Thursday, March 4th | 20 Adar 5781

October 29, 2019 5:14 am

How to Fight the Cultural BDS Movement

avatar by Lana Melman


A BDS protest in front of Carnegie Hall. Photo: Liberate Art.

One of the good things about the bad times of today is that people are not staying silent about rising antisemitism. Polls and reports of violence and anti-Jewish hate rhetoric are ubiquitous — but so are social media groups that are fighting back. Rabbis, like Rabbi David Baron of the Temple of the Arts in Beverly Hills, are sounding the alarm in their synagogues.

Antisemitism is coming from the right and the left. On the right, it’s the nightmare neo-Nazis of yesteryear, who mow Jews down in synagogues and grocery stores. On the left, antisemitism, thinly veiled as anti-Zionism, can rear its ugly head in academia, intersectionality movements, on college campuses, and in the cultural boycott campaign (BDS) against Israel.

One of the most widespread misconceptions about the cultural BDS campaign — which pressures international artists to cancel their concert dates and trips to Israel, and also pressures international venues to rescind invitations to Israeli artists — is who is behind it.

Most people seem to believe that BDS is a growing poison inside Hollywood and the wider entertainment community. In reality, BDS is not coming from Hollywood; it is happening to Hollywood. Artists and freedom of artistic expression are being attacked to advance a political, anti-peace agenda.

The goal of the cultural BDS movement is the same as the general campaign: to demonize, delegitimize, and destroy Israel. The strategy is twofold. First, they want artists and international venues to isolate Israel and make it a pariah state. Second, they want to use the names and likenesses of famous artists to draw attention to their slanderous accusations and poison minds across the globe. Their tactic is to personally attack the artists who wish to go to Israel and the venues that wish to host Israeli artists.

Individuals, groups, and organizations across the globe are ready and willing to fight back, but they need to be armed with the facts, and to learn the words that impact hearts and minds, in order to counter the BDS movement.

To learn more: Fighting anti-Semitism and Hate, a Facebook group, is hosting a Facebook live Q&A with Lana Melman, CEO of Liberate Art, on Wednesday, October 30, 3:00 PM PT at this link.

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