Student radicalism increases as protests calling to destroy Israel multiply. Governmental threats expand as the US sanctions ‘settlers’ while Muslim groups pressure national leaders to abandon Israel.

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Due to the ongoing war in Gaza the BDS movement’s targeted opposition to Israel has expanded into massive street protests, threats against politicians, and security crises for Western Jews. Increasingly individual politicians and Jews are being targeted as stand-ins for Israel and charged with ‘complicity in genocide,’ even those who support a two state solution. The antisemitism inherent in BDS, the unique opposition to Israel’s existence among all nation-states, accused now of the worst possible crime, has allied itself with current anti-Western causes, including anti-capitalism and environmentalism. The attitudes being played out in the streets and in politics are, to a large extent, psychodramas regarding the nature of global society in the 21st century.
Editor’s Note: The rapid growth of BDS-related antisemitism since the October 7 Hamas attack has required the BDS Monitor to be greatly expanded. Readers are reminded that a shortened version appears in The Algemeiner.


In February BDS and anti-Israel activities were centered on both street and campus protests.


Student protests in February expanded greatly with university administrations largely unwilling and unable to enforce regulations regarding what has euphemistically become known as “expressive activity.”

·   At the University of California at Berkeley hundreds of masked pro-Hamas protestors shouting “intifada, intifada” and “You can’t run! You can’t hide! We charge you with genocide!”attacked a theater where an Israeli speaker was to appear, smashing windows and forcing the Jewish students inside to be evacuated through tunnels. The university chancellor and provost condemned the incident in which Jewish students were called “dirty Jew” and assaulted by the crowd. A university spokesman expressed shock at “The size of the crowd, the size of what was a mob, and the willingness and readiness of that mob to engage in violent behavior.”

·   At Columbia University pro-Hamas students held an unauthorized protest on the main quad in which they dyed snow red and chanted “There is no safe place, Death to the Zionist state” and “We don’t want two states. We want all of it.”

·   Outside of Columbia University police clashed with pro-Hamas students and activists who chanted “NYPD, KKK. IDF they’re all the same.” The ‘New York Civil Liberties Union’ has also threatened to sue the university if the ban on ‘Students for Justice in Palestine’ (SJP) and ‘Jewish Voice for Peace’ is not lifted.

·   Columbia students also heckled former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton at a conference on sexual violence calling her a “war criminal.” Clinton later decried campus antisemitism at the Munich Security Conference.

·   Barnard College students heckled the inauguration of the school’s new president.

·   At Yale University protestors used a leaf blower to spray paper “blood money” onto a dining hall.

·   Protesting Harvard University and students chanted “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be Arab” in Arabic as they held a die-in on campus. Similar chanting in Arabic was heard at Columbia University.

·   A pro-Hamas sit-in at Stanford University ended after 120 days after university administrators agreed to formally hear protestors’ demands. The protestors stated they would resume their sit-in if the demands were not met.

·   Protestors at Stanford heckled and threatened Jewish studies shouting “go back to Brooklyn.” Pro-Hamas students also disrupted a Family Weekend welcome session hosted by the university and provost and demanded the administration “address their ongoing role in enabling the genocide in Gaza.”

·   Brown University students undertook an “indefinite” hunger strike in support of divestment that lasted eight days after the university president refused to meet them. Harvard students undertook a 12 hour hunger strike in sympathy. Students at McGill University and Dartmouth College students also announced hunger strikes.

·   At MIT the ‘Coalition Against Apartheid’ held unauthorized protests which disrupted a central campus building. The group was then suspended by the administration which added that “suspending the CAA is not related to the content of their speech. I fully support the right of everyone on our campus to express their views.”

·   The George Washington University ‘Student for Justice in Palestine’ chapter was charged with misconduct for participating in a protest organized by the ‘Student Coalition for Palestine’ and thereby violating the terms by which the former group had its November 2023 suspension lifted. The group faces unspecified ‘disciplinary proceedings.’

·   The College of William and Mary SJP chapter protested the school’s 331st anniversary and condemned the “racist, colonial, and imperial actions and a poor attempt at covering up the campus’s active role in taking away the lands, cultures, and lives of thousands of indigenous peoples…”

·   The Swarthmore College SJP chapter projected “globalize the intifada” and “Swarthmore funds genocide” on a campus building.

·   Students at the University of Michigan picketed a Regents’ meeting and then claimed ‘police brutality’ when they were prevented from physically blocking a road.

