An Anti-Israel Group (BDS) at Brooklyn College: Why the BDS Movement is Wrong

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On February 7, 2013 the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) Movement held a forum at Brooklyn College which featured its founder, Omar Barghouti and academician Judith Butler. Organized by a campus Palestinian club and co-sponsored by the Political Science Department (PSD), it was met with protests. No one demanded that the college cancel the event. Instead, critics focused on PSD’s willingness to give legitimacy to this one-sided forum by a group that supports the destruction of the State of Israel and to a speaker, Omar Barghouti whose past demonization of Israeli policies bordered on hate speech. Its organizers and defenders considered these complaints forms of intimidation to academic freedom. The controversy continued when critics claimed that the Palestinian student organization engaged in biased actions at the event which undermined the free exchange of ideas.

This essay will present evidence that the criticisms of PSD, the BDS movement goals, Barghouti’s rhetoric, and biased actions at the event were well founded. However, this essay will go further. Many people might not agree with the BDS goals or the demonizing rhetoric Barghouti espouses, but they agree with the source of the problem: the victimization of the Palestinian people by the Israeli government. This essay will show that far from victimizing Palestinians, in many important ways, the policies of the Netanyahu government towards the 1.5 million Arabs who are residents of Israel have been remarkably progressive, dramatically improving education, employment, and medical care through affirmative action programs. Indeed, Arab leaders have been much harsher in the treatment of Palestinians and should be held responsible for the deplorable conditions many endure.

The BDS Event

PSD’s co-sponsorship was deeply troubling because it was the second time in two years that the department showed its willingness to present a biased view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In January 2011, the department hired an unqualified adjunct to teach their graduate Middle East course. Having completed less than two years in the CUNY Ph.D. program, Petersen-Overton’s only expertise was his activist past in pro-Palestinian organizations. Despite the Arab Spring, his entire reading list was solely material on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict from a decidedly anti-Israeli slant.1

PSD urged other departments to show solidarity by also cosponsoring the BDS event. One department that seriously considered this request was the English Department—a department quite attuned to the belief it has a responsibility to expose students to the victimization of nonwhite minorities by racist Americans and their institutions. In the past three years, they had assigned as the required freshmen reading, books that presented the victimization of Muslims, Haitians, and poor black women. Moreover, a department member, Moustafa Bayoumi, was instrumental in bringing Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti to the campus.

When Bayoumi’s How Does It Feel to Be the Problem? was chosen as the freshmen reading in 2010, many complained that it presented a false view, greatly exaggerating the problems faced by Muslims in the United States. Just as with the BDS forum, the liberal media condemned the criticism of the English Department’s choice as an attack on academic freedom and saw Bayoumi as a victim of intolerance.2 What was ignored was his gross misuse of data; data that in opposition to his claims actually showed Muslim Americans were subject to much less violence than other groups, including Jewish Americans.3 At the same time, in a book he edited, Bayoumi claimed the violence on the Mavi Marmara during the Gaza flotilla would transform public sentiment just as the Selma-Birmingham March did on the U.S. civil rights struggle.4 However, unlike the nonviolent civil rights marchers, the boat had been taken over by armed Turkish militants intent on forcing a violent confrontation with the Israeli boarding party.5 For someone so willing to present half-truths and distortions, it was not surprising that Bayoumi would bring to campus the BDS movement.

Bayoumi certainly expected the English Department to co-sponsor the event. Unexpectedly, there was pushback led by Eric Alterman, a member of the department who frequently writes for The Nation. Alterman was dismayed by the dishonesty of the BDS movement, comparing it to the communist strategies in the postwar period: shaping their message in a moderate manner, hiding their more radical agenda. Alterman, however, focused his criticism on the BDS movement’s rejection of academic freedom for its opponents. He wrote, “According to Butler (as I understand her), BDS supports free speech only for those ‘those who actively oppose the Occupation.” And of course, just what BDS has in mind when it uses the term ‘the Occupation’ is another matter, as Barghouti and the website appear to have the entire State of Israel in mind when they use this word. As I wrote my colleagues on the topic of Butler’s essay, “It is times like this that I find great comfort in re-reading George Orwell’s ‘Politics and the English Language.’”6 As a result of his efforts, the English Department decided against co-sponsorship as did all the other departments at Brooklyn College.

