When one of our activists at the Israel Advocacy Movement went undercover at a BDS protest of McDonald's in Shadwell, London. The activists admitted they were not boycotting Israeli businesses - but all Jewish businesses.
The Arab boycott of Jewish interests began in 1921, more than 27 years prior to the establishment of Israel in 1948. The boycott remains in effect today under the sponsorship of the Arab League and its Central Boycott Office in Damascus, Syria. Divestment and boycott efforts not only include products produced in Israel, but also companies that do business in or with Israel. Ships that have docked in Israeli ports regardless of the cargo's point of origin or ultimate destination have also been blacklisted. [...]Perhaps it's time for people to stop pretending that anti-Israel activity is justifiable. It's not. Not only does it masquerade as legitimate criticism despite being antisemitism (sometimes the activists slip up, as they did above), but it's also dishonest and gives Muslim countries a free pass despite their countless human rights violations.
These divestment campaigns have gained momentum since 2000, mostly on college campuses where movements have become more like street theater, but also in cities and towns, churches, businesses and non-profit organizations. These campaigns, moreover, were initially inspired by the Palestinian Authority, which is part of the official Arab League boycott of Israel.
Despite the best efforts of antisemitic and anti-Israel activists, including some gains among church groups, the divestment campaign’s main negative impact has been on Israel’s image. A divestment movement at Harvard University drew censure from Lawrence Summers, then the university president. Summers called the efforts to single out Israel for divestment as anti-Semitic “in their effect, if not their intent. In May 2008, the United Methodist Church rejected five petitions calling for divestment from companies which support or profit from Israel."
Nonetheless, these divestment campaigns must be condemned as they perpetuate lies about Israel, including the lie introduced by the UN which asserts that "Zionism equals racism." Zionism is a term coined in 1896 to describe an international philosophy maintaining that Jews should have a single national homeland in the Middle East where they would not have to worry about discrimination, pogroms, or other persecutions, but be able to live peacefully.
Today 22 countries are officially Muslim and 48 countries—and growing—maintain Muslim majority populations. Yet condemnation of Zionism is ridiculous when one recognizes that Zionism has created a country which is tolerant of all individuals and minorities, including Muslims. Arab Christian and Muslims today serve within the Israeli government and enjoy a higher standard of living than any other country in the Middle East. The few remaining Jews in Islamic countries live in fear of persecution, spurring them to leave their native lands if possible; only last week some Jews from the ancient Jewish community in Yemen had to flee from murderous al Qaeda-inspired attacks.