facebook page. It features Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holding an Oscar for “Best actor, writer and director of Israeli apartheid.” The ad includes the hashtag “SkipTheTrip” and calls on supporters not to “endorse Israeli apartheid.”

The National Committee also sent out the ad in an email and called the trip to Israel a “cynical and desperate attempt by the Israeli government to fight its increasing international isolation with bribes to celebrities at a time of increased repression against Palestinians.”

“Ask Oscar nominees to reject Israel’s propaganda tour,” the organization said. “Join us in asking Oscar nominees not to help Israel whitewash its crimes.”

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