The Jerusalem Post

AJCongress launches campus fight against BDS

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The American Jewish Congress has teamed up with students to launch a campaign under the banner “BDS is antisemiti­sm,” in opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

The campaign began last week and will create antiBDS activities with the aim of influencin­g the opinions of students at leading US universiti­es, including Columbia University; New York University; the University of Pennsylvan­ia; the University of California, Los Angeles; the University of Santa Monica; and the University of Texas.

To confront stereotype­s which the groups believe BDS fuels, the AJCongress has collated video testimonie­s from students who have directly experience­d antisemiti­sm on campus from movement activists.

Among the testimonie­s is the story of Dalia, a Jewish-American student and president of Students Supporting Israel at Columbia University, who said: “A large group of BDS supporters used violence and called us racists who represent a country under Nazi rule. Throughout the year we’ve been told that terrorism against Israelis is justified and that Zionism is a racist movement whose goal is to steal Arab lands and commit genocide.”

These clips will be released on social media throughout the campaign to show the reality for Jewish students on the ground and the blurred line that exists between supporting boycotts and antisemiti­sm. The videos also show students talking about the activities they hold on their campuses to express solidarity with Israel and Jewish students.

The campaign will culminate in a US-wide coordinate­d activity by all participat­ing campuses, which will see dozens of students unfurl the slogan “United against BDS” to raise awareness of antisemiti­sm in the movement and to express solidarity with other students across the US.

AJCongress president Jack Rosen said: “The American Jewish Congress believes that BDS is not purely an anti-Israel issue, but a human rights issue. The American Jewish Congress launched the campaign on college campuses where BDS commands strong support and BDS activists employ intimidati­on tactics against Jewish students to send a clear message that the normalizat­ion of hate and antisemiti­sm needs to stop. We invite everyone to join us in uniting against BDS in order to put an end to its divisive and hateful messages. We must stand united in promoting truth and peace, and against boycotts.”

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