Anti-Semitism in US linked to BDS movement, new NGO-backed report finds

EXCLUSIVE — A new report, obtained Sunday by Fox News, has exposed what it called “unprecedented similarities between the BDS [The Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] movement and far-right groups to propagate anti-Semitism in the United States.”

Original article here.

The 120-page report, titled “The New Anti-Semites,” is scheduled to be released on Monday and is backed by 23 Jewish and Christian American non-governmental organizations.

The report warned that “this bigotry does not end with the Jewish people; it threatens to dismantle American values and result in mass violence,” one of the report’s authors, director Liora Rez, told Fox News.

Last week, in Jersey City, N.J., Mayor Steven Fulop said the shooting that unfolded at a kosher market was a “targeted attack,” in what he called an act of hate. Two shooters sparked a chaotic scene of gunfire; six people died, including a police officer, the shooters and three bystanders.

The shooters had been linked to the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, a militant group whose members believe they’re descendants of the ancient Israelites and who have been known to rail against white and Jewish people.

“What we are seeing is a phenomenon amongst all the radical movements, with BDS being one of the leaders, and making anti-Semitism mainstream to incite hate against Jews,” Rez said. “I think that the BDS movement has put anti-Semitism in the spotlight with a massive megaphone that they have been granted on college campuses. It basically opens the Pandora’s box.” and the Zachor Legal Institute authored the report. The authors said the report detailed how the BDS movement “directly drives anti-Semitism and radicalizes public discourse in Western democracies,” documenting more than 100 examples in the United States and around the world.

Zachor Legal Institute founder Marc Greendorfer,  a co-author, told Fox News the research began two years ago. He said what prompted him to start putting together the report was his involvement in supporting state anti-BDS laws.

“We knew, because we have done other work, we had done research, where BDS was formed, how it was formed, who supported it, and what we found was that there was a very strong terror organization component to the founding and management of BDS,” Greendorfer told Fox News.

He said he then talked to other organizations and asked them if they had specific examples of BDS “both making very blatantly anti-Semitic statements and affiliating with hate groups.”

“All the groups consolidated their information and we prepared the report from that,” Greendorfer added.

The report uncovered “an increasingly public intellectual and philosophical alliance between the BDS movement and far-right groups,” according to the authors. They also said it “brings to light numerous incidents in which the anti-Semitic rhetoric used by far-right groups and white supremacist networks has been embraced by left-wing BDS leaders and activists.”

The report said the “delegitimization campaign” has been anti-Semitic, as defined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance [IHRA]: bigotry against Jewish people often used by the U.S. government and other governments.

“This report builds on the idea that BDS is backed by terror, but specifically it investigated the burgeoning ties between extreme left and extreme right anti-Semitism,” Greendorfer told Fox News. “We compiled an analysis of examples of anti-Semitism that has been spread over the years going all the way back to the Middle Ages, really, and to the Nazi regime and then anti-Israel activism once Israel was established as a state.”

The report said, “The BDS movement and its agenda against Israel is also being promoted by the more ‘mainstream’ and center-stage white supremacists of the United States.” One example: former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke’s “newfound support.”

It provided examples from Duke’s Twitter account.

“For the first time we are seeing David Duke changing his vocabulary. Rather than using ‘Jews,’ he is spotlighting ‘Israel’ and ‘Zionism.’ And, in my opinion, this is a direct result of the radical BDS movement coming into play,” Rez told Fox News.

Greendorfer said the report reached two major conclusions.

“The groups today that spread anti-Semitism are using the same style, message and sometimes even images that have historically been used by anti-Semites,” Greendorfer said. “The second part is the intersection of the extreme left and the extreme right, that they are now united in spreading these messages.”

He added, “There is a terrorist element behind this and that’s what we are trying to expose and now the left and right are uniting in anti-Semitism.”

Rez said, “For far too long, BDS has been able to masquerade as a social justice movement in America, while spreading vile Jew-hatred and inciting hate and violence.” She added, “By exposing the history, methods, and networks of the new anti-Semites, we are empowering the American people to effectively combat it.”

The report is scheduled to be released five days after President Trump signed an executive order targeting anti-Semitism on college campuses. The order broadened the federal government’s definition of anti-Semitism to include the IHRA’s definition, which can include criticism of Israel, and instructed it to be used in enforcing laws against discrimination on college campuses under Title VI.

Under the order, the Department of Education could withhold funding from schools that it found in violation of Title VI.

“The president did exactly what this report was encouraging,” Greendorfer told Fox News. He also said Trump “did exactly what he had hoped for, but it would be much more comprehensive if Congress also acted.”

The report called on federal and state governments to incorporate the IHRA’s definition into “clear, enforceable laws.”

These measures would include increased social and academic education on modern anti-Semitism and legislation “preventing social media sites from serving as a platform for anti-Semites to spread their hatred,” according to the report’s authors.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee, which, according to its website, is the coalition of Palestinian civil society organizations that leads and supports the BDS movement, did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

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