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Is BDS anti-semitic?
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BDS wants to hold Israel accountable for past human rights violations

Religious minorities or states are not exempt from criticism regarding human rights violations. BDS is an organization that advocates for Palestinian rights in Israel. Their efforts are seen as anti-Israel because they want society to be geared towards Palestinians.
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The boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) organization that wishes for Israel to not be an independent territory. They also want equality of Palestinians and Arab-Palestinians.

The Argument

Israeli leaders cite that since BDS calls for the end of Jewish control in Israel, they are, in turn, antisemitic. However, the goal of BDS is not driven by hatred for Jews. Rather, BDS is calling for an end to the state as they have yet to acknowledge numerous human rights violations they have committed against Palestinians. The fact that the region is under Jewish control is irrelevant; BDS would be motivated to press any government that openly allowed such blatant disregard for human rights.[1] As made clear by a statement made by BDS, "Israel is occupying and colonising Palestinian land, discriminating against Palestinian citizens of Israel and denying Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homes. Inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement, the BDS call urges action to pressure Israel to comply with International law."[2] In other words, for nearly seven years, Israel has denied Palestinians their fundamental rights and has refused to comply with international law. Accountability for the violation of human rights is crucial to justice and the rule of law. Israel shirks this responsibility repeatedly, especially in the Occupied Territories. Not only does the lack of deterrence and oversight by international governments enable human rights abuse by the Israeli government, it also facilitates the continuation of the occupation itself.[3] And apart from rare exceptions, those responsible go unpunished and victims are denied compensation. This is made evident in the case of 31-year-old Palestinian, Iyad al-Halaq in East Jerusalem. On May 30, 2020, Israeli Border Police killed Iyad al-Halaq, and the situation garnered mass attention. Iyad al-Halaq was disabled and murdered for no apparent reason. No action was taken against his murderers. Instead, only those protesting against this injustice were arrested. Unfortunately, this situation is not uncommon. Instead, it is highly reflective of the repeated violence against Palestinians. [3] It is in situations such as these that BDS finds its motivation: "[b]ecause those in power refuse to act to stop this injustice, Palestinian civil society has called for a global citizens' response of solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for freedom, justice and equality."[2]

Counter arguments

Yes, the Palestinians were treated unfairly during the colonization of European Jews. They lost their homes and suffered. However, colonizing Israel has worked in the country’s favor. Now, Israel, just like other colonized countries, has grown considerably. Israel gained diversity. People who come through Jerusalem are Jews, Christians, tourists, and other religious groups. Israel has become more than a Palestinian land. It’s become a land of coexistence. BDS wants to undermine the progress that was put into Israel over time. Opening the West bank would puncture safety protocol and it would be impossible to kick everyone out of their homes to give it to people who lost it long ago. BDS is anti-Semitic because they believe Palestinian power should be the main power in Israel. They despise that Jewish people manage Israel.



[P1] BDS is not motivated by hatred for Jews, rather they search for Palestinian freedom and equality. [P2] The Israeli government faces no pressure from international community, which increases violent behavior against Palestinians. [P3] The Israeli government is responsible for numerous human rights violations, yet face no punishment.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Undermining the Jewish government for Palestinian rights is anti-Semitic. [Rejecting P2] BDS wants Israel to be under Palestinian power and influence.


This page was last edited on Thursday, 9 Jul 2020 at 19:18 UTC

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