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Battling BDS and the Deligitimization of Israel

March 4, 2016
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Upd_4Mar16_4_Friday 4 March 2016 | Recognizing the need for a focused and comprehensive strategy to combat deligitimization of Israel and the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Reut Institute have announced a new joint initiative to help Jewish communities and the State of Israel face this mounting challenge.

The ADL-Reut Initiative was shaped by a mutual commitment to expose the BDS movement in its efforts to single out and isolate Israel while singularly negating the right of the Jewish people to self-determination.

The work will be based on in-depth research and analysis of deligitimization and BDS campaigns both in the United States and globally. Initial findings of the study, which will be released publicly later this year, will be the basis of a comprehensive strategy to inform the approach of both organizations and for use by other organizations.

“The forces behind the deligitimization of Israel mean to isolate the Jewish state and have broadened their strategy in recent years to attack Israel in many different forums,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL’s CEO.

Mr. Greenblatt added: “There are many excellent efforts out there aimed at combating BDS and other deligitimization. We hope our work will complement and reinforce these existing initiatives. Our focus on this issue will be laser-sharp – to expose this movement for what it is – an anti-Semitic campaign and a distraction from the very real issues that need to be addressed to create the conditions for a meaningful and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinian people.”

Gidi Grinstein, founder and president of the Reut Institute, said: “Through this joint initiative the Reut Institute is committed to bringing its unique value to this generational struggle.” The Tel Aviv-based Reut Institute is a leading policy and strategy non-profit group in Israel that designs solutions to the toughest challenges facing Israel and the Jewish people.

Editor’s note: The fight against the BDS movement has witnessed some victories recently. In the US, almost half of the state legislatures are considering some type of bill to counter BDS activities. On March 3rd, the Indiana Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill against the BDS movement, making it the sixth state in recent months to adopt such legislation. Globally, the BDS movement has also been facing pressure; however it still enjoys strong support from several of the Church’s main-line denominations as well as a large number of universities.

Posted on March 4, 2016

Source: (Excerpt of press release by the Anti-Defamation League on 29 February, 2016. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original press release at this link.)