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An unprecedented joint statement has been issued by dozens of Jewish groups in several countries offering their support to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. They affirmed that their condemnation of the Israeli state does not amount to antisemitism.
“As social justice organizations from around the world, we write this letter with growing alarm regarding the targeting of organizations that support Palestinian rights in general and the nonviolent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, in particular,” the letter began.
“These attacks too often take the form of cynical and false accusations of antisemitism that dangerously conflate anti-Jewish racism with opposition to Israel’s policies and system of occupation and apartheid.”
The letter went on to note that history has made Jewish people “all too aware of the dangers of increasingly fascistic and openly racist governments and political parties.”
“The rise in antisemitic discourse and attacks worldwide is part of that broader trend. At times like this, it is more important than ever to distinguish between the hostility to – or prejudice against – Jews on the one hand and legitimate critiques of Israeli policies and system of injustice on the other.”
The Jewish-based solidarity campaign was initiated by the Jewish Voice for Peace, or JVP, a U.S.-based organization, along with 36 Jewish groups in 15 different countries, including South Africa, Brazil and Germany, according to The New Arab.
Activists and supporters of the BDS movement have taken inspiration from the boycott and sanctions campaign undertaken in the 1980s to help bring an end to South Africa.