On Wednesday, the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs released a report titled “Behind the Mask: The Antisemitic Nature of BDS Exposed”at the European Parliament, comprehensively detailing the anti-Semitic nature and actions of the BDS movement. The report includes frightening, chilling images that BDS members have used to demonize the state of Israel, and called upon governments around the world to “follow the lead of the German parliament, and to expose the connection between the BDS movement and anti-Semitism.”
The introduction to the report, authored by the renowned Prisoner of Zion and now Chair of The Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and Policy Natan Sharansky, who spent nine years in Soviet jails, delineates how leadership of the BDS campaign receives legitimacy by claiming they stand for liberal values and human rights while they obfuscate their ties to terrorists and propagate anti-Semitism.
Although many who support the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement may do so out of a naive belief that it is working to achieve a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the truth is that BDS has but one goal: the destruction of the State of Israel. That goal however is masked cleverly behind the veneer of fighting for human rights and legitimate criticism of Israel.
Almost 20 years ago at the beginning of the 2000s, amid a global resurgence of antisemitic violence, in particular in Europe, while serving as the Minister for Diaspora Affairs, I came up with what I call the 3D test to distinguish between legitimate criticism of Israel and antisemitism. The three Ds are demonization, delegitimization and double standards. These are the three most important tools that antisemites employed against Jews throughout history.
For thousands of years, Jews were demonized, they were charged with blood libels, with poisoning wells, and, later, with controlling the global banking system. There were periods in history when the Jewish faith was delegitimized and the Jewish claim to nationhood was denied. Double standards were applied to Jews, either through the imposition of special laws – from the Middle Ages in Europe, to the Russian Empire and Nazi Germany – or through de facto government policy discriminating against Jews as in the Soviet Union. Throughout history, demonization of Jewish people, delegitimization of their faith or nationhood, and double standards applied to Jews created fertile soil for pogroms, expulsions and genocide.
My 3D test shows that if we see the same tools of delegitimization, demonization and double standards that were used against Jews in the past being used today against the collective Jew, the Jewish State – we know we are witnessing a new face of the old antisemitism.
When caricatures against Israeli leaders repeat the worst anti-Semitic caricatures of Czarist Russia or Nazi Germany, and this time it is Israelis who are crucifying Palestinians or making ritual use of their blood, and when Palestinians are portrayed as living in Nazi death camps– that is demonization, that is the blood libel of today, that is antisemitism. When the legitimacy of the Jewish State is denied and, in the language of the founders of BDS, there is no place for a Jewish state in the Middle East in any borders – that is delegitimization, that is antisemitism. And when the Jewish State is singled out for criticism that not even the vilest dictatorship is subject to and it is held to standards that not even the most vibrant democracy is judged by – those are double standards, and that is antisemitism.
The full report can be found here.