The other morning, I turned on the television set to watch Fox News, and what I saw outraged me. It was footage of a conversation taking place in some store in which the individual behind the cash register was saying that his establishment does not have anything to do with any businesses that deal with Israel, thus implying that this particular establishment boycotts Israel. Such action is the result of the influence of various anti-Israeli organizations, in this case the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BDS).
Just what is BDS? According to the Discover the Networks website, BDS is an anti-Israeli organization founded in 2007 with the goal of inflicting economic hardship on Israel in retribution for its alleged human-rights abuses against the Palestinians. It is affiliated with other anti-Israeli groups, Islamist groups, and leftist groups (including the Occupy Wall Street Movement).
BDS claims to be inspired by the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa (a claim which in turn resulted in BDS having the support of Archbishop Desmond Tutu), despite the fact that Arabs who live in Israel live comfortable lives (except for those who actually cause trouble). Nevertheless, BDS has support in the academic, cultural, and corporate worlds.
In the academic world, BDS has the support of organizations such as the American Studies Association, as well as various individuals (including Stephen Hawking and Norman Finkelstein). BDS is also present on many college campuses worldwide, thus getting sympathy from the students, faculty, and staff. In fact, several student governments have called for (or at least made an attempt to call for) their respective school to boycott Israel.
In the cultural world, those who support BDS include Bono, U2, Snoop Dog, Carlos Santana, and Bjork.
Then there is the corporate world, in which BDS pressures various businesses not to purchase products made in Israel and, in fact, not do business with Israel at all. It is unclear just how many businesses across the globe have decided to boycott Israel, but the number appears to be growing.
So just why are many businesses and organizations showing their support for BDS (and other anti-Israeli groups)? First, they believe Israel has committed human rights violations. Second, they believe that the Palestinians had their land stolen from them. Third, some of them are Anti-Semitic (and thus anti-Israel).
So what can be done? The solution is to pressure these individuals, businesses, etc. into ending their boycotts and stop supporting any anti-Israeli group. If they refuse, then simply boycott them (and encourage other people to follow suit), thus giving them a taste of their own medicine.