The university arm of the dovish Jewish American group J Street called on Wednesday for the Jewish community to take “a new approach” and stop “demonizing” the movement to boycott, divest and sanction Israel.
J Street U said efforts made by the Israeli government and its supporters to counter BDS are “unhelpful and counterproductive.” These include a recent travel ban Israel imposed on BDS advocates.
“The only true way to overcome the Global BDS Movement is to end the occupation and live up to Israel’s founding values of democracy, equality, and social justice,” the group wrote, and added that it continues to support the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. J Street U announced its approach while its members attended an “Ambassadors Against BDS” summit at the United Nations.
Supporters of BDS say the movement can use economic pressure and isolation to end Israel’s half-century long military rule of Palestinian territories. Critics say the movement unfairly singles out Israel for criticism and delegitimizes the Jewish State.
J Street has walked a narrow line: criticizing Israeli policies while opposing BDS. By contrast, the IfNotNow movement has protested Jewish groups and leaders to demand an end of the occupation.