As American Jewish organizations and Israeli groups work to combat the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, an increasing number of prominent leaders and philanthropists are pledging to join the cause as well. BDS opponents can now count on the support of former Secretary of State and current Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who wrote to supporters this week and committed to "fight back" against the "counter-productive" movement. The Guardian reports:
Hillary Clinton has condemned the BDS movement in a letter to longtime supporter and Hollywood mogul Haim Saban and dozens of other Jewish leaders.
Clinton, the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic party presidential nomination, wrote to Saban to ask for his advice on “how leaders and communities across America can work together to counter BDS”. She expressed the opinion that BDS “seeks to punish Israel and dictate how Israelis and Palestinians should resolve the core issues of their conflict”.
The Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement, spearheaded by Palestinian advocacy groups who claim Israel is similar to apartheid South Africa, seeks to boycott companies which do business in the State of Israel and encourages organizations and institutions to divest from the country until Israel ends what they call “its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands”.
In the letter dated 2 July, Clinton said “the BDS campaign is counterproductive to the pursuit of peace and harmful to Israelis and Palestinians alike” and pledged to mount a bipartisan effort “to fight back against further attempts to isolate and delegitimize Israel”.
Aaron Keyak, a prominent pro-Israel Democrat, met Clinton’s letter with praise. Keyak said “the BDS movement is not just anti-settlement or anti-Israel, it is fundamentally founded on antisemitic ideology. Reasonable people can talk about what the best way to bring about a two state solution but there will be no peace so long as the other side doesn’t recognize Israel’s fundamental right to exist.”
He went on to say that this is just a reminder that Clinton “is not only pro-Israel but a strong pro-Israel leader” and expressed the hope that this letter “will prevent the sort of hyperbolic over-the-top attacks from Republicans saying that she is somehow anti-Israel”.