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Israeli Leaders Call on US Jewry to Help Fight BDS

June 8, 2015

“They will be as mighty men, treading down the enemy in the mire of the streets in battle; and they will fight, for the LORD will be with them.”  (Zechariah 10:5)

Israeli leaders are calling on Diaspora Jewry and other friends of Israel to take a stand against attempts to delegitimize Israel through the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told participants at an emergency BDS summit in Las Vegas through a letter read by summit organizer Sheldon Adelson, “Delegitimization of Israel must be fought, and you are on the front lines,” said Netanyahu.  “It’s not about this or that Israeli policy.  It’s about our right to exist here as a free people.  Our right to defend ourselves.  Our right to determine our own future.”

Pointing to the attempt last week to bar Israel from the FIFA soccer association, the motion passed by the UK National Union of Students executive committee to boycott Israeli goods, and the plans expressed by the CEO of the French communications giant Orange to break its 10-year contract with the Israeli telecommunications company Partner Communications, which leases the Orange name, the Prime Minister noted that attempts to delegitimize Israel are a major challenge facing both the Jewish people and Jewish state.

The French company decided to cut off the Israeli brand even though it is at risk of huge financial penalties in order to protect its ties to Arab countries.  The French government owns 25% of Orange but says it is against any boycott.  (JPost)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Meanwhile, the head of Israel’s Yesh Atid party, Yair Lapid, took a similar tone at a Jerusalem Post conference in New York Sunday.

He told the conference it was “time to move from defense to offense” in terms of confronting the BDS movement, which he called a puppet of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

On Saturday, Lapid spoke at Manhattan’s Park Ave Synagogue, where he described the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement as a modern form of anti-Semitism.  He warned that the situation is getting worse.

“The tide is turning and either we turn it back now or it will sweep over us,” said Lapid.  (JPost)

Former Israeli Minister of Finance Yair Lapid

Former Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid

Lapid said that the people behind the BDS movement are “responsible for 9/11, for terrorist attacks in Madrid and London, and for the 250,000 people killed in Syria.”

He compared those he was speaking with to soldiers fighting on the front line, saying that Israel needs them.  He added that although people may disagree with Israeli government policy, the Jewish world needs to unite against a common enemy.

“The way to defeat BDS is for us to stand together, and to stand tall,” he said.

The BDS movement is not the only front on which Israel is being attacked.  Hamas continues its rocket attacks at southern Israel from the Gaza Strip.  The new stream of rockets prompted Member of Parliament Haim Yellin to submit a formal request for an emergency session of the Knesset (parliament) to discuss protection for Israel’s southern communities.

Former Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman also stated Saturday that such firing of rockets is not acceptable and must be dealt with.  Doing nothing, he said, is tantamount to agreeing to the situation.  (Arutz 7)

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