“But one point is already crystal clear: sharing the truth about Israel — especially through trips to Israel — continues to be a transformational tool. The truth is on our side. Any approach that assumes otherwise is bound to fail.”
The conventional wisdom about BDS seems to be shifting. In prior years, worried observers warned that BDS was a vast tidal wave about to overwhelm us. Now some downplay the threat as no more than a ripple receding behind us.
Those claiming that BDS’ best years are behind it have a point. Some of the smartest anti-Israel leaders are shifting to new and potentially more effective tactics. They seem particularly interested in hijacking the “resistance” to President Trump for their own narrow, Israel-bashing ends. Especially in California — the birthplace of campus BDS — we’ve seen only limited BDS activity this year.
But if this academic year has made anything clear, it’s that BDS isn’t dead yet. Very far from it.
In recent months BDS resolutions were introduced on multiple campuses, including Northeastern, the University of South Florida, the University of Maryland, Ohio State University, and all three University of Michigan campuses. In addition, campus-wide BDS referenda were held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Minnesota.
This flurry of activity demonstrates that BDS remains the Israel basher’s tactic of choice. It will likely remain so in the short term. So while we must be vigilant to prepare for tomorrow’s tactics, we must also continue to confront BDS today.
There is a bright side to this news. We won many of these BDS fights, sometimes by wide margins. And these victories teach us clear lessons about how best to combat BDS going forward.
The Maccabee Task Force was directly involved in a number of these victories. We’ve been excited to see the impact that our programs are having on even the most hostile of campuses. We’ve also learned lessons about approaches and tactics that do not serve us well.
We’ll be providing more of these particulars at the end of the academic year. But one point is already crystal clear: sharing the truth about Israel — especially through trips to Israel — continues to be a transformational tool. The truth is on our side. Any approach that assumes otherwise is bound to fail.