According to the AMCHA Initiative, a non-profit organization that investigates and reports on anti-Semitism at American universities, there was “an alarming spike” in acts of anti-Semitism on America’s college campuses during the first half of 2016, and that spike was especially high at schools where there were groups like the SPJ [Students for Justice in Palestine].
The [boycott, divestment and sanctions] BDS movement is a radical, left-wing movement spouting inflammatory rhetoric, asserting that the Israelis are little more than modern Nazis or take after the South African apartheid movement. Because there is a big bad donor and a conservative activist group in [Los Angeles Times reporter Teresa]Watanabe’s story, the L.A. Times can cast the BDS activists as afraid of the media spotlight. Yet it is these activists who call for, and receive, media attention on behalf of their cause.
A common theme of Watanabe’s report, as well as the Guardian and Al Jazeera reports, was to propagate BDS claims about the horrific acts of Israelis.
UCLA student Robert Gardner told [Los Angeles Times reporter Teresa]Watanabe that he “concluded that both Palestinians and African Americans suffered from ‘racialized state violence’ and ‘mass incarceration.’ Segregated housing in Israel…reminded him of Jim Crow laws.”
But Watanabe missed a much bigger story going on at the University of California, at both UCLA, where the administration is backing the loathsome BDS movement, and Berkeley, where a new course is “publicly announcing that its goal is to explore how Israel might be destroyed.”
California legislators are pushing back. The California state legislature has sent an anti-BDS bill to Governor Jerry Brown to sign which would require “companies” working with the state “to certify that they do not violate California civil rights laws in boycotting a foreign country,” particularly Israel.
One must also ask another question of the Guardian, LA Times and Al Jazeera. Where are the descriptions of how the Palestinians continue to attack Israelis, using deadly tunnels or rockets aimed at Israeli citizens? In the zeal to cover the BDS movement sympathetically, these journalists have forgotten that the Israelis have repeatedly tried to ensure the Palestinians have a homeland—but that Hamas refuses to acknowledge Israel’s existence as a state and continues to attack. And the so-called moderate Palestinian Authority appears to be losing its grip on the West Bank to the openly genocidal Hamas.
Yet members of the BDS movement characterize themselves as “anti-oppression and anti-racism,” according to The Guardian. This is backward: it is Israel, not the terror group Hamas, who seeks peace. Reporting on the BDS movement should acknowledge the other side, the plight of Israelis, instead of focusing on tarring pro-Israel donors.
Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. This column is excerpted from an article he wrote for AIM.
Photo by m.gifford