Activism

Rabbi Brant Rosen: Jews’ dismissal of BDS represents a refusal to recognize who the ‘weaker, dispossessed, disempowered’ party is

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Rabbi Brant Rosen is one of the heroes of this site, for his courageous condemnation of Gaza. Today he demonstrates further intellectual leadership by examining the Jewish dismissal of  Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions as a tool to change Israel’s policies– and concludes that BDS is not anti-semitic, and may well be necessary. The Rabbi writes:

The bottom line? While I believe there are undoubtedly those out
there who will support BDS out of hatred pure and simple, I think it is
just too easy to dismiss this movement as ipso facto anti-Semitism.
Beyond the fears articulated by Friedman, Dershowitz and so many others
like them, I think there’s an even deeper fear for many of us in the
Jewish community: the prospect of facing the honest truth of Israel’s
oppression of Palestinians.

For so many painful reasons, it is just so hard for us to see Israel
as an oppressor – to admit that despite all of the vulnerability we
feel as Jews, the power dynamic is dramatically, overwhelmingly
weighted in Israel’s favor.  Though a movement like BDS might feel on a
visceral level like just one more example of the world piling on the
Jews and Israel, we need to be open to the possibility that it might
more accurately be described as the product of a weaker, dispossessed,
disempowered people doing what it must to resist oppression.

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