Opinion | Is Boycotting Israel ‘Hate’? - The New York Times
Opponents of the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement are involved in a dishonest branding campaign.
By Joseph Levine
Mr. Levine is a philosophy professor and a member of the Jewish Voice for Peace Academic Advisory Council.
The debate over the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (B.D.S.) movement against Israel has been one of the most contentious in American political culture for more than a decade. Now, given the tumultuous and deadly events of the past several months, it is likely to heat up further.
Casualties in the ongoing protests in Gaza, which began in March, continue to mount; nearly 180 mostly unarmed Palestinian protesters have been killed by Israeli forces, with more than 18,000 injured, according to the United Nations. Dozens of those deaths came in mid-May, as the United States took the provocative step of moving its embassy to Jerusalem. Tensions will surely spike again following last week’s decision by the United States to stop billions in funding to the United Nations agency that delivers aid to Palestinian refugees.
B.D.S. began in 2005 in response to a call by more than 100 Palestinian civil society organizations, with the successful movement against apartheid South Africa in mind. The reasoning was that Israel, with its half-century occupation of Palestinian territories, would be equally deserving of the world’s condemnation until its policies changed to respect Palestinian political and civil rights. B.D.S. calls for its stance of nonviolent protest to remain in effect until three conditions are met: that Israel ends its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands and dismantles the wall; that Israel recognizes the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and that Israel respects, protects and promotes the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in United Nations Resolution 194.