Anti-Israel Boycott Prevents Peace, Assaults Jewish Identity

(Syracuse Post-Standard) Miriam F. Elman - On Oct. 25, Dr. Mohammed Dajani spoke to LIME, an Israeli-Palestinian student dialogue group that I mentor at Syracuse University. Dajani garnered international attention in 2014 when he was vilified for taking a group of Palestinian students to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland. After an assassination attempt, Dajani was forced to resign his Al Quds University position. Now he speaks to university audiences about his family history, the radicalization of Palestinian society, and his transformation from an Israel-hater into an admirer of Israel's pluralistic democracy. Dajani also voiced his opposition to the BDS campaign. BDS is often presented as a nonviolent social justice movement. But contrary to the popular account, BDS wasn't initiated in 2005 by West Bank civil society groups. The platform was developed a few years earlier in Iran, then it was rolled out at the 2001 UN-sponsored Durban conference - an anti-Semitic hate-fest so despicable that the U.S. delegation walked out. In my experience, many who gravitate to BDS are caring people who harbor no ill-will toward Jews. But there can be no denying that BDS has mainstreamed anti-Semitism. Recent reports show that on university campuses, BDS is strongly correlated with a rise in anti-Semitic rhetoric and harassment. At colleges where there are active boycott campaigns, Jewish students report hiding their Jewish-Zionist identities to avoid being ostracized from progressive groups. The writer is an associate professor of political science at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs, where she is research director in the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration.

2016-11-24 00:00:00

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