The willingness of the BDS movement and its supporters to reject academic freedom for its opponents was on display at the event. First, they kept switching the requirement for entrance in hopes of minimizing the attendance of Jewish students who opposed them. Next, they selectively allowed reporters to enter, keeping out two Orthodox Jewish reporters, one from the NY Daily News. Then during the event, organizers had security throw out four Jewish students when they refused to hand over papers they were holding, and ended the event 15 minutes early just when it was a group of Jewish students’ turn to ask questions.7 This mirrored the tactics used in a number of universities when Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren attempted to speak on campuses. BDS supporters would disrupt his talks and when 11 were arrested at University of California-Irvine, they claimed that they were just exercising their right of free speech.8

Echoing Alterman, one of the staunchest critics of Israeli policy, Norman Finkelstein, labeled the BDS movement a “hypocritical, dishonest cult” led by “dishonest gurus” who try to cleverly pose as human rights activists, whereas their real goal is Israel’s destruction.9 BDS supporters like Butler go out of their way to claim that while a central demand is the right of return for Palestinian refugees and their families, this does not mean that the organization supports a one-state solution in which the Palestinians lord over the Jews even though it is Barghouti’s expressed objective. Alterman noted, “As [Barghouti’s] plan now stands, it is of a piece with the programs of Hamas and Hezbollah and with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent call for ‘the destruction of the Zionist regime’ by peaceful means.” 10

BDS supporters also ignore Barghouti’s demonizing of Israeli Jews. He uses the image of Palestinians as caged by Israeli policies: “I could not help but compare the Warsaw ghetto wall with Israel’s much more ominous wall caging of 3.5 million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza in fragmented, sprawling prisons.”11 And these caged victims are then subject to Nazi-like policies of containment: “Many of the methods of collective and individual ‘punishment’ meted out to Palestinian civilians at the hands of young, racist, often sadistic and ever imperious Israeli soldiers at the hundreds of checkpoints littering the occupied Palestinian territories are reminiscent of common Nazi practices against the Jews.”12 Finally, according to Barghouti, Israel has “always been an apartheid and settler state and now we’re seeing fascist elements in the government itself.”13

One can reject the BDS movement’s efforts as being counterproductive, even harming the “whole movement,” as Noam Chomsky does because its “hypocrisy is so transparent.”14 However, as long as Chomsky insists that accusations of Israel’s instituting Nazi-like, apartheid policies are valid, aggressive policies against Israel such as the BDS are warranted. This is why critics like Chomsky and Finkelstein have no problem promoting and participating in the Anti-Apartheid Week events sponsored annually by pro-Palestinian campus groups. Consequently, in the rest of this essay, I will document why these demonizing claims by Barghouti and others are invalid and divert us from the current source of Palestinian victimhood: Arab and Palestinian leaders.

Arab Responsibility for Palestinian Victimization:

While almost two million Palestinians have been reasonably integrated into Jordanian society, the same is not true for the almost half million living in Lebanon; more than 80 percent of whom were born there. In August, 2010, the Lebanese government granted some employment rights, addressing decades-old laws that banned them from working in all but the most menial jobs. However, according to Richard Hall, “Palestinian refugees see little hope in the new law” since it is unlikely that many employers will begin hiring them, and they are still banned from key professions. “[D]espite Lebanon’s proclaimed sympathy with the Palestinian people, Lebanese law will prevent him from fulfilling his dream with a long list of professions and ownership rights denied to the country’s hundreds of thousands of Palestinians,” Hall lamented. “Generations of Palestinians remain mired in poverty in cramped, squalid refugee camps, and even those with an education cannot own a house or land, or become lawyers, engineers or … doctors.”15

One of the most compelling narratives is how the Israeli blockage of Gaza has impoverished its more than one million refugees. A glaring problem with this narrative is that Israel does not have the ability to enforce an embargo. Since Gaza also borders Egypt, goods can enter through border crossings and the hundreds of tunnels that connect the two countries. In January 2013 after Gazans killed some Egyptian military personnel, Egypt used water cannons to flood a large number of tunnels.16 Just as Palestinian support groups have been silent on the treatment of refugees in Lebanon, they have not criticized the Egyptian restrictions on goods going into Gaza or its recent disabling of tunnels.

