BDS Movement on Campus

What is the BDS Movement?
(click StandWithUs booklet for more info)

BDS (boycott, divestments and sanctions) is a new front that has opened in the war against Israel by its enemies. They use BDS to try to eliminate Israel through economic, diplomatic, legal, and cultural warfare. BDS is a growing global propaganda campaign designed to erode support for Israel, isolate it as the pariah of nations, and marshal international forces to delegitimize and eventually eliminate the Jewish state by persuading the international community that Israel has no right to exist or defend itself. BDS aims to deny the Jewish people their right to self-determination and deploys traditional anti-Semitic rumors and falsehoods against Israel.

BDS is a formidable enemy. It is a well-funded, well-organized, strategic global propaganda campaign with fervent operatives who demonize and delegitimize Israel and its supporters. BDS is relentless, patiently adhering to its long-term strategy with ample funding, passion, and, most of all, patience. BDS uses stealth tactics to gain PR victories. Activists manipulate customary legal and political procedures of the institution they are targeting, including our free speech liberties, to catch Israel’s supporters by surprise, leaving them no time to mount effective opposition to BDS actions, resolutions, guerrilla campaigns, and street theater.

Campus BDS activists work to manipulate minority groups, progressive organizations, campus media, and student governments into aiding their malicious agenda. Students from the BDS movement create coalitions and political blocs with minority groups and run for student government, sometimes winning a majority for themselves and their allies. As a result, dozens of student councils across the United States and Canada have debated BDS resolutions based on misinformation about Israel’s self-defense policies. These resolutions call on schools to divest endowment funds from companies doing business in Israel.

sjp2 Students for Justice in Palestine (commonly referred to by the acronym SJP) is the most prominent campus voice in favor of BDS. It operates a national network of over 100 campus clubs across North American campuses that work together to demonize Israel, sponsor “Israel Apartheid Week” events, and promote a Palestinian state “from the river to the sea” to replace Israel.

Things College Students Should Know About BDS
(click AJC flyer for more info)

  • The BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement, founded in 2005, seeks to delegitimize and ultimately destroy the State of Israel by falsely charging it with racism and apartheid, and orchestrating an international ecomomic and cultural boycott against it.
  • In academia, BDS tries to limit the freedom to teach and do research in Israel, a clear violation of academi freeedom.

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  • By singling out Israel for boycott when many other nation-states are far more hostile to human rights, BDS proponents are applying a double standard.
  • The BDS movement calls for boycotting Israel because of the Jewish people’s “Zionist ideology.” This ia a direct attack on the Jewish people’s right to self-determination.
  • Because the BDS movement deems Israel’s claims to statehood illegitimate, it makes impossible the only real solution to the conflict — two states for two peoples — and heartens extremists who do not want peace.
  • By undermining the two-state solution and applying a transparent double standard to Israel, BDS moves beyond protesting Israel policies to preaching outright anti-Semitism.

 Things College Students Should Know About Israel
(click AJC flyer for more info)

  • Israel’s declaration of independence ensures all of its citizens “complete equality of social and political rights . . irrespective of religion, race or sex.” It guarantees freedom of religion, conscience, language, eduction and culture.
  • Arabic, like Hebrew, is an official language of Israel.

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  • Muslims, Christians, Druze, and other minorities account for more than 20 percent of Israel’s population.
  • Each minority in Israel maintains autonomy in religious affairs and supervises its own sacred places. Indeed, the holiest site in Judaism, the Temple Mount, which is also revered by Muslims, has remained under the auspices of the Islamic Waqf.
  • 63% of Israeli Arabs voted in 2015. An Arab party emerged as the 3rd largest in the country and an Arab Supreme Court justice supervised the election.
  • All Palestinians have been given the right to appeal directly to the Israeli Supreme Court.
  • 22% of all medical students in Israel are Arab, matching almost precisely their share of the general population. At the University of Haifa, 33% of the students are Arabs.

The Arab-Israeli Conflict
(click AJC booklet for more info)

When presented with the facts about the Arab-Israeli conflict, people of goodwill should understand:

  • Israel has sought peace and security with its neighbors for sixty-seven years
  • the many real dangers and threats faced by Israel — a country no larger than New Jersey and one per-cent the size of Saudi Arabia — in a tumultuous, heavily armed neighborhood

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  • Israel’s unshakeable commitment to democracy, including free and fair elections, smooth transfers of power, civilian control over the military, freedom of speech, press, faith, and assembly, and an independent judiciary — all unique in the region
  • the common thread of the threats of extremism and terrorism faced by Israel, the United States, Europe, India, Australia, Russia, Africa, moderate Muslim countries, and others
  • Israel’s impressive — indeed pathbreaking — contributions to world civilization in such fields as agriculture & water management, medicine & healthcare, electronics & Internet that are often neglected in the preoccupation with reporting on conflict and violence

  Videos About BDS and Israel

Crossing the Line 2: New Anti-Semitism on Campus

Hamas on Campus

Inside Israel

Jerusalem U Films

Danny Ayalon Videos:
Truth About Israel
Truth About the Peace Process
Truth About the West Bank
Truth About the Palestines
Truth About Power in the Middle East

