Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein issued the following statement:
As the ZOA has previously stated, the ZOA believes that pro-Israel groups need to work together to combat well-financed anti-Semitic, hateful, anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (“BDS”) campaigns. ZOA is issuing this release in the hope that the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) will reconsider and correct: (1) ADL’s harmful lobbying efforts against anti-BDS laws; and (2) ADL’s disappointing failure to oppose anti-Semitic so-called “targeted” boycotts against Jewish businesses and cultural and academic institutions in Judea and Samaria.
ZOA previously listed and documented ADL’s harmful lobbying and published statements against needed anti-BDS federal laws and anti-BDS state laws in Illinois, New York, Maryland and South Carolina here. Further, a pro-Israel activist who lobbied for Pennsylvania’s anti-BDS law advised ZOA yesterday that he experienced some problems with ADL regarding Pennsylvania’s anti-BDS bill.
And, ZOA notes that on July 28, 2015, the ADL opposed anti-BDS legislation in an ADL letter to the Chairman of the House of Representatives Subcommittee on National Security, sent to be part of the record of a hearing held by the Chairman. Not surprisingly, supporters of the Massachusetts anti-Israel “freedom to boycott” coalition quoted and used ADL’s condemnation of anti-BDS laws in order to oppose Massachusetts’ proposed anti-BDS law.
If the ADL might disagree with specific wording of an anti-BDS law, ADL should simply seek to correct that wording, and should not oppose the entire law.
ZOA again urges the ADL to publicly support anti-BDS laws.
ADL “Studying” Whether To Oppose Anti-Semitic BDS Discrimination Targeting Jews in Judea and Samaria:
The Forward reported yesterday that when asked whether ADL opposes BDS against Jewish businesses in Judea and Samaria, an ADL spokesman responded: “we’re studying it.” BDS against Jews in Judea and Samaria is clearly anti-Semitic discrimination and has been ongoing for several years. It is remarkable and disappointing that the ADL – an organization whose mission includes combating anti-Semitism – is still “studying” the matter and has thus far failed to oppose the discriminatory boycotts of Jewish businesses and academic and cultural institutions in Judea and Samaria. Judea and Samaria includes the cities of Ma’ale Adumim (a suburb directly adjacent to Jerusalem, which has over 50,000 Jews), Ariel (a city that has over 20,000 Jews and Ariel University which has 15,000 students including the largest Arab student population of any Israeli university), and Efrat (a city of almost 20,000 Jews).
ZOA notes that so-called “targeted” BDS against Jews and Jewish businesses and cultural and academic institutions in Judea and Samaria invariably harms all of Israel and leads to BDS against all of Israel – and also harms Palestinian Arabs’ employment opportunities. For instance, “Partners for Progressive Israel” started out in 2010 promoting “targeted” boycotts of Jewish-owned businesses and arts centers and universities in Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. Then in 2015, PPI expanded its boycott to all of Israel – stating that: “The economy of the settlements and of the West Bank is too intertwined with the Israeli economy as a whole for it to be possible to limit the boycott to products of the settlements.” In addition, Israel’s anti-boycott law includes Judea and Samaria.
ZOA hopes and prays that the ADL will correct its stances on anti-BDS laws and on hateful BDS against Jews and Jewish businesses and academic and cultural institutions in Judea/Samaria, and thus become a true partner in the fight against BDS.