(With and Against Israel) I Stand With and Against BDS


With BDS and the others with whom I count myself, I am not going to support the state, any state, including Israel, forbidding entry to people on the basis of ideological and political litmus tests. With BDS and others, I agree that the perpetual occupation and creeping annexation of another people without extending the right to vote and to equal citizenship is anti-democratic and apartheid-like. With BDS and others I am interested in and open to understanding significant parts of the Palestinian narrative, the Nakba included. With BDS and others I oppose Islamophobia, i.e. the demonization and dehumanization of Islam and Muslim peoples. With BDS and others, I will not raise objections when Israel begins to suffer economic sanctions at the institutional level, condemnation of settlements at the UN Security Council, or the threat of criminal prosecution of government officials at the ICC in the Hague for illegal settlements as a war crime.

Unlike BDS, I continue to oppose academic and cultural boycotts. Unlike BDS, I oppose the demonization of Israel. Unlike BDS, I am committed to Jewish cultural, historical, political perspectives in support of Zionism. Unlike BDS I will continue to support the right of Israel to defend itself within the limits recognized under what can be viewed as fairly broad parameters defined by Geneva Conventions and other so-called laws of war. Unlike BDS and the government of the State of Israel, I continue to support the principles of self-determination for two peoples and mutual recognition between two peoples. Unlike BDS and the government of the State of Israel, I have every certainty that a one state solution will be a disaster for both the Jewish and Palestinian people. Unlike BDS and the government of the State of Israel, I support a democratic Jewish majority state sitting alongside an independent Palestinian State.

It is not BDS, but Israel and its elected government, beholden to rightwing religious ideologies and ethnocentric and racist world-views, that have chosen to choose illegal settlements and a reactionary form of Judaism over democracy and to put the knife to a 2 state solution, backing the country into the corner of a binational one-state apartheid-like compact based on ethnic and religious domination and discrimination.

In my capacity as an American citizen, a member of the Jewish community, and a Jewish Studies professor, I have signed a statement calling for settlement boycotts. I continue to boycott and encourage others to boycott openly and in public Israeli settlements over the Green Line in the West Bank. I do so until such a time as Israel ends the illegal settlement project along with the occupation or grants West Bank Palestinians equal citizenship, including the right to vote for the Knesset.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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1 Response to (With and Against Israel) I Stand With and Against BDS

  1. Mel Scult says:

    I am deeply appreciative of your efforts to outline a rational , ethical and zionist position on a very complex and important issue.

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