JerusalemU – An Effective Strategy for Combatting the BDS
If you’ve been paying attention to the current atmosphere on college campuses throughout the US regarding Jews, then it comes as no surprise that anti-Semitism is extremely widespread. While anti-Semitism has unfortunately always been around, the spike over the recent years has likely been fueled by the Boycott Divestment & Sanctions group, otherwise known as the BDS. They are particularly active on US college campuses, especially according to this ADL report.
Take a deeper look at the information on hand and future outlook seems bleak. Anti-Israel events on these campuses have increase by roughly 50% year over year (from 2014 to 2015). University departments are getting in on the action by sponsoring these events. And to make matters worse, the ADL report noted that roughly 10% of these anti-Israel events were co-sponsored by student groups whose primary mission isn’t even about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. What this does is it effectively sends a message to the entire campus that their groups mission aligns with the BDS.
With the BDS in full force and activist groups such as SJP (Students for Justice in Palestine) joining in on the fray, it’s become increasingly difficult for pro-Israel students to engage in an effective debate. There are a wealth of videos online showing BDS supporters overpowering pro-Israel students with their false narratives. The outcome looks disastrous, if not pathetic. It’s not because these pro-Israel students don’t know how to fight back. After all, the Jewish State is a symbol of strength. It’s simply because they don’t have the proper tools to fight back.
Unfortunately, many of these students are uninformed and merely don’t know the facts. Essentially speaking, they aren’t educated to take on the BDS.
Education is Power
There aren’t too many pro-Israel groups around who have put forth creative solutions to dealing with this issue. In the past, the strategy seemed to be “who shouts the loudest.” Facts? Those are for losers! The lack of preparation was not only shocking but harmful as well. However, there are a few groups who have invested heavily into combatting the BDS through education.
The ADL created its Words to Action program, which educates and empowers pre-college and college students with the necessary knowledge to fight back. Another well-known organization, who has been doing this for a long time, is JerusalemU with their Step Up on Campus resource. Both of these programs equip students with knowledge. And knowledge is power.
Staying silent is a thing of the past. We have the tools to defeat this. Let’s use them.