·   Students at the University of Pennsylvania occupied a library for eight hours until being told to leave by an administrator.

·   Activists at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice held a teach-in session entitled “NYPD, IDF, They’re All the Same.”

·   At the University of Florida pro-Hamas protestors attempted to shut down a talk by a pro-Israeli speaker. Three protestors were removed by police.

·   A Yale Law School event on the Gaza War sponsored by Law Students for Israel was protested in advance by the school’s SJP chapter which claimed the presence of a former Israeli soldier would make them “unsafe.” The event was then disrupted. A parallel event held by the law school’s SJP chapter was undisturbed.

·   A talk by a Jewish Studies faculty member at San Jose State University advocating a “two state solution” was disrupted by pro-Hamas protestors who rejected the presence of a “Zionist.” After a violent confrontation the faculty member was escorted from the building by police. Another Jewish studies professor recording the incident pushed a protestor’s hand away from his phone and was subsequently accused of ‘Islamophobia’ and suspended by his institution.

·   At the University of Leeds the Chabad rabbi who returned from reserve military service in Israel was driven into hiding by threats from Muslim students. These included threats to rape his wife and kill his family which came after a campaign orchestrated by Muslim Green Party members, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and the Muslim Council of Britain. Jewish students at Leeds were also verbally abused and threatened by a driver.

·   At the Birmingham University protestors chanted “death to Zionists” and “Zionists off our campus” and vandalized the exterior of several buildings.

Walkouts and demonstrations were also held at Georgetown University, Stony Brook University, the University of Toronto, the University of Washington, the University of Michigan, Tufts University, Princeton University, the University of Chicago, McGill University, Condordia University, and other schools. Students at Brown University walked out of a talk by ADL head Jonathan Greenblatt.

University supported and student organized anti-Israel educational events on campus have also distinctly antisemitic orientations:

·   The Queen College Muslim Student Association held an event entitled “Analyzing the Israel-Palestine Conflict: A Multifaceted Examination” which featured a speaker who has accused Israel of creating ISIS, suggested that Israel and India are undertaking genocide against Muslims, that Jewish involvement in human sacrifice requires investigation. The group’s Instagram page had been taken down after it denied that Hamas had killed women and children during its October 7 attack.

·   The University of Toronto’s Muslim chaplain was removed by the university after it became known that he posted social media images equating Israel with Nazis.

BDS resolutions continue to be proposed in student governments:

·   The University of California at Davis student government voted in favor of a divestment resolution that prohibits any of the organization’s $20 million budget being invested in Israel.

·   The Pitzer College student government passed a resolution calling on the school to end its study abroad program with the University of Haifa. The resolution will now go to the college president who has rejected the idea.

·   A divestment and boycott referendum at Pomona College was also approved by the student body. The referendum had been criticized by the president as potentially antisemitic, a comment that was angrily rejected by organizers.

·   The Cornell University student government rejected a BDS resolution. In the aftermath a rally was held at which speakers condemned the student government and praised the “armed resistance in Palestine” as well as the Houthis. These, in addition to chants of ‘from the river to the sea…’ appeared to violate the university’s regulations regarding “explicit calls to genocide.”

·   The UCLA student government passed a BDS resolution which alleged that Israel is engaged in “apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and genocide” The resolution also alleged that  Israeli academic institutions, companies and unions “profit from Israel’s settler colonial genocide.” The vote came shortly after the graduate student association passed a similar resolution. In response the university administration stated that “These resolutions run counter to the position of the University of California and UCLA, which, like all nine other UC campuses, has consistently opposed calls for a boycott against and divestment from Israel.”

·   Princeton University president Christopher Eisgruber rejected a student divestment petition saying that “consensus” was needed before the university could take such a step.

·   After a public hearing which was disrupted by BDS activists the Michigan State University Board of Trustees agreed to review its investments in Israel.

Student organizations also continue to be focal points for anti-Israel politics:

·   In the aftermath of a BDS resolution by the graduate student union at McGill University, the union has now resolved to investigate all student groups for potential ties to “companies, academic institutions, or donors, complicit in settler-colonial violence and genocide against the Palestinian people.”

·   After external pressure and media coverage the Columbia Law School student government official recognized a Law Students Against Antisemitism group. The senate’s initial denial had been based on the proposed group’s focus on the IHRA definition of antisemitism.

·   The Columbia University Student Governing Board derecognized the “LionLez” group by a narrow margin after the group’s founder posted a variety of antisemitic and racist statements.

