The 120-page report, which was endorsed by 23 Jewish and Christian American NGOS, comes just days after US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to combat antisemitism on American college campuses that clarified the definition of antisemitism to address the growing hate stemming from BDS.
The report highlights approximately 100 individual instances of antisemitism within the wider delegitimization campaign against Israel, including 30 organizations, in addition to leaders and activists.
Moreover, the report “reveals the process utilized by the delegitimization campaign to radicalize the discourse surrounding Israel from legitimate criticism into delegitimization, and finally, blatant antisemitism.”
According to the report, these groups accomplish this by exploiting a gap in the scope of anti-discrimination laws in the United States, which do not explicitly define antisemitism, to include antisemitism, and has been used by BDS proponents to declare their campaign as not being antisemitic.
“The same humanitarian pretense affords the campaigns leaders and prominent organizations the ability to express their antisemitic beliefs freely and perpetuate the radicalization of the discourse on Israel. As a result, individuals, although sometimes unknowingly, are being used as pawns to promote hate and lend legitimacy to what is, in fact, a radical antisemitic movement,” it adds. “The legal loophole of anti-Zionism not being explicitly defined as a form of antisemitism must be closed by incorporating the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition into all federal and state anti-discrimination laws.”
‘United in their goal of destroying Israel’
Marc Greendorfer, president of the Zachor Legal Institute, told JNS that the report seeks to expose the ties between the BDS movement and terrorist groups.
“The information presented in our report ‘The New Antisemites’ documents the inherent discrimination promoted by adherents of the BDS movement. Our report is meant to complement the report published earlier this year from Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, Terrorists in Suits, which detailed BDS’s extensive ties to designated terrorist organization,” he said.
Last February, Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs released a report, “Terrorists in Suits” that found that Hamas and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine activists had infiltrated organizations that call for the boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel.
The report, which examined 13 international BDS organizations, discovered that senior positions were held by 30 terror activists—20 of whom who had actually spent time in prison for their crimes, including murder.
Additionally, the report also determined that global interconnections between BDS and terror organizations were vast, with more than 100 connections being identified.
“The terrorist and boycott organizations are united in their goal of destroying Israel, and see delegitimization and boycotts against Israel as a complementary means to the armed struggle,” said Erdan following the report’s release.
A second report released by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs in Brussels, under the title “Behind the Mask: The Anti-Semitic Nature of BDS Exposed,” catalogued 80 examples of BDS organizations and activists using antisemitic content in their boycott efforts.
Greendorfer said that it’s time the public knows the true motivations of the BDS movement, as well as its correlation to growing antisemitic incidents, especially on college campuses.
“Simply listening to the words coming straight from BDS leaders’ mouths, replete with blatant antisemitism and calls for the destruction of Israel, lays bare the myth that BDS is a benevolent human-rights organization,” he said. “It is impossible to ignore the relationship between BDS activity and growing antisemitic incidents generally, and antisemitism on campuses in particular.”
‘State and federal legislators need to act’
In a report published by the AMCHA Initiative in September, the number of Israel-related, antisemitic incidents against Jewish students on campuses increased 70 percent from 2017 to 2018.
Along those lines, the “New Antisemites” report is the latest in a string of mounting evidence that links the BDS movement to terrorist groups.
Last year, Greendorfer’s Zachor Legal Institute submitted a letter to the Department of Justice urging the US government to open an investigation into the ties between Palestinian terror groups and several US-based BDS groups, including American Muslims for Palestine (and its affiliated entity, Americans for Justice in Palestine Educational Foundation), Dream Defenders, the Muslim Students Association, Samidoun and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).
Furthermore, a 2018 Tablet magazine report uncovered how the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), an organization that coordinates the efforts of 329 different pro-BDS organizations, helps to facilitate tax-exempt donations “to a Palestinian coalition that includes Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and other groups the US State Department designates as terror organizations.”
According to the report, the USCPR is the “fiscal sponsor” of the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), which is a Palestinian-based group that serves as the Palestinian arm of the BDS movement and helps to coordinate international BDS efforts. The BNC operates the website Bdsmovement.net that serves to educate and update readers on BDS activities, as well as allow for American supporters to make tax-deductible donations to the group through the Education for Just Peace in the Middle East, a 501(c)3 charitable organization linked to the USCPR.
More recently, the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund and American victims of terror filed an unprecedented lawsuit in Washington, DC, targeting a US charity tied to the BDS movement that is allegedly funneling donations to Palestinian terror groups.
The lawsuit, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund, et al vs. Education for Just Peace in the Middle East dba US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, seeks to hold the USCPR—also known as the Education for a Just Peace in the Middle East—liable for conspiring to provide financial aid and other assistance to Palestinian terror groups, such as Hamas, that make up the Boycott National Committee, which leads the BDS movement.
Moving forward, Greendorfer hopes that the latest report will urge lawmakers to act against BDS and its related arms.
“Our report provides evidence that state and federal legislators need to act, as they have with regard to so many other minority groups that have been targeted with hate and discrimination, to protect Jewish Americans from the demonization and delegitimization campaign promoted by BDS,” he said.