The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that targets Israeli businesses and cultural organs in service to the Palestinian cause likes to insist that it is not anti-Semitic, but merely opposes the “injustice” of Israeli policies.
Not so, insisted UK Secretary of State for Justice Michael Gove in a scathing attack on BDS during a conference on anti-Semitism in Berlin this week.
“Israel is dealing with a prejudiced, systematic attack against its existence,” said Gove. “It is up to us to show solidarity with the Jews and with their right to national sovereignty.”
What’s more, while BDS often accuses Israel of “apartheid” policies, the irony, according to Gove, is that BDS is itself “using methods of apartheid in that it calls for the shunning of Jewish academics, the boycott of Jewish goods, the de-legitimization of Jewish commerce.”
Former Israeli minister Tzipi Livni also addressed the gathering, explaining:
“Anti-Semitism wears the costume of criticism of Israeli policy. BDS succeeds because people don’t understand that the organization doesn’t exist to help the Palestinians, nor does it protest against specific Israeli policy, rather it is in complete opposition to the existence of the State of Israel.”