·   The ‘student multicultural center’ at the University of California at Santa Barbara posted a sign on the door stating “Zionists are not welcomed! Stay away from our kitchen too!!!”

Anti-Israel activists also continued to target campus buildings and exhibitions associated with Jews, including the Golda Meir Library at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an exhibition at the McGill University Library on Israeli architect Moshe Safdie, which was condemned as “a platform for Zionism.’

The impact of campus protests were seen in the vandalizing of the University of Wisconsin Hillel building, unspecified threats emailed to the Brown University-RISD Hillel, identical active shooter threats emailed to a variety of individuals at Cornell University, Princeton University, and Dartmouth College, and assaults against Jewish students at the Free University of Berlin and the University of Strasbourg.

Figures collected by Hillel International indicate that more than 1000 antisemitic incidents occurred on on campuses since October, include 44 assaults. The negative conditions on campuses for Jewish students are also reflected in a poll of Jewish students, 56% of whom report experiencing antisemitic acts or sentiments directly. In addition, 37% state they have felt compelled to hide their Jewish identity. Another survey indicates that 64% of Jewish students will now take antisemitism into account when applying to college, particularly applications to Ivy League schools.

At the same time mainstream media and student media accounts of campus culture routinely feature anti-Zionist Jews and Palestinians while downplaying harassment and intimidation of pro-Israel and uninvolved Jewish students.


Faculty continued to be at the forefront of anti-Israel activities on campus. The participation of faculty, staff, librarians, graduate students, and others indicates to depth to which anti-Israel ideology has penetrated the entire academic enterprise and compromises pedagogy now and in the future.

·   The American Association of University Professors signed a call issued by labor unions including the United Auto Workers demanding a ‘ceasefire’ in Gaza including the supply of water, food and power to Gaza and the release of hostages. The union therefore follows a number of academic organizations which have issued statements. The move also comes as calls for institutions to adopt ‘viewpoint neutrality’ have increased in the wake of statements of support for Israel.

·   The Harvard Faculty for Justice in Palestine reposted a student produced image showing a hand with a Star of David and a dollar sign lynching Muhammad Ali and Gamal Abdul Nasser. The classically antisemitic image, drawn from a 1960s era black power pamphlet, set off a firestorm of criticism. The poster was widely condemned and the faculty group apologized, saying it was posted without their knowledge. In response, the faculty advisor of the Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee and from Harvard Faculty and Staff for Justice in Palestine resigned.

·   A leader of the Stanford University “Faculty for Justice in Palestine” chapter has stated its goal “is for FJP to become a regular part of Stanford’s daily life, collaborating alongside Stanford departments to provide educational programming about Palestine that otherwise would not be offered,” a move that would normalize and legitimize anti-Israel hatred.

·   Faculty, staff, librarians and graduate students formed an ‘Educators for Justice in Palestine’ at Northwestern University.

·   A group calling itself the “Archival Workers Collective endorsed a statement condemning Israel from the “Librarians and Archivists with Palestine.”

·   Four faculty members at Syracuse University associated with the ‘Faculty for Justice in Palestine’ group ‘disaffiliated’ themselves from the Middle East studies program over its alleged neutrality regarding teaching events connected to the Gaza War.

·   In Britain, antisemitic academic David Miller was reinstated by a labor tribunal which ruled that her had been “unfairly dismissed” and that his “anti-Zionist beliefs qualified as a philosophical belief and a protected characteristic.” It is unclear whether Miller will be reinstated at Bristol University.

·   Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government disassociated itself from a faculty invited speaker, Dalal Saeb Iriqat, who had described the October 7 Hamas attack as a “normal struggle for 4 #Freedom.”

·   The Kennedy School also hosted the profoundly antisemitic ‘U.N. special rapporteur for the Palestinian territories’ Francesca Albanese. Among other things Albanese accused Israel of ‘weaponizing’ antisemitism and stated that Hamas had not displayed “aggression against the Jews.

Jewish and Israeli faculty who have spoken out regarding campus antisemitism continue to be targeted by students and colleagues. A leading example is Columbia University faculty member, Shai Davidai, who has extensively documented pro-Hamas protests on social media and in the process found himself ostracized and targeted by colleagues. An anonymous petition to have him removed from a professional society has also been circulated. Reports also continue regarding informal boycotts of Israeli academics by international publications and foreign institutions. The boycotts appear strongest in the humanities and social sciences but appear to have spread to medicine and other scientific disciplines.


