Netanyahu Does Not Stand Alone in Suggesting Anti-Semitic Motivation Behind BDS

The following letter was written in response to "Netanyahu Lashes Out at Criticism of Israel" which appeared in The New York Times on June 1, 2015.

Letters to the Editor
The New York Times

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hardly stands alone in suggesting an anti-Semitic motivation behind the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. Major world leaders – from French Prime Minister Manuel Valls to British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel – have all drawn a direct line from rejection of Zionism to anti-Semitism. Even Pope Francis recently noted that “anyone who does not recognize the Jewish people and the State of Israel – and their right to exist – is guilty of anti-Semitism.”

The decades-long effort to deny Jews the right to self-determination and statehood in their historic homeland is rooted in the anti-Semitic belief that the establishment and continuation of the state of Israel was inherently illegitimate. The BDS movement’s founding document likewise advocates for undermining the character and identity of Israel as a Jewish state, including support for a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

While some proponents of economic pressure on Israel may not fully understand, appreciate or even agree with the BDS movement’s destructive goals, the movement’s founders and its most active advocates clearly seek to negate the Jewish character of Israel. That is fundamentally anti-Semitic.


The Anti-Defamation League