This victimization narrative also ignores the police state Gazans must endure. There are no democratic rights, no ability to question the Hamas leadership, and no legal rights so that dissident journalists can be summarily beaten as alleged Israeli spies.17 Just as troubling is the lack of concern for the rights of women inasmuch as Hamas desires to reestablish a traditional society based on Islamic law. Human Rights Watch has condemned Hamas for its abuses but not the BDS movement or others who profess concern for Palestinians.18

Hamas could end the embargoes on Gaza immediately by permanently rejecting violence against Israel. The international community and the Gulf States have made clear that if Hamas makes this commitment, there will be billions of dollars of development aid available. However, the possibility of adapting to the reality of Israel’s existence is opposed by the Hamas leadership. The Hamas leader Khaled Meshal proclaimed, “Palestine is ours from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on any inch of the land.” He vowed that all Palestinian refugees and their descendants would one day return to their original homes in what is now Israel.19 Rather than scapegoating Israel, the blame should be placed on this stubborn Hamas leadership for sacrificing the well-being of Gazans for its delusional vision of wiping out Israel.

These criticisms of the BDS movement, however, still don’t contradict its claims that Israel’s apartheid policies victimize the Palestinians under its control—the 700,000 refugees living in the West Bank and more than 1.5 million Arabs living in Israel. The rest of this essay will focus on policies towards those living in Israel whose treatment, I would argue, is central to judging any charge of apartheid. In the West Bank, the evaluation is complicated due to security issues. During the 1990s when negotiations based on the Olso agreement dominated, Israeli policies there were quite benign. Since the end of the second intifada and the rise of militancy, not surprisingly, Israeli policies in the West Bank have become harsher.

By contrast, in Israel there are no security issues, and thus we can judge more clearly the treatment of Palestinians. In sharp contrast to the apartheid narrative, there have been remarkable improvements in the economic and educational situation of Israeli Arabs due to government affirmative action policies. While media headline the reactionary racist statements of some right-wing politicians, what goes mostly unreported are the government policies that are transforming Arab communities for the better.

General Employment Initiatives

To increase industrial employment, the Israeli government has begun funding joint industrial parks that link neighboring Jewish and Arab communities. To guarantee equality of opportunity, the Social Venture Fund coordinated by the Jewish Federations of North America provided seed money to Arab entrepreneurs to set up businesses there.20 At the same time, the Center for Jewish and Arab Economic Development (CJAED) offered training to maximize Arab employment.

Recognizing that many Arab women have low-levels of Hebrew and computer literacy, the government has developed training programs to overcome these employment handicaps.21 In addition, in conjunction with the non-profit organization TEVET, the government funded a Women Empowerment Program to train Arab women for vocational high-tech employment positions. These programs were set up in Arab villages and training was scheduled mornings to be more compatible with family responsibilities.

The success of these industrial zones led the Israeli government to take unprecedented action: for the first time, in 2010, it allocated funds for thirteen industrial parks in Arab communities. One of the sites selected was the Negev Bedouin town of Rahat. Complementing this aid, in coordination with JDC-TEVET, the government budgeted 21 employment centers in Arab communities, 8 of which will be in the Bedouin south, and another four for Bedouin communities in the north. These one-stop centers provide employment referrals, counseling services, soft skill workshops, and referrals to vocational training programs. In 2012, the government increased its general employment subsidy given to firms that employ Arab and Bedouin workers from 25 to 35 percent of wage costs for up to thirty months. To further employment goals, a special allocation provides vocational training and practical engineering studies for Bedouin students that will cover tuition fees, living stipends, and other associated costs.22

A 2010 report commissioned by the OECD found that expenditures have provided “new public transportation in ten Bedouin localities that previously had no public transport at all, and an effort is currently underway to upgrade the level of service in localities where improvements are required.”23 The report also noted that the government has completed constructing sewage purification plants in three Bedouin towns while other localities use the purification plants of neighboring cities. The connection of houses in a number of the Bedouin towns to the central system has been completed, and the government is working on accomplishing this in the remaining towns.

Over the next five years, the government has an ambitious plan, especially for the Negev Bedouin communities. It will allocate NIS 277 million (about 69 million dollars), divided equally between developing the public transportation system and transportation infrastructure for the region. An additional NIS 100 million (25 million dollars) has been allocated to upgrade the public transportation system in 13 Arab localities nationally, including Rahat; and NIS 68 million (17 million dollars) has been allocated to provide access roads to service centers and educational facilities in the Negev Bedouin areas.24

Increasing Government Arab Employment

In 2006, Arabs comprised less than 6 percent of all government employees. In response, 30 percent of new hires were reserved for Arab citizens of Israel. As a result of these efforts, Arab government employment increased by 78 percent—from 2,800 in 2003 to 5,000 in 2011—while Jewish government employment only increased by 12 percent.25 To further increase Arab government employment to reach a goal of 10 percent, the government set up incentives packages for educational and housing expenses that would make it more viable for Arabs to relocate to Jerusalem.