Colleges and universities continue to impose restrictions on campus protests as a result of disrupted operations and the wave of harassment and intimidation directed at Jewish and Israeli students. This has led to complaints from students and free speech organizations as well as faculty senates.

Investigations of colleges and universities by the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Education for violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act expanded in February. Investigations were launched into the treatment of Jewish students at Yale University, Ohio State University, Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University, and others, as well as several local school districts.

In addition, complaints were filed with the Education Department by students from Middlebury College, which alleges among other things that the administration instructed them “to hide references to Israel from the vigil and to remove the word “Jewish” from all literature” and initiated disciplinary procedures against a student who pointed out the that a poster contained the phrase in Arabic “from the river to the sea Palestine will be Arab.”

Individual lawsuits and complaints to the Education Department continue to be filed on behalf of Jewish and Israeli students alleging institutions failed to prevent discrimination and hostility against them, including against Columbia University, Middlebury College, and the Berkeley school system The University of Pennsylvania filed to dismiss a lawsuit claiming that efforts were underway to remedy campus antisemitism. A group of Harvard University alums also sued the university claiming that the antisemitism crisis had ‘devalued’ their degrees.

Congress continues to be involved in addressing campus antisemitism. Congressional subpoenas have been issued to several universities including Harvard and Columbia for documents related to their responses to anti-Israel and antisemitic protests. The situation has largely devolved along predictable party lines.

For their part universities continue to develop advisory committees to address antisemitism. These are usually structured as ‘antisemitism and hate’ which dilutes their purpose and almost invariably include BDS supporting faculty, as at Northwestern University. At Harvard the standalone committee, from which faculty members have now resigned and on which the DEI director, who has been accused of plagiarism, is paired with parallel entities addressing ‘Islamophobia.’ The Columbia standalone committee has also been criticized by faculty members objecting to defining antisemitism as relating to Israel.

Finally, the reputational harm antisemitism has done to universities may now be measurable financially. The post-October 7 donor revolt has caused elite institutions in particular to lose hundreds of millions of dollars in pledges. One result is that Harvard has stated it will issue $1.65 billion in bonds, a move that will raise its overall debt to $7.85 billion. This comes after Princeton proposed $660 million in bonds and an ongoing financial crisis at the University of Chicago.


Focus remains on anti-Israel bias in K-12 education. The American Federation of Teachers, a strong Biden ally, issued a statement calling for a ceasefire but avoided the condemnations of Israel used by other school union.

National media have taken notice of the controversies related to the intrinsic anti-Israel bias built into “ethnic studies” and the relegation of Jews to the categories of “settler colonialist” and “white oppressors” but not the larger intent which is to dissolve American national identity and solidarity into a hierarchy of “victims.” An elementary school coloring book celebrating ‘black history month’ issued by BLM and used in Brooklyn public schools which demanded that students among other things be “Transgender Affirming,” call for “Restorative Justice, and support “Black Villages,” described as “disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement,” also illustrates the revolutionary communist intent.

The increased publicity surrounding K-12 indoctrination prompted the resignation of one pre-K teacher who had notoriously posted anti-Israel lesson plans and drawings of various nose shapes with the prompt that these could help determine ethnicity. At the private Shipley School the ‘DEI’ director resigned after her social media postings demonizing Israel and Jews were discovered.

More commonly, however, publicity has led schools to organize mendacious programs to proclaim ‘balance,’ such as in a New York City high school where a ‘Jewish Voice for Peace’ activist was invited to give a talk to balance a Palestinian activist’s “Palestinian story of forced displacement, exile and resistance.” In the fall black students held a walkout and shouted “Death to Israel” and “Destroy Israel.” New York City public school teachers were also documented discussing means to bypass rules in order to teach about the “genocide in Gaza.” An unknown number of teachers also continue to push narratives of Israeli evil, such as at Deep Run High School in Henrico County (VA) where a teacher was recorded ranting that the US was funding Israeli ‘genocide’ in Gaza.

Another notable example of this mendacity emerged in Washington State where an amendment to a bipartisan Holocaust education proposes to mandate education regarding “diasporic communities with lived experiences of surviving, being made refugee by, or otherwise being directly impacted by genocide.”

The amendment, suddenly proposed by left wing Democrat Rep. Emily Alvarado, was intended to make Holocaust education “inclusive” and “accountable” and was supported by an online campaign demanding that the Palestinian ‘genocide’ be taught. The amendment was also intended to force Washington Republicans to vote against the bill thereby providing Democrats with a talking point. The bill was passed and moved to the state senate where it died in committee.

