With “Israeli Apartheid Week” a fixture on many Western college camaspuses, students can participate in an annual celebration of the lie that Israel practices apartheid. And the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement — a notorious effort to single out Israel among all the world’s nations, including many who do not remotely resemble Israel’s vibrant democracy and do not accord Arab citizens the rights that Israel does — is unfortunately, too, a fixture on many campuses.
A new report billed as the “the first empirical study of its kind providing objective confirmation of student reports of widespread antisemitism, as well as evidence that the primary agents of antisemitic activity are anti-Zionist students and faculty boycotters and that Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is the strongest predictor of anti-Jewish hostility on campus” confirms a number of disturbing trends, including a strong correlation between anti-Zionist student groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and anti-Semitism; between the presence of faculty who have expressed public support for an academic boycott of Israel and anti-Semitism; and between BDS activity and anti-Semitic activity.
With regard to BDS activity:
“56% of schools with evidence of BDS activity had one or more incidents that targeted Jewish students for harm, whereas of the schools with no evidence of BDS activity, only 23% had incidents targeting Jewish students. In fact, schools with more incidents of BDS activity tended to have more incidents that targeted Jewish students for harm.
95% of schools with BDS activity had one or more incidents of anti-Semitic expression, whereas of the schools with no evidence of BDS activity, only 33% had anti-Semitic expression. Schools with more incidents of BDS activity tended to have more incidents of anti-Semitic expression.”
Ironically, in the real world, the post-apartheid government of South Africa wants closer relations with Israel on trade, water and technology. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General Dr. Dore Gold is in South Africato do just that. A readout of the meeting between Gold and his counterpart states: “The discussions focused on the relations between the two countries and the sides agreed on improving cooperation between the two countries. The Directors General agreed that officials from South Africa and Israel will work together on national priority issues such as water, agriculture, trade and science and technology. The sides also discussed the situation in the Middle East. The sides emphasized the importance of trade delegations in both directions.”
Perhaps the BDS movement, which drew inspiration from international boycotts against apartheid South Africa, might take a break from its anti-Israel activities to learn what actual apartheid looks like. Nah, why let the facts get in the way, right?