WHAT-IS-BDS.pdf . Printable format**//

Paul & Nuala O’Higgins/Reconciliation Outreach


B.D.S. – A Triple Strategy

The B.D.S. is the new face of Anti-Semitism. It is is a global campaign to undermine support for the State of Israel. It characterizes Israel as an oppressive colonial power that represses the Palestinian Arabs and in this way seeks to stir up worldwide opposition to the state of Israel and revive anti-Semitism.


The B.D.S. movement has a three-part strategy:

(1) To promote an international BOYCOTT of Israeli goods. This boycott includes divestment and withdrawal of any financial investments in Israel. This has some effect on the economy of Israel but more seriously it promotes a consciousness that there is something evil about the Jews and the Israelis.

(2) The second Stage is to DIVEST FROM ISRAEL i.e. to characterize it as a rogue nation that should not even exist. The tactic is to present Israel as an oppressive colonial power and therefore an illegitimate occupier. Businesses, corporations, banks and are persuaded to disinvest from Israel on the grounds that supporting Israel is supporting the oppression of its neighbors. This ignores 4000 years of continuous Jewish presence in the land and the completely legal settlement of Jews, fleeing oppression in Europe and Russia in the 20th century under the rules of the British Mandate, and the creation of Israel as a State by United Nations Vote in 1947.

(3) The third step is to economically collapse Israel by SANCTIONS and international pressure.


B.D.S. is one of the most serious threat to Israel since its beginning. It echoes the boycotts of Jewish shops and businesses espoused by the Nazis in the 1930s. Like the Nazi boycotts it resonates among those who do not know the facts about Israel and do not understand the scriptures about Israel, and the eternal promises concerning the Land.

Apart from any Biblical considerations Israel is the only true democracy in the Middle East. It grants full voting, speaking and religious rights to all its citizens, and full equality for women in sharp contrast to the conditions in neighboring Arab states. There are seventeen Arab Israelis and twenty-eight women in the present Israeli parliament. In spite of the fact that Israel has the highest human rights standards of any nation in the region the B.D.S movement has gained wide support. Protests and conferences in support of the campaign have been held in a numerous countries and university campuses around the world – including the United States. Supporters of B.D.S. include academics, trade unions, and political parties and (sad to say) even some large Christian denominations. B.D.S. is the new face of anti-Semitism.

In a March 2016 address to 50 law students from Harvard University’s honors program Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said, “The time has come to return to the legal truth according to international law – the ‘occupation’ is a lie from the Palestinian libel factory, together with the claims of apartheid. This is slander disconnected from the legal reality,” she said. Hotovely explained, “the state of Israel did not occupy Judea & Samaria in 1967 from the state of Palestine, because there never was such a state. Jordan was illegally in possession of the territory, and we liberated Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria in a defensive war. After they were unable to defeat us in war throughout the years, the stage of de-legitimization began; the B.D.S. movement negates the state of Israel’s right to exist, and the way to fight it is by revealing the lies and letting the truth be heard throughout the world.” Regarding the legal status of Israel’s presence in Judea & Samaria, the 2012 Levy Report determined that Israel’s presence is fully legal according to international law.” (INN)

The B.D.S. has extended its reach beyond the debates of college campus presenting itself as the anti-apartheid movement and civil rights movement of the 21st century. Those who fall for their propaganda ignore Israel’s exemplary human rights and humanitarian record. They also ignore the atrocious human rights record of the proponents of B.D.S.. Far from being the heirs of the civil rights heroes of the 20th century, B.D.S. is the direct continuation of the Jew-scapegoating anti-Semitism of Nazi Germany. Like the Nazis, it advocates the expulsion of Jews from entire regions, and specifically advocates the expulsion of Jews from lands, which were legally purchased and legally granted to them by international law.

In March 2016 UK Secretary of State for Justice, Justice Michael Gove, speaking at the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism (ICCA) conference in Berlin. said “Israel is dealing with a prejudiced, systematic attack against its existence,” said Gove. “It is up to us to show solidarity with the Jews and with their right to national sovereignty.” What’s more, while B.D.S. often accuses Israel of “apartheid” policies, the irony, according to Gove, is that B.D.S. is itself “using methods of apartheid in that it calls for the shunning of Jewish academics, the boycott of Jewish goods, the de-legitimization of Jewish commerce.”


The B.D.S. has spread its web into the hallowed halls of the World Council of Churches and the theological colleges and seminaries. It seeks to put a wedge between the church and Israel and restore the shameful anti-Semitism cancer, which is one of the great tragedies of historic Christianity. Unfortunately the movement has received support from many NGO’s. Some Christian denominations with investments in Israel have allied themselves with the anti Semites by withdrawing their investments in Israel. (In July 2004, the 2.4-million-member , Presbyterian Church (PCUSA)which manages a set of investment funds totaling approximately $7 billion voted 431 to 62 to “initiate a process of phased selective divestment in multinational corporations operating in Israel.”