Parallel to these are incidents where Jewish concerns were relegated on the basis of preventing ‘harm.’ In one example a New Trier, Illinois high school prohibited Jewish students from holding a Holocaust Remembrance Day event, ostensibly to protect Jewish students. As the principal put it, with “current events that are adjacent in many of our students’ minds… we would have wanted advisers to think about how to handle non-Holocaust Remembrance Day discussion that could have arisen. My goal was to assure that we honored this important day for Jewish students — and all students — while not creating a situation where it could cause them harm.”

The pedagogical impact of blatantly antisemitic curriculums in K-12 education was illustrated in Hayward (CA). The city had invested heavily in an organization called “Woke Kindergarten,” “to train teachers to confront white supremacy, disrupt racism and oppression and remove those barriers to learning” and which indoctrinated grade schoolers with concepts such as “resistance” and “Palestine.” The curriculum produced massive drops in math and reading scores.

Similarly, the role of university Middle East studies in cementing anti-Israel attitudes was highlighted in an analysis of the curriculum produced by the Brown University Center for Middle Eastern Studies, which is dominated by anti-Israel activists. The curriculum describes Israel as an imperialist project, Jews as alien outsiders, and Israel as a violent illegitimate entity that routinely commits war crimes. According to its creators the curriculum is used in 8000 US schools and 200 international schools.

Another byproduct of K-12 indoctrination is overt antisemitism from students themselves, as seen in a long piece published in the Stuyvesant High School newspaper which accused Israel of ‘genocide,’’ethnic cleansing,’ ‘stealing Palestinian land,’ and ‘sterilizing’ Ethiopian Jews.

Anti-Israel protests continued to appear in K-12 institutions:

·   A video documented students at a Washington State elementary school being coached to chant “free Palestine” and “from the river to the sea…”

·   Chicago Public School students held a walkout in support of the city’s ‘ceasefire’ resolution. The Department of Education has opened a civil rights investigation of Chicago schools along with schools in Natick (MA).

As a result of surging harassment and intimidation, Jewish students continue to transfer out of school districts such as Oakland (CA).


Protests in February continued to target transportation links and city centers with the goal of disrupting daily life. These included the Golden Gate Bridge, New York City bridges and tunnels, the I-40 bridge over the Mississippi River connecting Tennessee and Arkansas, major roads and intersections in and around Washington D.C., the Pennsylvania capitol, and central London on Saturdays. In Brussels pro-Hamas protestors also disrupted the Flemish Parliament.

The London protests were notable for the pervasiveness of antisemitic conspiracy statements including that “Zionists control the media.”In London protestors also projected the words ‘from the river to the sea…’ on Big Ben, leading to condemnations of the phrase from British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak along with promises to crack down on “violent intimidation” at pro-Hamas rallies.

Protestors continue to target Jewish individuals and neighborhoods, including a prominent rabbi in New Haven (CT), a march through predominantly Jewish neighborhood in Teaneck (NJ), and a talk by journalist Bari Weiss in Manhattan at which she was accused of being responsible for the death of a Palestinian writer.

Protests also targeted institutions allegedly connected with Jews and Israel:

·   In Toronto protestors targeted Mt. Sinai Hospital, founded by the local Jewish community, raising Palestinian flags and shouting “intifada, intifada.” Political authorities including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the incident.

·   In New York City protestors inside the Museum of Modern Art and Brooklyn Museum unfurled banners demanding a ‘ceasefire’ and accused Jewish members of the boards of trustees of complicity in “genocide, apartheid” and “settler colonialism.” No arrests were made.

·   Protestors also targeted the Jewish Museum, where ‘anti-Zionist cultural workers’ disrupted a talk about the October 7 massacres and claimed an exhibition was “imperial propaganda” and a means to “manufacture consent for genocide.”

·   Protestors targeted AIPAC’s New York headquarters and vandalized the building.

·   Protestors targeted the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

·   At the University of Kansas the “Kansas Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)” disrupted a talk by a survivor of the October 7 massacre.

Protestors also continue to target the offices and homes of administration officials such as Secretary of State Antony Blinken. One measure of the poor optics generated by these protests is that mainstream commentators have now begun to characterize them as unhelpful and illegitimate. A visit to Michigan by President Biden was targeted by Muslim protestors chanting “fuck Joe Biden,” while in New York City some 60 protestors were arrested including a number claiming to be Jews as they protested a Biden fundraiser.

