AJCongress launches cam­pus fight against BDS

The Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - R #Z 5"."3" ;*&7&

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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