Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Danny Danon will host an anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) conference titled “Building Bridges, Not Boycotts” at the UN.
The conference, which will take place next Tuesday, will include the participation of over 1,500 students, activists, legal professionals and opinion-makers, and will be the largest gathering to date focusing on battling the anti-Israel BDS movement.
“BDS is the modern incarnation of anti-Semitism,” Danon stated ahead of the conference. “Holding this anti-BDS summit in the UN General Assembly will bring together an international coalition against the boycott movement, and will send a clear message to all of our adversaries – Israel will not relent and will continue to reveal the lies propagated by the BDS movement.”
Reggae Artist Matisyahu, himself a victim of BDS hounding, will hold a special performance in the General Assembly Hall.
Matisyahu became a hero to the anti-BDS movement when his scheduled performance in Spain was boycotted by a local group citing his support for Israel and his participation in performing at Jewish and Israeli organizational events. The festival initially bowed to the pressure and cancelled the performance, but after an outpouring of outrage from fans worldwide and organizations of varied cultural and religious backgrounds, they eventually relented. Matisyahu was invited back by the festival and he and his band played in front of nearly 40,000 fans.
He has also confronted anti-Israel activists while on stage during his concerts.
Among those who will address the participants in the GA are Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, Vice President of the Israeli Supreme Court, Ronald Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), and Jay Sekulow, Chief Legal Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice.
“The anti-Israel narrative on campuses and in diplomatic halls has spun out of control and has proven itself to be part and parcel with an anti-Semitic agenda, aimed at delegitimizing the Jewish state and its right to exist,” Lauder state. “Our enemies have tried to defeat us militarily and economically, and they have failed. Now they are trying to defeat us politically, and although they may think that this time they are winning, we will not stop fighting until they fail.”
The WJC has recently launched a global program to combat anti-Israel activity on campuses.
Following the opening plenary, there will be three parallel sessions focusing on the legal and legislative aspects of battling BDS, universities and college campuses, and confronting those who seek to delegitimize Israel.
“BDS is continuing to spread and seeks to utilize international institutions to implement its ideology of hate,” said Danon. “This summit will create practical tools to battle BDS by training students to serve as ‘ambassadors’ against boycotts. They will return to their campuses fully equipped and ready to take on the lies of the BDS movement,” he said.
Throughout the conference, participants will receive an “ambassadors against BDS” tool kit that will include practical suggestions and important contact information for their battle against BDS and to assist with their pro-Israel activities.
By: Max Gelber, United with Israel
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