Individual members of Congress and Parliament have been targeted:

·   The Brooklyn office of Representative Dan Goldman (D-NY) was vandalized for a second time.

·   Protestors from the far-left Chinese Communist Party linked ‘Code Pink’ attempted to force their way into the Capitol Hill office of Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY).

·   Protestors swarmed a fundraiser for Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and a police officer was struck by a demonstrator.

·   Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was heckled by pro-Hamas protestors at a talk in Ireland who accused him of being a “Zionist” and a “genocide denier.”

·   The home of Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood was surrounded by 80 protestors who shouted he was “complicit in genocide.”

·   In Dallas a fence outside the home of a Jewish city council member was sprayed with the words “baby killer.”

·   In Palo Alto a debate between candidates for the House of Representatives was disrupted by pro-Hamas protestors who denied Hamas atrocities.

The most bizarre incident was the self-immolation outside the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C. of US Air Force member. The individual, assigned to an intelligence unit, was a member of the ‘Stop Cop City’ and anarchist Antifa movements who had expressed support for Hamas’s October 7 attack. Cornel West, Hamas, and Roger Waters, among others, expressed appreciation for the act while other anti-Israel activists expressed concern.

The protests are the most obvious manifestations of rocketing antisemitism and hate crimes in Britain, France, and the US, as are the escalating numbers of violent assaults, such as the stabbing of a Jewish individual in Paris, the beating of a Jewish individual in New York City, an assault against a Jewish student at Columbia University, an attack on a megachurch in Houston where a woman armed with a rifle with the words “Free Palestine” on the barrel began shooting and was quickly killed by police, and the kidnapping and torture of a Jewish individual in Melbourne allegedly orchestrated by an anti-Israel activist.

A poll conducted by the AJC reports that 46% of American Jews have changed their behavior since October 7 as a result of fear of antisemitism. Jewish schools also report that their security costs have almost doubled since October.


The leading political events in February were sanctions placed on Israel by Western governments in part as a result of political pressure from Arab and Muslim voters in advance of elections.

The sanctioning of Israeli ‘settlers’ by the US and then the British and French governments, were instituted largely on the basis of anti-Palestinian violence alleged by left wing NGOs and laundered through the U.S. security coordinator to Israel and the Palestinian Authority. This was followed by an Executive Order signed by US president Biden instructing the US to sanction individuals whose actions “threaten the peace, security, or stability of the West Bank” and “undermine the foreign policy objectives of the United States, including the viability of a two-state solution.”

The implications of these sanctions quickly emerged as reports indicated one of the sanctioned individuals had signed a construction contract with the Har Hevron Regional Council, leading to the possibility that the municipality itself, or any entity with a relationship with the sanctioned individuals, could come under US sanctions. Additional reports suggest the US may refuse visas to Israelis involved in the cyberindustry, ostensibly in response to misuse of cyberweapons.

Two related moves are an announcement by Secretary of State Blinken that the US is reversing policy regarding Israeli communities in the West Bank which will now be considered “inconsistent with international law,” and a demand that Israel provide written assurances that US provided weapons are being used in Gaza in accordance with ‘international law.’

The larger pattern of making Israeli activities in the West Bank illegal supports the suggestions that the Biden administration wants the Gaza War ended as soon as possible and will unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state, in part as means to placate Arab/Muslim voters in the US. Other directives requiring review of arms sales to Israel and reports that the US is investigating Israeli use of US supplied weapons in potential ‘war crimes’ are means to restrain Israeli freedom of action and to reward Palestinians with a state.

Relatedly, Israel continues to be the most contentious issue within Democratic Party and Labour Party politics. Muslim and Arab voters in the US continued their threats to not vote for a Biden reelection despite polls that indicate the broader electorate are more concerned with the economy and illegal immigration. Threats from Muslim and Arab voters in Michigan led to extraordinary outreach efforts, including a visit by Deputy National Security Advisor Jon Finer and USAID director Samantha Power to Dearborn mayor Abdullah Hammoud. At the meeting Finer apologized for the administration’s “mistakes and missteps” in addressing the Gaza situation.

Results of the Democratic primary vote in Michigan showed Biden winning the race but with 100,000 voters or 13% writing in ‘uncommitted.’ Voter discontent regarding Biden’s age, the economy, and illegal immigration were all factors but anger over Gaza was highest in cities such as Dearborn where over 50% of the population is Arab or Muslim. This raises the possibility that Michigan will send at least one delegate to the Democratic convention with the expressed position of withholding support from the candidate on the basis on Israel policy.