Know Your Rights as a Student
(click endBDS booklet for more info)

    • You Have the Right to be Free of Hate Speech that Threatens Violence
      Every school has a code of conduct regulating student behavior and student group activity. These rules are an effective tool to fight hate speech on campus. For instance, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at Vassar College posted an anti-Semitic Nazi propaganda poster on its Tumblr account in 2014. After complaints from pro-Israel students, the SJP chapter was investigated for a “bias incident” and temporarily suspended as an official student group. The Tumblr post was removed.

know your rights

  • You Have the Right of Freedom of Speech
    In Feb 2010, Michael Oren, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S, attempted to address students at UC Irvine. Anti-Israel students, mostly members of the Muslim Student Union, repeatedly interrupted Oren to prevent him from speaking. They ignored requests from university officials to maintain civility. As a result, 11 of these students – known as “the Irvine 11” – were arrested for disrupting Oren’s speech.
  • You Have the Right to Be Free of Anti-Semitism
    Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapters often bring a so-called “apartheid wall” to campus. The wall consists of large painted panels featuring false and misleading accusations against Israel and sometimes even anti-Semitic language. At Arizona State University, a Jewish student noticed that an apartheid wall panel depicted Nazis detaining, harassing, and humiliating Jews during the Holocaust. The wall compared these Nazi crimes to contemporary activities of the Israeli army. The student wrote a letter to his student senators stating that the panel was anti-Semitic. As a result, the offending panel was removed.
  • You Have the Right to Be Free of Harassment
    In 2013, Brooklyn College sponsored an anti-Israel event. At the event, an outside supporter of the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) group falsely alleged that four Jewish students were being disruptive and had them forcefully expelled from the event. The students subsequently appealed to the administration, seeking redress, and were ignored. In response, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) filed a Title VI action against Brooklyn College. After an investigation and mediation, Brooklyn College publicly apologized to the four students and implemented new policies to avoid future discrimination. Key to the claim’s success was that the Jewish students were not disruptive at the event. They were targeted because of their pro-Israel views.

Stand Up For Israel
(click StandWithUs booklet for more info)

    • Counter Misinformation
      Use StandWithUs resources to challenge misinformation. If you witness Anti-Israel activity, document and video the speakers and send to college administrators and StandWithUs. Partner and network with other concerned people and organizations. Host upbeat, positive Pro-Israel events. Participate in debates. Write proactive, responsible editorials and letters to newspapers.

stand up for israel

  • Identify and Report Anti-Semitism
    If you witness an act of anti-Semitism, document and video the incident; report it to the police if a crime occurred; report it to school administrators if it occurred on a college campus; report it to StandWithUs.
  • Learn and Teach About Israel
    Learn the truth about Israel, so you can teach your friends. Visit the StandWithUs Web site and review the materials. Expose misinformation and anti-semitism when you see it. Visit Israel and encourage others to do the same. Host a public screening of a film that focuses on a current Israel topic. Host a knowledgeable and effective Pro-Israel speaker. Read and watch the news to make sure you are up to date with what’s going on and how Israel is portrayed. Widen your circle to include people of diverse ethnicities and religions.
  • Write a Letter To The Editor
    Be concise. If possible, send the letter the same day an anti-Israel event or publication appears. Be professional and calm. Follow the rules set by the publications, including word count and submission policy. Follow up with the publication to ask if they will print your letter. Thank them if your letter is published.

2015 Study of Anti-Semitism on Campus
(click AMCHA Web page for more info)

The 2015 AMCHA report investigated antisemitic activity over the last year on more than 100 public and private colleges and universities with the largest Jewish undergraduate populations. Unlike previous studies, which assessed levels of campus antisemitism by measuring student attitudes and subjective reports, the current study assessed antisemitic activity by focusing on verifiable incidents compiled from media accounts and eyewitness reports. Key findings were:


  • Campus antisemitism is highly prevalent in public and private schools with significant Jewish undergraduate populations, irrespective of school size
  • Strong correlation between anti-Zionist student groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and antisemitism
  • Strong correlation between the presence of faculty who have expressed public support for an academic boycott of Israel and antisemitism
  • BDS activity strongly correlates with antisemitic activity
  • Presence of SJP, faculty boycotters and BDS strong predictors of antisemitism
  • Anti-Zionism permeates and is inseparable from contemporary campus antisemitism

Organizations That Can Help on Campus

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endBDS legal help

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adl logo2

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Reference Publications

Explaining the BDS Movement
by StandWithUs

Know Your Rights
by endBDS

Stand Up For Israel
by StandWithUs

10 Things College Students Need to Know About BDS
by AJC

10 Things College Students Need to Know About Israel
by AJC

Israel and the Arab-Israel Conflict
by AJC

College Database of Anti-Semitic Incidents on Campus

2015 Report on Anti-Semitism on College Campuses

BDS: An Anti-Semitic Poison Pill
by Simon Wiesenthal Center