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The Anti-Israel Professor Who’s A Darling Of The Alt Right — And The Far Left

The US Government created Ebola, Zika and Swine Flu. The Anthrax attacks after 9/11 were an inside job. America is run by Zionists and Rothschilds. Harvard graduates, including President Obama, have a “Nazi mentality.”

One would think these were the deranged rantings of an obscure conspiracy theorist, but they are not. These views belong to University of Illinois Professor Francis Boyle, the man credited with “starting the movement” for divestment against Israel on American campuses.

While the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement claims it was founded in 2005 in response to a “call from Palestinian civil society,” it was actually proposed years earlier by Boyle and other international activists. On November 30, 2000, as the Palestinian leadership unleashed a wave of suicide bombings against Israeli civilians in the Second Intifada, Boyle gave a speech at Illinois State University calling for “the establishment of a worldwide campaign of disinvestment/divestment against Israel.” He was a legal advisor to the Palestinian government at the time.

The goal of BDS — eliminating the Jewish state of Israel and stripping away Jewish rights to self-determination — has not changed since then, but their marketing strategy has. While Boyle continues to promote BDS and smear Israel, he is no longer a public face of the movement. BDS now sells itself to the masses through slick, diverse spokespeople who appeal to progressive values, associate their cause with popular social justice movements, and try to gain influence in the Democratic Party.

As BDS expanded its efforts to exploit progressive audiences, Boyle went in the opposite direction. He became a frequent contributor to the “Alex Jones Show” on Infowars — a far-right conspiracy website that has been banned from Facebook, YouTube and other social media platforms for spreading hate. Some of Jones’ notable claims include that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax staged by actors, that “eugenicist” elites are using same-sex marriage to “encourage the breakdown of the family,” and that he has proof Michelle Obama is a man.

Jones and Boyle feed off of each other on air, as Boyle uses his academic background to lend credibility to Jones’ wild conspiracy theories. In addition to the views mentioned in our introduction, Boyle has said the US government created ISIS, blamed the CIA for the 2014 conflict in Crimea while praising Russia, and accused the Mossad of carrying out the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He has also urged the Palestinians to “sign nothing with Jewistan/Israel” and let it “collapse.”

One would think Boyle’s disturbing record would inspire anti-Israel activists to cast him out of their movement, but they have done the opposite. On March 1, 2018, in a crowded classroom at the University of Illinois, Boyle spoke at a Students for Justice in Palestine event to promote their “UIUC Divest” campaign. Decrying that U.S. Administrations have given Jewish officials a prominent role in the peace process, he said, “Do you really think we’re going to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians from three Orthodox Jews? Of course not!” He went on to falsely accuse Israel of “Nazi crimes” and encourage the audience to tell Zionists that they are more loyal to Israel than to the United States — and if they don’t like it, tell them, “if you don’t like it, you can stop it. Go to Israel.” SJP praised his speech as “exceptional” and did nothing to challenge his hateful rhetoric.

Boyle is far from the only BDS figure to espouse extremism and hate. Numerous anti-Israel activists on the far left have made statements that echo the anti-Semitic slurs of white supremacists. What sets Boyle apart is that he is actively working with and lending academic legitimacy to a leading purveyor of dangerous conspiracy theories and fake news from the far right.

BDS cannot claim to be a progressive social justice movement while it embraces Boyle and others like him. As hate rises across the political spectrum and propaganda campaigns systematically distort our public debate, BDS only serves to fuel more conflict and misunderstanding in American society. As difficult as it may be in the current political climate, people of conscience must stand up for truth, push back against disinformation, and work together to build mutual understanding and respect in our communities.

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