The outreach efforts, apologies, policy shifts and electoral results designed to pressure Israel should be set against poll results showing that American attitudes towards Israel remain overwhelmingly positive including the conduct of the Gaza War.

The extent to which anti-Israel movements comprised of Islamists and the far left now directly threaten democratic governance was illustrated in an extraordinary debate on a ceasefire resolution in the British Parliament. Responding to threats of violence against MPs the Speaker defied rules and allowed a vote on a Labour Party amendment, which culminated in the walkout of Conservative and Scottish National Party members which had each proposed amendments. The rule change was ostensibly intended to save Labour leader Keir Starmer from a party revolt lead by pro-Palestinian MPs.

Comments by the MP Lee Anderson that London Mayor Sadiq Khan was controlled by Islamists and had “given our capital city away to his mates” resulted in charges of ‘Islamophobia’ and his removal as Conservative Whip. At the same time pro-Hamas demonstrators, urged on by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, disrupted both Conservative and Labour fundraising events and verbally assaulted attendees.

Also in Britain the head of a Muslim charity has stated that the Rochdale by-election is a “referendum on Gaza.” The contest pits a Muslim candidate who accused Israel of permitting the October 7 massacres in order to attack Gaza (for which he was expelled from the Labour Party) against veteran antisemite George Galloway. Meanwhile death threats prompted pro-Israel Member of Parliament Mike Freer to quit politics. Several female MPs have also been given bodyguards.

In Britain, the Labour Party has been forced to suspend several candidates who expressed racist sentiments towards Israel. But with anti-Israel and antisemitic politics as core issues for Muslim voters, a key Labour constituency, the likelihood of their election continues to rise and with it anti-Israel policy shifts, particularly should Labour win the general election. Canadian Muslims have similarly demanded that anti-Israel politics be centered, with the Canadian Association of Imams stating that it will not host MPs unless they agree to condemn Israel, demand a ceasefire, and refund UNRWA.

These single issue distortions of local and national level politics have risen to the point of being threats to democratic processes. Any perceived connection with Israel appears to automatically disqualify candidates in local politics from receiving endorsements from the ‘Democratic Socialists of America’ (DSA). This was seen in Los Angeles where a city councilwoman and DSA member was censured for taking funds from a local Democratic pro-Israel group which undermined the “commitment to overcoming imperialist capitalism and the exploitation of working people across the world.”

The Gaza War continues to be a central point in local politics with some 50 city councils adopting performative resolutions related to the Gaza War and BDS:

·   A resolution in the Boston City Council was introduced but then withdrawn since it included reference to the return of Israeli hostages, a clause that was deemed as potentially causing “divisions.”

·   The Medford (MA) city council adopted a ‘ceasefire’ resolution.

·   The Hayward (CA) city council voted to divest from companies tied to Israel after refusing to take up a ceasefire resolution.

·   The Durham (NC) city council adopted a ceasefire resolution. That city and its Jewish community have long been targeted by the BDS movement.

City council proceedings have also been routinely disrupted by pro-Hamas protests, including in New Haven, (where Yale students have been organizing local communities along with anti-Israel activists), Durham (NC), and the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen (NH). Symbolic gestures have also been targeted by anti-Israel activists. For example, the New Rochelle (NY) city council will develop ‘flag policies’ after complaints regarding the flying of an Israeli flag outside city hall. The move came after several Jewish owned business were vandalized and a contentious city council hearing. The Israeli flag is scheduled to be replaced in March by a ‘black history month’ related flag.

Political warfare by the BDS movement against Israel continues to be conducted through courts. A court in the Netherlands ruled that the country could not transship parts for F-35 aircraft to Israel, while a British court rejected a petition to prohibit arms sales to Israel. Reports also indicate that Australia and Canada have stopped issuing export permits for defense related items purchased by Israel. A Japanese aviation company also announced it will end a deal with the Israeli firm Elbit, ostensibly in response to the ‘International Court of Justice’ findings on the Gaza War.

Culture and Sports

Jewish and Israeli cultural and sports figures continue to be targeted and canceled over their origins or perceived support for Israel:

·   Singer Matisyahu’s performances in Tucson and Santa Fe were canceled for ‘security concerns and staff shortages’ after staff members at the venue refused to work for his show. Local BDS and pro-Hamas groups took credit. A performance in Berkeley was protested who accused the singer of supporting “genocide.”

