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New Study Shows how Anti-Israel BDS Movement Threatens Free Speech and Academic Freedom on U.S. College Campuses 

New Study Shows how Anti-Israel BDS Movement Threatens Free Speech and Academic Freedom on U.S. College Campuses 

NY-based National Association of Scholars (NAS): Antisemitic BDS campaign spreading “like wildfire in American colleges and universities.” 

A recently released study examining the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has found that the campaign is not only targeting Jewish students but also eroding free speech and academic freedom on U.S. college campuses.

The BDS “movement threatens not only Jewish students and scholars but also the political neutrality of higher education, creating an environment of academic politicization to the detriment of academic freedom, freedom of speech, and constructive civil discourse,” the study published by the New York-based National Association of Scholars (NAS) says.

The study, titled “The Company They Keep,” examined 3 leading universities: Columbia University, Ohio State University, and the University of California, Riverside.

The study, which examines the BDS from its inception in 2005 until the autumn of 2022, notes that the anti-Israel campaign is spreading “like wildfire in American colleges and universities,” adding that its “off-campus efforts are well-funded and growing in influence.”

The report — arguably one of the most comprehensive inquiries into BDS activism on U.S. campuses — is authored by Dr. Ian Oxnevad, a theology scholar and senior fellow at the NSA.

Here are some key findings of the reports (Read the full report here):

  • Academia constitutes a core institutional base for the broader BDS movement in the United States.
  • Pro-BDS student groups such as SJP are connected to larger progressive organizations on the Left and amplify BDS pressure and broader anti-Israel sentiment both on and off campus.
  • Anti-Israel professors are instrumental in animating and organizing the BDS movement.
  • A number of pro-BDS organizations have varying ties to Palestinian terrorism.
  • Student tactics to pressure college administrations to divest from Israel are thus far largely unsuccessful in securing divestment from targeted companies.
  • Despite these policy failures, BDS politicizes the college campus by contributing to an environment of intimidation against Jewish students and supporters of Israel.
  • The BDS movement is fully integrated in an ecosystem of anti-Israel progressive organizations that includes lawfare groups, lobbying groups, and nonprofit foundations.

The American Left: BDS’ Useful Idiots

The study notes how BDS-supporting groups such as the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) use the language of Critical Race Theory (CRT) and “anti-colonialism” to win support among the leftists and liberal academics on campuses. According to its findings, the BDS camping has forged “a broad progressive coalition” to amplify its antisemitic and anti-Israel message. “The BDS movement is not a fringe campus element, but rather a part of the campus mainstream where it is present,” it concludes.

The document also highlights the political support this anti-Israel movement gets from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, spearheaded by squad ring-leaders such as Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez.

BDS And Jihadists: An Unholy Alliance

The study also exposes the link between the BDS campaign and its Islamic and terrorist allies. It shows “how BDS activism unfolds on campus, and how the BDS movement is enabled and funded by organizations connected to terrorism and progressive philanthropy,” the NAS said in its press release.

An Israeli report published in 2019 found that Palestinian organizations behind the BDS movement often had deep ties to terrorist organizations. According to that report, over 30 active and “retired” terrorists were on the payrolls of BDS-linked organizations. Some prominent terrorists cited in the report include Palestinian hijacker Leila Khaled, former Hamas jihadist operative Muhammad Sawalha, and convicted terrorist Shawan Jabarin. Many of these front organizations, masquerading as Palestinian charities, were receiving millions of dollars in aid from the U.S. and European governments, the report revealed.


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2smartforlibs | May 2, 2023 at 3:58 pm

This goes back to at least the 60s.

Steven Brizel | May 2, 2023 at 5:17 pm

BDS unfortunately has its origins in post Zionism which originated in Hebrew University

I recall David Lloyd of UC Riverside (mentioned prominently in the report) quite well. I was present at the 2014 appearance of Omar Barghouti and when I posed a question as to if and when UCR might invite a pro-Israel speaker to give the opposing side to the conflict, Lloyd termed my question preposterous. In my mind, he came across as arrogant and pompous-to put it mildly. The video of his event was filmed by me and can be viewed here.

BDS is not driven by a dispute over whose land it is in Israel or Palestinian human rights. It’s all driven by Jew hatred. They can deny it all they want and trot out all their misfit Jewish pro-Palestinian activists like JVP, but it is still anti-Jewish to its core. And make no mistake. This spills over into Jew hatred on our campuses. A huge part of the problem is college administrators who are too cowardly to stand up and protect their Jewish students from bullying and intimidation by these pro-Palestinian thugs masquerading as human rights advocates.

The_Mew_Cat | May 4, 2023 at 12:37 pm

The Democrats would be quite happy if all Israel’s Jews had to suddenly evacuate to the USA. They would get more Leftist voters, and lots and lots of money.