When a coalition of student groups at Cornell University, led by Students for Justice in Palestine, recently tried to pass a divestment resolution against certain companies doing business in Israel, a couple of interesting things happened.

First, as is now a common tactic, the dispute was racialized to portray it as a coalition of “students of color” against the white supremacist (Jewish) Israelis.

This is a tactic I’ve seen since the early 1980s, but it is now more pronounced due to the malignant “intersectionality” doctrine which relentlessly demonizes Israel as the center of intersecting systems of oppression much as classic anti-Semitism portrayed Jews as the center of international conspiracies.

Second, and more important, SJP and the others went out of their way to claim that the divestment resolution was not part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. This is right out of the SJP national script for divestment resolutions, to do BDS while denying it is BDS.

The key strategy and tactic used this year, which is from the SJP playbook, was to call for divestment from Israel while at the same time denying that the resolution was part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Call it BDS-lite — the strategists at National SJP and their helpers know that BDS is toxic, so they do BDS without calling it BDS.

Why run from BDS they way they did? It’s because BDS is becoming more and more toxic. It is a movement that repackages the century old Arab and Muslim boycott of Jews in the ‘social justice’ lingo of the left. I documented this transformation of messaging in The REAL history of the BDS movement.

There is a growing international recognition that BDS is just the newest form of the oldest hate. The German parliament’s recent resolution condemning BDS as anti-Semitic, together with student government resolutions at several major German universities, has sent a powerful message.

BDS has gained a foothold in the Democratic Party, with the Democratic Socialists of America and rising stars like Rashida Tlaib endorsing the movement. The campus anti-Israel movement (however it denominates itself) is not reflective of American public opinion as a whole. We’ve explored many times how polling shows continued overwhelming support for Israel, with liberal Democrats being the exception to that rule. This should be taken seriously, but we should not lose the overall context.

A recent poll confirms the overall support for Israel. More significantly, it shows that the public increasingly is viewing BDS as anti-Semitic.

The Free Beacon reports, Poll: Most Americans Support Israel, Say BDS Movement Anti-Semitic:

The Hudson Institute released new polling data this week showing most Americans favor a close relationship with Israel and believe the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel is anti-Semitic.

Pollster John McLaughlin discussed the survey’s findings at an event on Tuesday. The polling sample consisted of 1,000 likely 2020 general election voters.

Fifty-one percent of those surveyed held a favorable opinion of Israel, while only 21 percent held an unfavorable opinion. An even greater number—75 percent—agreed it is in America’s interest to have Israel as its closest ally in the Middle East….

A majority of those surveyed considered support for the BDS movement anti-Semitic, and a plurality said the United States should support Israel in opposing the BDS movement.

You can view the full polling data here.

Based on these findings, it’s not surprising that campus BDS now pretends not to be BDS. The common tactic of shouting-down and disrupting pro-Israel speakers has backfired.

These results do not mean that the BDS threat is over. While a significant percentage of the people supporting BDS are ignorant dupes or misguided, the leaders are manipulative and bad people who know exactly what they are doing by stoking racial hate and anti-Semitism for use against Israel.

Here is McLaughlin’s presentation of the polling data and results:

Here are some key screenshots.

Support for Israel




BDS and Anti-Semitism


Campus Shout-Downs of Pro-Israel Speakers

[Featured Image: Banner of Student Groups Supporting Cornell Divestment Resolution][Photo Credit: William Jacobson]


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