The eyes of the Jewish State remain fixed on Europe following the European Union’s decision to label products made within the disputed territories of Israel last month. The presence of BDS unfortunately continues to grow on college campuses and in academic networks across the United States, but the anti-BDS movement also grew stronger in recent weeks.
We are hard at work doing everything we can to educate the public on the true implications of BDS and to end the anti-Israel movement that political analysts overwhelmingly warn threatens peace and stability between Israelis and Palestinians.
So, the American Jewish Congress presents to you the latest edition of BDS Hotlist:
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that she supports the labeling of Israeli settlement products in early December, a move seen as a serious setback for the Israeli government who counted on Germany’s support in convincing other EU member states to reject implementation of labeling. Merkel has repeatedly denounced BDS over the years, but refused to give insight into her decision on supporting labeling. She did, however, stress in her remarks that the labeling will absolutely not lead to boycotting and that Israel will still continue to receive preferential market access.
- Merkel’s move directly conflicts with the sentiment expressed by Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, which rejected EU labeling -- condemning it as “unnecessary and unwise” -- shortly before Merkel made her announcement in its favor. Greece also came out against EU labeling this month, joining Hungary as the only European state to publicly denounce it.
- On the homefront, there was a mixed bag of BDS-related news. The National Women’s Studies Association -- one of the biggest academic networks in the United States -- came out overwhelmingly in favor of BDS early this month. However, in response to the recent surge of BDS support from academic networks, two American law professors argued in a Wall Street Journal column that the legality of educational associations adopting BDS is highly questionable.
- Some more good news: the Obama Administration explicitly came out against BDS during the US-Israel Business Initiative in Washington DC. There is also a new academic network intent on combating the BDS movement on college campuses and in academic networks in the United States. And in the UK, the University of Lancaster officially rejected BDS in a tight vote.
- Meanwhile, in Israel, a new anti-BDS campaign began under the supervision of Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, who argues that BDS is an anti-Semitic movement sponsored by global jihadi organizations. Lapin intends to take his education campaign to colleges across the world and to educate students on the reality of BDS and the State of Israel.
- Another American Jewish celebrity used their star power to combat the growing presence of the BDS movement in Hollywood last week: Adam Sandler condemned Roger Waters for supporting BDS and went on to address the movement at large during an appearance on the Howard Stern Show, emphasizing his unwavering support for Israel and Judaism.
- And in a showing of solidarity with the Jewish State, the legendary Elton John announced that he will return to Israel for the fourth time in May to play a show in Tel Aviv.