• Israel Should Back Off anti-BDS Fight in U.S. Campuses, Jewish Leader Says -
    In candid comments, Jay Sanderson tells Haaretz that aggressive efforts to combat the movement repel most Jewish students and ultimately do more harm than good.

    Judy Maltz Mar 13, 2016


    A senior Jewish federation executive has unusually blunt words for Israeli government officials planning to take up arms in the anti-BDS struggle on U.S. college campuses: Back off, he says.
    “The Israeli government needs to get out of this business,” says Jay Sanderson, president and chief executive officer of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, which serves the largest Jewish community in North America outside of New York. “It should not be involved in what’s happening on the college campuses. There’s lots of ignorance about what this issue is really about, and rather than addressing it in a nuanced way, the Israeli government is simply stoking the flames.”
    Last June, the government allocated $25 million to a special campaign to combat the international boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel. The funding was allocated to the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, which is meant to be gathering intelligence on anti-Israel activities abroad, including on college campuses, and sabotaging them. The college campuses of California have been a particular hotbed of BDS activities in the past two years.
    In an interview in his Beverly Hills office, Sanderson argued that the various divestment votes taken against Israel on college campuses in the state have been meaningless.