On Saturday, the Democratic Socialists of America and Young Democratic Socialists voted to join the “boycott, divestment, sanction” (BDS) movement. According to its official website, BDS “works to end international support for Israel's oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law.”
In short, BDS erroneously believes Israel is an apartheid state. They want Israel cut off from the rest of the world economically (boycott, divestment), and they want sanctions placed on the nation until it complies with their demands.
In January, the Democratic Socialists of America released a statement in which they expressed a watered-down version of the demands of the BDS movement:
DSA reiterates its belief that only a unilateral Israeli end to the occupation would enable the Palestinian and Jewish peoples to share the land of historic Palestine in a manner to be determined by negotiations between democratic representatives of both parties, free of external interference. Thus, DSA believes the United States government must break with its implicit support of the settlements by ending all forms of military assistance to Israel that aids the inhumane occupation.
Following the vote, attendees began to chant: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” This is an anti-Zionist message frequently chanted by those who would like to see Israel eliminated.
Israel as illegal occupier is a deeply rooted, oft repeated, but false notion.
In 1967, the nation of Israel faced escalating military pressure and threats of war from surrounding Arab nations, including Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. The Jewish Virtual Library notes that in the first week of June 1967, “approximately 465,000 troops, more than 2,800 tanks, and 800 aircraft ringed Israel.”
As the tensions escalated, Israel decided to launch a preemptive strike. In the Six-Day-War, the nation of Israel took possession of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
According to renowned legal scholar, Alan Dershowitz, “military occupations are clearly permitted under international law following an aggressive attack by a neighboring state.”
Despite trading “land for peace” on multiple occasions, and even offering 94% of the West Bank in two attempted peace deals which were summarily rejected by Palestinian leaders, Israel continues to be attacked on a near-daily basis by terrorist organizations operating under the umbrella of the Palestinian Authority (PA).
The aggressor in this situation is not Israel.
The Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas, offers financial incentive to terrorists. Hamas, which has incredible influence in the Palestinian Arab world, has not only launched devastating attacks on Israel for decades, but its official charter calls for the elimination of the Jewish State.
Organizations like the Democratic Socialists of America have been grossly deceived by anti-Semitic propaganda spread by the Palestinian Authority, the United Nations, and a multitude of other groups.
For more information about Israel’s statehood, its legal standing, and the many aggressors from which it has defended itself, check out the following video from Prager U, part of a series the YouTube channel has put together on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: