Vowing never to remain silent again, the WJC is taking on a growing global anti-Semitic threat: the anti-Israel boycott movement.
The head of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), an organization representing Jewish communities worldwide, announced the WJC is launching a new initiative to counter anti-Israel activities on college campuses.
Ron Lauder, president of the WJC, said Monday his group will dispatch activists to as many as two dozen campuses around the world to train students on how to organize and respond to anti-Israel activity. The initiative is expected to begin next fall.
The BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement promotes financial, academic and cultural boycotts against Israel, ostensibly as a nonviolent struggle against the so-called “Israeli occupation.”
In recent years, BDS has made gains on US campuses, and, as a result, the volume of on-campus anti-Semitic incidents has increased considerably.
Speaking on Monday at the Ynet anti-BDS conference in Jerusalem, Lauder accuses the BDS movement of trying to destroy Israel, saying “we will fight them, and we will win.”
He spoke of the BDS movement in terms of a “worldwide effort to isolate Israel, to undermine Israel, to destroy Israel.”
“Our enemies have failed to destroy Israel militarily and economically,” Lauder said. “Having failed, they are trying to destroy Israel politically.”
BDS, he said, “tries to present itself as some sort of a democratic movement concerned with human rights – that’s a lie. It’s an international campaign to incite hostility against Israel and the Jewish people.”
The movement has no interest in peace or in improving the daily lives of the Palestinians, Lauder noted. “The world needs to see through these lies.”
Focusing on anti-Israel activities on campus, Lauder said that “from the moment they arrive at schools, colleges, and universities, our children face a barrage of anti-Semitic lies,” and the “college is their first exposure to the history and politics of the Middle East. They’re especially vulnerable to BDS’s harsh propaganda.”
BDS is “a dangerous new strain of an age-old disease – anti-Semitism,” Lauder said, vowing never again to remain silent in the face of anti-Semitism and “stand up for what is right and expose BDS for the fraud that it is.”
By: Max Gelber, United with Israel
AP contributed to this report.