Supporters of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement claim that BDS is about a two-state solution and bettering the lives of the Palestinian people. At least that’s what leftist college students, progressive activist groups, and most media outlets want to believe. But if you take the word of BDS founder Omar Barghouti, peaceful coexistence is the last thing BDS is about.
Barghouti “piles falsehood upon falsehood to present Israel as relentlessly oppressing the Palestinians in violation of human decency, and to hold Israel exclusively responsible for the ills afflicting them,” wrote the New York Daily News in a 2013 editorial, noting Barghouti’s “skill” as a “propagandist.”
Born in Qatar, Barghouti moved to Israel in 1993 and holds Israeli permanent residence status. For someone who has been calling for the boycott of the Jewish state since 2005, he has gamed the system by obtaining a master’s degree in philosophy from Tel Aviv University and was known to be pursuing a doctorate from the Israeli school as recently as 2015.
While the BDS movement has had limited success — a few student government associations plus a handful of European communities calling for the boycott — Israel has only thrived economically since the founding of the movement. In fact, a case can easily be made that the BDS movement has drawn attention to Israel as a true democracy that offers businesses a nurturing environment in which to create and flourish.
But while the success of BDS has been limited, we are seeing younger people buy the propaganda. For a generation whose access to information is boundless, they don’t use it to search for the truth.