In recent years, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement has steadily advanced a poisonous culture of hate and anti-Semitism in our country. Across college campuses and in churches, in labor unions, academic institutions and in shareholder meetings of American Corporations, they have sought to demonize the State of Israel, with the eventual goal of destroying it.
Yet, what many do not realize is that the BDS agenda threatens not only the Middle East's one democratic state; it threatens the entire democratic world, and the U.S. is in the eye of its storm. The tie that binds together the radical leftists and radical Islamists driving forward the BDS Movement is a common hatred for the U.S. and for the Western values and freedoms that America, Europe and Israel share. Indeed, BDS leaders publically call for the destruction of the very society that protects their right to free speech.
Don't believe me? Let's look at exactly what the most senior BDS leaders have to say about the United States.
BDS leaders hate America's leadership role around the world. In an op-ed for the International Socialist Review titled "Palestine, BDS, and the battle against US imperialism," Purdue University professor Bill Mullen, one of the BDS leaders who lobbied the American Studies Association to adopt a boycott of Israel, writes, "We can build a still-stronger BDS movement beginning in the name of Palestinian freedom and ending in a permanent blow against American empire."
BDS leaders hate America's democracy - and have even called for violent attacks to overturn our democratic system. During a rally against the Iraq War in San Francisco, Berkeley Professor Hatem Bazian - one of the primary BDS leaders in the U.S. and the founder of Students for Justice in Palestine - issued a call to action that was nothing short of inciting violence against the American people, saying: "Are you angry? Well, we've been watching intifada in Palestine, we've been watching an uprising in Iraq, and the question is that what are we doing? How come we don't have an intifada [armed struggle] in this country? ...and it's about time that we have an intifada in this country that change[s] fundamentally the political dynamics in here...They're going to say [that] some Palestinian are being too radical; well, you haven't seen radicalism yet!"
BDS leaders despise our military, and support attacks on our troops. At that same rally, Bazian explicitly stated his support for attacks on American troops in Iraq saying, "The occupation is a source of tremendous violence against Iraqis. I think we've got to support the resistance; we've got to say that we support attacks against the occupying forces." Bazian went on to call for an all-out assault on America: "[W]e in this movement [should] support the resistance against American imperialism by any means necessary."
BDS leaders hate our justice system and disparage the work of our police officers. During the racially charged Ferguson, Missouri, riots, BDS leaders eagerly breached their alleged Israel-focused mandate and reveled in the opportunity to attack the US justice system and police security forces. Brazenly exploiting the tragedy, the BDS Movement released an official statement accusing the US justice system of "racism, racial discrimination and disenfranchisement." They also condemned police forces for "unbridled violence," "militarized attack[s]," and "dehumanization" of the Ferguson community.
They hate our capitalist system and seek to dismantle the global economy. Among BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti's most egregious edicts, is a call to overthrow the American economic system. "Opposing the imperial militarization and savage capitalism in this country," Barghouti said, "directly benefits the peoples of the world, including the Palestinians."
How do we respond? We must no longer limit our perspective and debate on BDS to its repercussions for Israel alone. BDS is not Israel's problem, or a Jewish problem; it is a problem for every American who values democratic freedoms.
History shows that what starts with the Jewish people never ends with the Jewish people. Radical Islam and the radical left are targeting Israel now, but —evidenced by their own statements — their bigger target is the Europe and the United States.
Today, this hate movement is after Israel. But tomorrow, they're coming for the entire Western world and our way of life. Today, Brussels, Paris and Europe may have reached a point of no return, but in America we must stop them before it is too late.