Government policing has also been transformed. In October 2000, at the beginning of the Second Intifada, in response to demonstrations by Arab citizens of Israel, police killed thirteen Israeli Arabs. In response, the Abraham Fund engaged Israeli police in successful training programs that transformed their approach so that there was no repeat during the Arab demonstrations in 2008 during the Lebanese incursion.

The Abraham Fund initiative also led to community police units being provided to over 100 Arab towns in contrast to only 3 towns a decade earlier. Each of these units is comprised of both Jewish and Arab personnel, increasing the Arab share of Israeli police from 1.0 to 4.5 percent. In June, 2011, Deputy Inspector-General Jamal Hakroush became the first Muslim police officer to ascend to his rank in Israel. “It’s a position I have been waiting for, and it offers many challenges,” Hakroush said. “I am proud of Israel Police for choosing me based on my qualifications and nothing else.”26

Education and High Tech Initiatives:

The government has taken steps to improve the quality of education received by Arab students. In 2007/8, 35 percent of Arab classrooms but only 19 percent of Jewish classrooms had more than 35 students. As a result of additional funding, by 2010/11, only 15 percent of Arab classrooms compared to 11 percent of Jewish classrooms suffered overcrowding. Together with other initiatives, the scores on the GEM standardized exams for Arab fifth graders increased by more than 30 percent; and by more than 40 percent for Bedouin Negev students.27 These efforts will hopefully have long term consequences by increasing the performance of Arab high school graduates. The share of Arab graduates meeting university entrance requirements has grown from 23.7 percent in 1996 to 30.7 percent in 2008, which is still one-third lower than the Jewish rate.28

The problems faced by male Arab college graduates are substantial. In 2008, Arab men with a four-year college degree earned only 58.7 percent as much as their Jewish counterparts. This is much lower than 75 percent Arab-Jewish earnings ratio among men with 9-15 years of schooling.29 One reason has been that Arab college graduates do not have significant access to employment in the high-paying, high-tech sector.

To combat this problem, policies were put in place to guarantee the success of Arab students who enter the high-tech pipeline. As a result of these programs, at the Technion in Haifa, the dropout rate of Arab students was reduced from 28 percent to 12 percent.30 These efforts will be strengthened by the ambitious six-year plan launched in 2012 by the Council on Higher Education. These plans require all colleges to have their websites fully available in Arabic, to have senior administrators dedicated to implementing the plan, and to increase the number of Arab faculty members.31

Just as important, between 2008 and 2011, helped by the joint Arab and Jewish organization, Tsofen, Arab employment in the high-tech sector more than doubled. Recognizing its success, the government has provided funding to Tsofen, enabling it to double again the number of Arab graduates enrolled in its transitional programs. The government also joined forces with Kav Masve to provide assistance in placing Arab academics. In 2011, 271 Arab academics and students were placed, many in the high-tech sector. To aid these efforts, the government subsidizes up to 40 percent of the salary of all Arab citizens hired in the high-tech sector for up to two years.32

Government Support for Arab Entrepreneurship:

Government policies have also increased the number of successful Arab entrepreneurs. Through its Tevel program, the government provides Arab business-owners professional training and advice that will enable them to increase their exports. Initially, seventeen companies signed up for the program, but it will be expanded as 120 Arab-Israeli companies were identified with export potential.33 As Oren Coren reported, “From liquor to jewels, pita to biofuel, businesses run by Palestinian Arabs are ramping up their exports, thanks to the guidance of the government’s Tevel program.”34

With funding from the government Office of Chief Scientists, New Generations Technology is the first and only joint Arab-Israeli incubator in the country—and the only one established specifically to target the country’s Arab entrepreneurs. Nazareth high-tech will also benefit from a government funded industrial park that is expected to house up to 25 export-oriented enterprises and to create 500 to 1,000 new jobs in the short term.35 Ron Gerlitz and Batya Kallus point to these and other government-supported efforts that are responsible for the expansion in “Nazareth in the last few years where there are more than 300 Arabs currently working in high tech as compared to 30 in 2008.”36

