Diversity of responses to Israel boycott movement | Letters

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Readers react to a long read article on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement

Thanks so much for running Nathan Thrall’s comprehensive article on the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (‘Something needs to happen’, Journal, 14 August). I greatly appreciated its fair treatment of the BDS movement, its histories, strategies, and Israeli counterstrategies.

Unfortunately, one area where it came up short was in not portraying the vibrant and growing Jewish support for BDS, propagating a myth that Jewish communities worldwide are united against it. This is simply not correct. My organisation, Jewish Voice for Peace, for example, endorsed the BDS call in 2015 after many years of supporting settlement boycotts. We have only continued to grow at an even faster pace since then, now boasting over 16,000 dues-paying members, over 70 chapters across the US, and over 250,000 online supporters. In the global context, just a few weeks ago, over 40 Jewish organisations on five continents published an unprecedented joint letter defending the BDS movement against accusations of antisemitism and affirming its legitimacy as a tactic. The piece would have been greatly improved by acknowledging the complexities of Jewish communal responses to the BDS movement.
Rebecca Vilkomerson
Jewish Voice for Peace

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