Press Release

ADL and Reut Institute Forge New Joint Initiative to Battle BDS and the Delegitimization of Israel

New York, NY, February 29, 2016 … Recognizing the need for a focused and comprehensive strategy to combat delegitimization of Israel and the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Reut Institute have announced a new joint initiative to help Jewish communities and the State of Israel face this mounting challenge.

The ADL-Reut Initiative was shaped by a mutual commitment to expose the BDS movement in its efforts to single out and isolate Israel while singularly negating the right of the Jewish people to self-determination.

The work will be based on in-depth research and analysis of delegitimization and BDS campaigns both in the United States and globally. Initial findings of the study, which will be released publicly later this year, will be the basis of a comprehensive strategy to inform the approach of both organizations and for use by other organizations.

“This joint ADL-Reut Initiative will enable us to take a new approach by first studying the entire array of factors driving the growth of international efforts, such as BDS, that seek to undermine Israel’s right to exist. The findings of this research will inform our comprehensive strategy toward combating these efforts,” said Marvin D. Nathan, ADL National Chair. “ADL has worked on various fronts over the years, especially on campuses, to combat divisive and damaging anti-Israeli initiatives. Working with Reut, we will develop a solid framework of comprehensive action that is informed by research and data.”

“The forces behind the delegitimization of Israel mean to isolate the Jewish state and have broadened their strategy in recent years to attack Israel in many different forums,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL’s CEO. “While surely not all of the activists involved are motivated by hatred, the movement is tainted by the fundamental negation of the Jewish right to self-determination and its intimidation tactics. Too often, these efforts are vectors for the worst anti-Semitic ideas and imagery, and have the effect of normalizing such poisonous discourse. It is an attack on Israel and the Jewish people, and therefore ADL must be at the forefront of efforts to defeat it.”

Mr. Greenblatt added: “There are many excellent efforts out there aimed at combating BDS and other delegitimization. We hope our work will complement and reinforce these existing initiatives. If we apply the best minds to combat the delegitimization of Israel and BDS, we can gain real ground against this pernicious movement. Our focus on this issue will be laser-sharp – to expose this movement for what it is – an anti-Semitic campaign and a distraction from the very real issues that need to be addressed to create the conditions for a meaningful and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinian people.”

Gidi Grinstein, founder and president of the Reut Institute, said: “Through this joint initiative the Reut Institute is committed to bringing its unique value to this generational struggle. A new form of anti-Semitism is now singling out Israel and demonizing it and its supporters around the world. Together with ADL, the premier organization dedicated to combatting anti-Semitism, we will work to offer a visionary and strategic approach – and to effectuate it. We realize there is no silver bullet against the BDS movement; success can be achieved through many local wins requiring a great number of people mobilize to take action on this important task. Our work must support these people in concrete ways. We are excited to work with ADL, whose remarkable legacy, core mission and values, and organizational abilities align with the challenge of fighting to win against the delegitimization of Israel.”

The Tel Aviv-based Reut Institute is a leading policy and strategy non-profit group in Israel that designs solutions to the toughest challenges facing Israel and the Jewish people. In 2010, the Institute released a landmark report identifying the delegitimization of Israel as a major strategic threat, which affected many Jewish organizations and Israeli government ministries.