Commentary: BDS Is an Anti-Semitic Movement and Tlaib and Omar Are Its Face

by Ned Ryun


By barring Representatives Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from entering the country, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did what he needed to do when confronted with his nation’s enemies. Israel quite rightly refuses entry to people who advocate its destruction. As any sane country would. (Ahem.)

When Tlaib was extended a humanitarian visa on Friday to visit her family—specifically her grandmother—on the condition she not agitate politically, Tlaib refused the privilege. Apparently, “seeing gam gam” was just a ploy. What she and Omar apparently wanted was to discuss, promote, and agitate for the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) movement that targets Israel and seeks to strangle it to death economically.

The movement was founded by Omar Barghouti, a Palestinian activist born in Qatar who now lives in Israel. Barghouti’s goal is not a two-state solution, but a one-state solution in which Israel ceases to exist and the land is returned to the Palestinians. The leaders of the BDS movement are quite clear about that: they seek to eliminate Israel, eradicate it, and replace it with “Palestine.” It was no accident that Omar and Tlaib’s agenda for their trip to Israel was titled “U.S. Delegation visit to Palestine.”

On its website,, it’s clear that instead of kinetic war or terrorism, the BDS movement seeks economic war against Israel. It has gained real traction in many parts of the world and it has troubling parallels with some of the behavior that took place in 1930s Germany.

Look no further than what just happened in the European Union in June. The advocate general of the EU decided that any products coming from Israeli settlements should be labeled as coming from “Israeli colonies.” While the opinion was nonbinding, it is apparently laying the groundwork for a mandate from the European Union that “Israeli products made in contested territories carry consumer warning labels.” Because Jews are bad, or something like that.

The BDS movement has also gained traction in the United States on many universities and campuses, otherwise known as indoctrination camps of higher learning. Seeking to apply pressure on universities, pensions, businesses, and corporations, the movement hopes to compel those entities to cease doing business with Israel. Through a series of boycotts of Israeli-made products, financial divestment of any holdings in anything related to Israel, and, of course, a drive to put sanctions on the “apartheid state” of Israel, BDS advocates have absolutely targeted Israel for destruction.

The movement has not only gained traction among many left-wing Millennials but also in the far left of the Democratic Party—but I repeat myself, as the far left is now apparently the Democratic Party. There is a reason that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) won’t condemn Omar’s rank anti-Semitism: to do so would be to alienate the small-dollar donors and grassroots activists, the foot soldiers of the party.

BDS advocates claim to be peaceful, yet the movement is anything but: it is insidiously anti-Semitic.

Israel was founded after World War II to give the Jewish people a safe-haven nation; it is the only Jewish nation-state in the world, yet somehow it is the one being targeted by these activists.

Many nations, like Cuba, China and a multitude of others (for reference, simply look at the United Nations’ list of members) are guilty of grievous human rights violations. But in the twisted thinking of the BDS movement, only Israel deserves to be punished for defending itself? Why is that?

Because Israel is Jewish and they are anti-Semites.

When you seek to destroy and deny the only Jewish nation’s right to exist, to self-determination, to sovereignty, you are targeting the Jewish people. Ergo, you are anti-Jewish; you are an anti-Semite. BDS advocates resent such identifiers, claiming a desire for peace. Enough already: it doesn’t matter if you are smiling while shivving someone in the back. You’re still knifing someone in the back in hopes of killing him. And they are most assuredly trying to kill Israel.

Sadly, one of our major parties in the United States has been infected with this anti-Semitism. Thankfully, the House resoundingly defeated a resolution in support of the BDS movement, sponsored by Omar and Tlaib. But the very fact that it was even brought up, that there were no consequences for their actions, is telling. Apart from symbolic votes, Pelosi and Democratic leadership do not want to confront the problem head on because of political expediency.

Yet even as the Democratic Party dithers in the moral morass of its own making, there is a movement afoot to confront the BDS movement. About 40 states have passed anti-BDS language, with 10 states either considering legislation or dithering. Fact is, the BDS movement is pivoting to more local and municipal targets, and so it must be confronted there as well.

Because of who we are as a people, because Israel is our closest and most trusted ally in the Middle East, because of basic human decency, we must do what we can to combat this anti-Semitic movement. If we truly believe in “never again,” we must do all that we can to eradicate the BDS movement.

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Ned Ryun is a former presidential writer for George W. Bush and the founder and CEO of American Majority. You can find him on Twitter @nedryun.
Photo “Ilhan Omar” by Ilhan Omar. Background Photo “BDS Movement Rally” by the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign. CC BY 2.0.




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