by: Ilse Posselt
Wednesday, 01 June 2016 | They call themselves “Reservists on Duty.” The name of the Israeli Non-governmental Organization (NGO) is apt, chosen with care to reflect the group’s mission and identity. All of their members are active service personnel in various reserve units of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). For the three years of their mandatory army service they protected the State of Israel against enemies who seek her annihilation through war and terror. Now, as IDF reservists, they are ready to protect the Jewish state on a different front against another enemy seeking her destruction: the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
“[T]he main goal of our organization is to fight against the new anti-Semitism and the groups that lead it, primarily BDS,” Amnon Goldstof, co-founder of “Reservists on Duty,” told the Jerusalem Post recently.
Established in December 2015, the group has grown from strength to strength over the past seven months, attracting the support of hundreds of fellow IDF reservists, the military powers-that-be as well as members of the Knesset (Israel’s government).
Goldstof believes that the BDS movement to be nothing more than a classic case of anti-Semitism. As such, he feels obliged to stand against the longstanding menace. “Old anti-Semitism wanted to see a world without Jews, and the new anti-Semitism wants to see a world without a Jewish country,” the Jerusalem Post quoted him as saying.
Goldstof is aware of the many groups out there trying to fight the BDS movement through public diplomacy and depicting a positive picture of Israel. “Reservists on Duty” decided to try a different strategy: confront the phenomenon head-on.
“We decided to change strategies, stop being on the defensive and to go on the offensive and stop apologizing and to, instead, expose BDS for what it really is,” he said.
To achieve their goal, the group is currently hard at work to put together a targeted campaign “that aims to provide a direct and shocking response to the boycott efforts.” According to the Jerusalem Post, the campaign is set to launch within the next few months.
“Everyone will know what BDS is, what new anti-Semitism is, and what the dangers are,” Goldstaff assured.
At present, Goldstof and a number of other group members are on an information-gathering mission, touring college campuses in the United States and meeting with Jewish students, the Jerusalem Post reports. Their goal is to figure out the workings of BDS first-hand and to partner with the various organizations who are fighting the phenomenon. “Every week we are visiting more campuses and hearing lots of stories and learning more about BDS,” he said.
Goldstof told the Jerusalem Post of the bullying and aggression that Jewish students on a number of US campuses suffer at the hands of BDS activists. “In Israel, we are comfortable because we live with a certain security, but when you go on campus [in the US] you see Jews being attacked, whether they are Zionist or non-Zionist,” he explained. “Simply because they are Jewish.”
Goldstoff added that he found it “unbelievable” that in this day and age, Jews in a number of civilized countries in the world had to fear walking the streets and that Jewish institutions had to resort to stringent security measures to ensure their members’ safety.
“It is as if the world didn’t wake up—70 years later [after the Holocaust] and the world doesn’t realize the direction it is heading in,” the Jerusalem Post quoted him as saying.
Yet despite his misgivings regarding BDS and anti-Semitism plaguing the world, he and his fellow reservists on duty are ready to face the enemy head-on. “Like in war, there are a lot of battles; you win some and you lose some,” he explained. “We see this as our civic duty to fight for the Jewish people and for Israel.”
Posted on June 1, 2016
Source: (Bridges for Peace, 01 June 2016)
Photo Credit: Reservists on Duty/facebook.com
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