One of the foundational beliefs of the Maccabee Task Force is that BDS is an inherently anti-Semitic movement. Singling out Israel alone from all the nations of the earth for such condemnation crosses the line from legitimate criticism into outright hate.
We also have a second core belief. We maintain that the truth about Israel is so compelling that it can persuade all reasonable people to support the Jewish state.
Yes, we know that support for Israel among progressives and our young people has been declining. But we’re confident this trend can be reversed. The answer isn’t to apologize for Israel and join the chorus of criticism. The answer is to insist on telling the truth about Israel.
In October, both of these core beliefs received strong validation from an unexpected source: Europe.
First, the Green Party of Bavaria (southern Germany) passed a resolution condemning the BDS movement as “anti-Semitic, hostile to Israel, reactionary and anti-enlightenment.” It further noted that calls to boycott Israel “reproduce” the Nazi slogan “Don’t buy from Jews!” The Green Party’s youth organization didn’t only support this resolution, it initiated it.
The following week, the Austrian National Union of Students passed a resolution condemning BDS as anti-Semitic. Not one participating student group voted against the resolution, and only one abstained. Among the groups supporting the resolution were the Greens and Alternative Students (GRAS).
The Greens are key stalwarts of the European left. And Green Party politicians have often supported BDS in other contexts. In other words, European Greens are precisely the kind of progressives that many skeptics insist we can never win over.
But there’s no justification for such defeatism. The Greens are clearly responding to the facts and logic of our allies. Young Greens are the ones leading the way. And if young European Greens can be persuaded, then so too can campus progressives here at home.
The battle of ideas is on. The truth is on our side. Let’s have the courage and the energy to share this truth like no one’s ever heard it before. Because on so many of our campuses, no one has.
– David Brog, Executive Director