Political Transformation

These successful efforts have had a dramatic effect on many Arab mayors. When Tsofen started working in Nazareth, its executive director Smadar Nehab noted that there was a lack of trust. As a result, neither the mayor nor other municipality leaders actively supported their efforts. Attitudes changed dramatically over the next couple of years. Today, Mayor Ramiz Jaraisy cooperates with government ministries on a wide range of public projects. In Kafr Kassim, Mayor Nader Sarsur worked closely with the Israel ministry to successfully improve the town’s transportation infrastructure.37

One of the mayors who early on realized the benefits of cooperating with government ministries was the mayor of Hura, Mohammed Abnabari. With government support, he induced firms to set up Arabic call centers in Hura. In 2008, he garnered foundation funding to set up the Women’s Catering Enterprise to produce meals for the schools replacing those brought in from commercial vendors in Beersheva.38 Albanari also convinced the government agricultural ministry to fund a joint project with a nearby Jewish kibbutz to produce high value-added agricultural produce, using the latest technical facilities.39

One important government initiative that has strengthened this cooperative effort is the roundtable forum led by the director-general of the Prime Minister’s office. Together with directors of various ministries, it includes leading Arab mayors, academics and businessmen. At its first meeting in January 2013, it adopted as one of its goals “advancing equal allocation of government resources.” In addition, the forum agreed that the content of future meetings should focus on: (a) solving the problem of urban planning and master plans in the Arab communities; and (b) dealing with the high level of crime in some Arab towns.40.

As impressive as many of these advances have been, maybe the most remarkable example of the willingness of Israeli authorities to advance the interests of Arabs has been in East Jerusalem. In the last few years, under the leadership of Mayor Nir Barkat, there has been a substantial improvement in government services: investments in infrastructure and transportation, planning of neighborhoods, building of schools, and a dramatic expansion of medical facilities where today the health quality indices for East Jerusalem are the same as for West Jerusalem. Mayor Barkat solved the problem of ownership rights that has been a barrier to housing renovation and also made it easier for East Jerusalem residents to be connected to the Israeli water system. In addition, a connecting rail line was completed which links East Jerusalem to the city center, enhancing availability of goods and services.

These efforts have led many East Jerusalem residents to link themselves to the Israeli state. For example, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of East Jerusalem residents seeking Israeli ID cards. More and more East Jerusalem Arab high-school graduates are attending special schools that prepare them to enter Israeli colleges. Indeed, in a 2012 poll when asked “In the event of a permanent two-state solution, which state would you prefer to live in?” 35 percent of Arab East Jerusalem residents preferred Israel, 30 percent opted for Palestine, while 35 percent refused to answer.41.

The limited coverage of these efforts, by the world media reflects a number of factors. Critics of Israel, like New York Times reporter Jodi Rudoren, almost always rely on Balad leaders for information on the situation of Arabs living in Israel. This nationalist party has little interest in promoting positive relationships with the Israeli government. In addition, some of the NGOs working in the Arab sector were fearful that highlighting gains made by Arab citizens would cause the Netanyahu government to claim success and curtail its efforts. Finally, some of the major U.S. Jewish agencies that have funded successful initiatives in Arab sectors did not want to publicize them for fear of antagonizing some of their more conservative donors.

Significant economic and educational disparities remain and Zionist policies still severely limit Arab political and cultural rights. And certainly the conflict surrounding the unrecognized Bedouin villages must be resolved. We should all press the government to sustain its positive efforts.

However, the government affirmative action policies and the attitude of Arabs make a sham of any notion that Israel engages in apartheid policies, and we should condemn those who perpetuate this false narrative. •


1. Mike McLaughlin, “Kristofer Petersen-Overton, Brooklyn College Prof, Says He Was Fired for pro-Palestinian Politics,” New York Daily News (Jan 27, 2011).

2. Moustafa Bayoumi, “My Arab Problem,” Chronicle of Higher Education (Oct 24, 2010).

3. Robert Cherry, “Sound and Fury: The Bayoumi Uproar,” Minding the Campus (Oct 22, 2010).

4. Moustafa Bayoumi, Midnight on the Mavi Marmara: The Attack on the Gaza Flotilla and How it Changed the Course of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Haymarket Books, 2010).

