Dear Friends,


BDS stands for “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions.” This is a growing international movement aimed at getting Israel to withdraw from “occupied territories,” welcome back Palestinian refugees who claim Israel as the home from which they were evicted, and an array of other issues aimed at punishing Israel for its treatment of Palestinians.

While the movement is aimed at the Israel economy and the Israeli academic world, supporters would seek to isolate Israel from the rest of the “civilized” world until Israel conforms to the “moral virtues” of the larger world! (Yes, what an absurd sham!)


Just this week, the National Student Union in the United Kingdom announced that it was joining the BDS movement, seeking to impose financial, cultural and academic sanction on Israel. And in Israel, university leaders say they are concerned about growing signs of an unofficial boycott of the country’s academics by their peers abroad. These signs include turning down invitations to attend conferences held in Israel and rejecting submissions from Israel scholars for various university academic journals. Added to this, is the ongoing calls for boycotting those American companies that do business with any Israeli companies that benefit from West Bank ventures.  


What does it all mean?  For me it evidences that Israel is under attack; in many cases by people who fail to accept or understand the realities of the Israeli-Palestinian situation. Let the Palestinians offer Israel a real peace and they will have their Palestinian state (even as they have rejected Israeli offers on three occasions).  And recognize Israel’s right to exist, and they will have their Palestinian state, existing on the contested West Bank. 


Many of our college students face BDS rallies on their college campuses in this country. And even as Israeli academicians are concerned about growing isolation, the reality is that our world can only be improved by shared Israeli advances in medicine, technology, and every other field that impacts upon the human condition. Yes, the BDS movement is like an individual shooting himself in the foot and then blaming someone else for doing it. 

Let us be aware! Let us beware! There is too much ignorance and yes, anti-Semitism in our world.   


Shabbat shalom,   

         Rabbi David Greenberg