39 worldwide Jewish groups state “BDS is not anti-Semitic”

BDS not anti-Semitic

39 Jewish groups from across the world have defended the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in an open letter released recently.

These left-wing Jewish groups, which are from Sweden, Britain, France, Spain, Belgium, Germany, New Zealand, The Netherlands, US, Argentina, Brazil, Canada,  Australia, South Africa and other countries, affirmed that “BDS should not be defined as anti-Semitic.”

“As social justice organizations from around the world, we write this letter with growing alarm regarding the targeting of organizations that support Palestinian rights in general and the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, in particular. These attacks too often take the form of cynical and false accusations of anti-Semitism that dangerously conflate anti-Jewish racism with opposition to Israel’s policies and system of occupation and apartheid.”

“We live in a frightening era, with growing numbers of authoritarian and xenophobic regimes worldwide, foremost among them the Trump administration, allying themselves with Israel’s far right government while making common cause with deeply anti-Semitic and racist white supremacist groups and parties.”

The 39 Jewish groups stated that “from our own histories we are all too aware of the dangers of increasingly fascistic and openly racist governments and political parties.”

Their letter underlines that “it is more important than ever to distinguish between the hostility to or prejudice against Jews on the one hand and legitimate critiques of Israeli policies and system of injustice on the other.”

The letter also states that “the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, which is increasingly being adopted or considered by western governments, is worded in such a way as to be easily adopted or considered by western governments to intentionally equate legitimate criticisms of Israel and advocacy for Palestinian rights with anti-Semitism, as a means to suppress the former.”

“This conflation undermines both the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality and the global struggle against anti-Semitism. It also serves to shield Israel from being held accountable to universal standards of human rights and international law,” the letter asserts further.

The organizations that signed the letter include Academia4equality (Israel), Boycott from Within (Israeli citizens for BDS), Coalition of Women for Peace (Israel), Collectif Judéo Arabe et Citoyen pour la Palestine (France), Dayenu: New Zealand Jews Against Occupation (New Zealand), Een Ander Joods Geluid (A Different Jewish Voice) (The Netherlands), Een Andere Joodse Stem – Another Jewish Voice (Flanders, Belgium), European Jews for a Just Peace, and Free Speech on Israel (UK).

(Source / 22.07.2018)

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