In 2016 the pension fund for the United Methodist Church blocked five Israeli banks from its investment portfolio. The fund sold off the Israeli bank stock, which was worth a several million dollars in a portfolio, which has about $20 billion in assets. Other churches including the Episcopal Church are debating participating in the same boycott /disinvesting policy.

Today B.D.S. threatens not only to destroy Israel but also to destroy the spiritual fiber of Christianity. By promoting an apostasy towards the promises on which Christianity is built it seeks to undercut the blessing on which the whole Judeo-Christian system stands.,

It is astonishing that people who take the scriptures as their source of authority and can plainly read the words spoken to Abraham and to His descendants “I will bless those who bless thee and curse those who cure thee.” can support this. It is even more shocking that this can happen today after decades of Christian repentance towards Israel following the holocaust and a plethora of Christian teaching on our responsibility to the Jewish people. It is repugnant in the light of Israel’s extraordinary achievements in every area of humanitarian endeavor that these who claim to be engrafted into the promises commonwealth of Israel would pick Israel for sanction. The selective outrage of these denominational leaders, who support B.D.S. and pick Israel for sanction while ignoring China, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Russia, Iran, Syria and dozens of other nations amounts to nothing less than pure ant-Semitism.

Today it is not politically correct to show anti-Semitisms. The new (politically acceptable) form of anti-Semitism is anti-Zionism. The anti-Semite opposes the Jews just because they are different. The anti-Zionist opposes their destiny and their right to live in the Middle East or in Muslim majority regions. The anti-Semite wants them out of their neighborhood. The anti-Zionist wants them out of the Middle East. There is no difference anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.



The BDS moment calls for a boycott of Jewish goods produced in the “West Bank” solely on the basis of the ethnicity and religious beliefs of the merchant. This kind of discrimination is abhorrent to anyone who has respect for human rights, and democratic values.

A Bill, being advanced in Ireland this year (2019) exactly expresses the BDS movement’s goals. It forbids the sale of goods from Israeli settlements and towns in the West Bank (The Biblical heartland of Israel) and East Jerusalem.

1. The bill would make it illegal to purchase from Jewish residents of East Jerusalem and of the “West Bank.” It takes no account of how that Jewish person has come to be live in East Jerusalem or the West Bank.

2. From time immemorial there has been a considerable Jewish population in the West Bank, in cities such as Hebron, Jericho, Bethlehem et al. During the late 19th century and early twentieth century Jewish people began to buy land in the area West of the Jordan River. They did this legally and the land purchases were registered in Turkey. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the area came under British administration through a mandate of the League Of Nations. Jewish immigration and settlement in the area were encouraged. Most of these new legal settlers were escaping precisely the kind of anti-Semitic discrimination that this Bill under consideration would create. At that time, as you know, in Russia, Poland and later in Germany laws began to be enacted that made life more and more restrictive for Jewish citizens until life became intolerable.

3. Jewish settlement continued in the West Bank throughout the British mandate era until 1947. At that time Jordan illegally annexed the West Bank but never attempted to expel the Jewish population or boycott the goods of the Jewish residents of the area. After 1967 the land passed from Jordanian hands to Israeli administration. A final agreement has never been reached about the status of the land in spite of numerous efforts by Israeli, Arab and American diplomats to broker a deal. In the meantime Jewish people have continued to buy land and settle there just as Arabs continue to buy land and homes in Israel. The bill amounts to a support of ethnic cleansing as the aim of the Boycott is to make it impossible for Jewish people to survive in the West Bank - which incidentally is their ancient homeland since the days Abraham.

4. Whatever their opinion of the future Palestinian State in the West Bank how could any democratic government advocate support for laws that forbid the peaceful dwelling of people of different ethnicities than the majority. Incidentally the Palestinians of the West Bank are by no means a homogeneous ethnic group nor should they be expected to be. They are from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Tunisia, Libya Sudan, etc. The aim of some Arab and Islamic extremists is to boycott products produced by Jewish inhabitants of the area and thereby force them from the area and to enlist the support of uninformed governments for their plot. This is exactly the playbook of Nazi Germany. It calls for the expulsion of Jewish people from areas they have dwelt in for generations and for a West Bank that is Judenrein (cleansed of Jews). It is almost unimaginable that such a blatant anti Semitic and poisonous bill should even be considered by the Irish Government.