Many people in North America and Europe are familiar with the BDS movement. The movement was founded in July 2005 in order to put pressure on Israel in relation to the conflict with the Palestinians, and to stop what the movement calls the “occupation” of the Palestinians. The letters ‘BDS’ stand for boycott, divestment, and sanctions. The BDS movement believes through these actions, the Palestinians will gain statehood.
However, the BDS movement has become a movement much more than boycotting, divesting, and creating sanctions. Members have pressure musicians and lecturers into not coming to Israel. College students are physically and emotionally attacked if they are pro- Israel in any way. It is becoming a very tense organization that is focusing more and more attacking Israel and less on helping the Palestinian people.
So what do we do about it?
We do the opposite. We need to advocate for honesty, fairness, and respect. You don’t have to agree with everything others say. But you have to respect them. You don’t have to agree with everything another country says or does, but you have speak honesty about what’s actually happening. And you cannot set standard for one people and a different set for another people.
While all of this is very well and good, what are some of the things we can actively do about the BDS movement?
B-Buy Israeli Products
Buying Israeli products helps the Israeli economy in huge ways. When the economy in Israel is thriving, the profits can help the educational system, the agricultural industries, rebuilding infrastructure, and more. And when we can support those systems, we can create a stronger Israel, a united Israel, and an Israel that can truly face some of the difficult issues the whole world faces. When Israel’s educational system, transportation system, and so much more is strong, than the government can focus on relations with others.
D-Do the opposite of the BDS movement. Be a respectful, honest part of positive change.
People know the BDS movement for shouting, yelling, and attacking the pro- Israel movement. We need to the opposite—we need to be respectful, to listen to others, to present ourselves well. When we represent ourselves in an honest and respectful way, when we come to events well-dressed and well-mannered, we are representing the State of Israel in a positive light. Representing Israel is important work, and we must honest, and tell the truth about what goes on in Israel. Advocates for peace and for Israel must work for POSITIVE change, not for name-calling, lies, and shouting.
When we hold ourselves to an honorable, honest, and positive change, we are helping the State of Israel is a HUGE way.
S-Support the State of Israel!
Supporting the State of Israel can be done in a lot of different ways. It can be through advocacy, or through writing a blog about your experiences with Israel, or through visiting the State of Israel with a private tour guide. You have to find the way that best speaks to you. For some blogging about Israel is better than discussing with co-workers and fellow students about the country. For others, the best way to go is to buy Israeli art and products to decorate their houses with. And for others, it’s about reading the Israelis news and making sure they are updated on all the current affairs that are unfolding in Israel.
What connects you to the State of Israel is the best way for you to support the country. That is the best way for you to stand up for Israel.
What these actions do is place a positive tone in the dialogue. Israel is a wonderful, dynamic country with a lot to learn from! It is a country that brings technology, medicine, and culture to the world. We need to protect the State of Israel. So while you’re not coming to Israel, give us a little bit of support!