5. U.N Report of the Secretary-General’s Panel of Inquiry on the 31 May 2010 Flotilla Incident. /middle_east/Gaza_Flotilla_Panel_Report.pdf

6. Eric Alterman, “Brooklyn College and the BDS Debate,” The Daily Beast (Feb 7, 2013).

7. Corinne Lestch, “Forum Furor: 4 Jewish Students Tossed from BDS Meet at Brooklyn College,” New York Daily News (Feb 8. 2013).

8. E. B. Solomont, “Irvine Muslim Student Union Suspended,” Jerusalem Post (June 15, 2010).

9. Marcus Dysch, “Finkelstein Disowns ‘Silly’ Israel Boycott” The Jewish Chronicle Online. (Feb 16, 2012).

10. Alterman, 2013.

11. Omar Barghouti, “The Pianist of Pale,” CounterCurrents (Nov 30, 2004).

12. Op.Cit.

13. Russia Today, CrossTalk, Omar Barghouti, (Dec 2010).

14. Geoff Pahoff, “Even Noam Chomsky Says BDS is Anti-Semitic”. Webdiary. Retrieved 9 September 2012.

15. Richard Hall, “Mired in Poverty: Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon See Little Hope in New Law,” Guardian Weekly (Aug 24, 2010)

16. Sarah Topol, “Why Egypt Is Flooding the Gaza Strip’s Tunnels” Bloomberg Businessweek (Feb 13, 2013).

17. Pam Bailey, “Tribute to a Palestinian ‘Gandhi’ — Mahmoud Abu Rahma of Al Mezan,” Mondoweiss (Jan 24, 2012).

18. Human Rights Watch, “Gaza: Arbitrary Arrests, Torture, Unfair Trials Criminal Justice Reforms Urgently Needed” (Oct 3, 2012) http://

19. Steven Erlinger, “Leader Celebrates Founding of Hamas With Defiant Speech,” New York Times (Dec 8, 2012).


21. Sixty-eight percent of Jewish women but only 37 percent of Arab women surveyed used computers in the last three months.

22. Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute, cf. 43-44.

23. Ministry of Industry Trade and Labor, “Progress Report on the Implementation of the OECD Recommendations: Labor Markets and Social Policy,” Jerusalem, June 2012.

24. Ibid.

25. Ron Gerlitz and Batya Kallus, “A Dangerous Position,” +972 (Oct 19, 2012).

26. Omri Efraim, “Muslim Police Officer Ascends to New Heights,” YNetNews.Com (June 15, 2011).,7340, L-4082782,00.html

27. Myers-JDC-Brookdale Institute, 94 and Table 7.

28. CBS, “Statistical Abstract of Israel 2010,” Table 8.23.

29. Center for Employment Statistics, “Statistical Abstract of Israel 2010,” Table 8.66.

30. Gerlitz and Kallus.

31. Manuel Trajtenberg, “Higher Education as a Gate to Israeli Society for the Arab Minority,” Talk at UJA, New York City (Feb 2013).

32. Myers- JDC- Brookdale Institute, “Progress Report on the Implementation of OECD Recommendations: Labor Market and Social Policies,” Israel Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor (June 2012) 44.

33. Ora Coren, “First Seventeen Companies Sign up for Government Program to Boost Arab firms’ Exports,” Haaretz (July 20, 2010).

34. Oren Coren, “Israeli Arab Exports, in a Country near You,” Haaretz (July 20, 2012).

35. Stacy Perman, “In Israel, Commerce amid Conflict,” Time Magazine (Aug. 15, 2010).

36. Gerlitz and Kallas, 2012.

37. Personal communication with Smadar Nehab, January 20, 2013.

38. “Hura’s Women’s Catering Enterprise,” Bernard Van Leer Foundation (July 2, 2008)

39. Personal interview with Mayor Alnabari on June 28, 2012.

40. Personal correspondence from Gerlitz, Feb 3, 2013.

41. Nir Hasson, “A Surprising Process of ‘Israelization’ Is Taking Place among Palestinians in East Jerusalem,” Ha’aretz (Dec 29, 2012).

Robert Cherry is Broeklundian Professor of Economics at Brooklyn College, longtime member of the BC Hillel Board, and member of the UJA Economic Committee on the Economic Empowerment of Arab Citizens of Israel. He has published extensively on poverty and economic discrimination, including his most recent book, Moving Working Families Forward (NYU Press, 2012) and “New Mothers Tax Relief Proposal,” (Tax Notes, July 2012).

An Anti-Israel Group (BDS) at Brooklyn College: Why the BDS Movement is Wrong

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