·   A Cambridge (MA) performance by Israeli singer Ishay Ribo sponsored by the Harvard Chabad was boycotted and protested by the staff and Hamas supporters. The performance proceeded.

·   Author and actor Brad Gellman’s appearances at several bookstores were canceled as a result of what one bookstore owner called unspecified “intemperate and ill-advised remarks that he made against some other ethnic and social groups.”

·   An ‘International Women’s Day” event in Toronto rescinded an invitation to cyclist Leah Goldstein to be the keynote speaker after activists complained about her service in the Israeli military in the 1980s. The entire event was later canceled.

·   A British comedian ranted at a Jewish individual who refused to stand for a Palestinian flag during a London performance and goaded the audience to hound the man out of the theater.

·   The Irish women’s basketball team initially refused to play its Israeli counterpart in a European qualifier game. When forced to do so after threat of disqualification the Irish team lost, refused to shake hands with the Israeli team, and then was permanently kicked off of Instagram.

·   Calls continue to eject Israel from the FIFA soccer league.

·   Calls continue to eject Israel from the Eurovision song contest. The sponsoring organization has thus far rejected the demands. An Israeli invited to judge the Estonian pre-competition was disinvited in order to avoid local controversy. The Israeli song submitted to the contest which references October 7 was rejected by competition organizers as ‘too political’ prompting Israeli threats to withdraw from the competition.

·   Qatar was criticized by the BDS movement for permitting Israelis to participate in an international swimming competition.

·   A Star of David on a London statue of the late British singer Amy Winehouse was defaced with a sticker of a Palestinian flag.

·   A number of private Manhattan art galleries were vandalized with pro-Hamas graffiti including “Stop selling to Zionists. Stop working with Zionists.”

·   Hundreds of artists have signed an open letter demanding that Israel’s national pavilion be banned from the Venice Biennale. The letter stated “platforming art representing a state engaged in ongoing atrocities against Palestinians in Gaza is unacceptable. No Genocide Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.”

·   The Berlin Film Festival’s social Instagram account displayed a series of messages accusing Israel of genocide. Organizers claimed the account was “hacked.” The winners of the festival expressed support for “Palestine” and others made anti-Israel speeches.

·   A talk in a London theater by pro-Israel writer Douglas Murray was canceled and quickly moved to another venue after employees refused to work the event after allegedly receiving threatening emails from pro-Hamas sources.

·   An Australian WhatsApp group of hundreds of Jewish creatives was breached and messages were released leading to several participants being threatened, doxxed, and removed from bands, theater groups and other venues. The move was defended as ‘whistleblowing’ since Jewish creatives had expressed concern regarding pro-Hamas journalists and organized letter-writing campaigns.

Finally, in a development that reflects the rapid collapse of the much commented upon black-Jewish alliance, the AME Council of Bishops has called for the “Immediate Withdrawal of Financial Support from Israel,” an “immediate and total ceasefire”, “in solidarity with Jesus Christ of Nazareth, a Palestinian Jew, and the Prince of Peace.” The move is another in the long-term takeover of the agenda of the African American community by pro-Hamas activists.

Student radicalism increases as protests calling to destroy Israel multiply. Governmental threats expand as the US sanctions ‘settlers’ while Muslim groups pressure national leaders to abandon Israel.

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Alex Joffe

Editor SPME / BDS Monitor

Alexander H. Joffe is an archaeologist and historian specializing in the Middle East and contemporary international affairs. He received a B.A. in History from Cornell University in 1981 and Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Arizona in 1991. From 1980 to 2003 he participated in and directed archaeological research in Israel, Jordan, Greece and the United States. Joffe taught at the Pennsylvania State University and Purchase College, and has been Director of Research for Global Policy Exchange, Ltd., and The David Project, Center for Jewish Leadership.

Joffe's work is uniquely broad. Since 1991 he has published dozens of studies on the archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean and is a leading figure in contentious debates over the relationship between archaeology and politics in the Middle East. He has also authored numerous works on contemporary issues, including Middle Eastern environmental security threats from pollution and weapons of mass destruction. His work on the problem of dismantling intelligence agencies is widely cited by experts and democratic reformers alike.

In the past decade Joffe has written and spoken on topics as varied as the future of American Jews, the Palestinian refugee problem, and nationalism. During that time as well he has been deeply involved with combating the problems of campus antisemitism, the ‘boycott, divestment and sanctions' movement against Israel, and in educating Jews and others about threats to Israel and the West. His current projects include a biography of a British World War II general and several novels. He and his family reside near New York City.

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