On Tuesday, the student government of the University of California, Irvine passed pro BDS legislation aimed at divesting from any companies that work with Israel, calling it “divestment from apartheid,” according to the Jpost.
The legislation was the first troubling sign that the BDS movement is gearing up to gain new ground under a Biden administration that is largely seen as having a more favorable view of the movement. Under the Obama-Biden administration, the U.S. State Department announced that they would not protect Israel against movements to boycott, divest, and sanction any Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria and supported efforts to label any products from Judea and Samaria differently than products from the rest of Israel.
Under President Trump though, the BDS movement was seriously hampered as Trump voiced his opposition to BDS and passed an executive order in 2019 to combat the boycott Israel movement head-on, which is extremely prevalent on college campuses across the country. The executive order made it so that federal funding would be cut to any colleges and universities that didn’t actively work to fight antisemitism on campus.
“This is my message to universities,” Trump said. “If you want to accept the tremendous amount of federal funding you get every year, you must reject antisemitism.”
A few months after Trump signed the executive order, the University of California repealed a resolution from 2012 which supported boycotting companies conducting business with Israel. Now, just a few weeks into the Biden administration, that same university has passed new pro-BDS legislation, as highlighted earlier.
This switch is concerning, as BDS supporters likely feel emboldened to resume their anti-Israel activity under a Biden Administration that they believe is sympathetic to their movement of boycotting the Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria.
In Europe last week, the International Criminal Court ruled that they have jurisdiction to charge Israel for war crimes committed in the “West Bank”, a decision Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called anti-Semitic, the Jpost reported.
The “ICC refuses to investigate brutal dictatorships like Iran and Syria, who commit horrific atrocities almost daily,” Netanyahu said. “When the ICC investigates Israel for fake war crimes – this is pure antisemitism.”
These moves should be a wake up call to all of us that we can never stop exposing and fighting against antisemitism, and groups that seek to delegitimize and boycott Judea and Samaria—such as the BDS movement and other anti-Israel organizations.
With a new U.S. administration intent on moving back to policies that pressure Israel into conceding the biblical heartland of Israel and failing to condemn boycotts of Judea and Samaria, we must be active: Stand up and speak out against antisemitism wherever it begins to rear its ugly head. Be proactive against the boycotts, and buy products from the organizations that BDS targets. The Jewish State is a beacon of freedom and strength and light to the world.
It should be in all of our best interests to stand for truth and justice, ensuring a strong Israel, where the brave pioneers of Judea and Samaria can continue unhindered to build and restore their homeland.
This article was published with the permission of Blessed Buy Israel.
Matthew Wearp is from Blessed Buy Israel, an organization that is supporting the small businesses in Judea and Samaria. Click here to learn more about their critical work in Israel.