Anti-Israel divestment motion coming to University of California, Riverside

May 5, 12:45 PMLA Middle Eastern Policy Examiner
Paul Kujawsky

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement is an international, multi-faceted effort to delegitimize Israel. Despite the occasional disingenuous disclaimer, and although cloaked in the language of human rights and peace, the BDSers deny the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state, and are trying to eliminate it through economic warfare.

A look at the Global BDS Movement website shows the far-reaching range of the movement: academic boycotts, consumer boycotts, sports boycotts, churches and unions divestment campaigns, and more. As a comprehensive report on the BDS movement by the Reut Institute observes, the BDS movement operates as a network of independent yet coordinating groups and individuals. While having little popular support, at least in the United States, there are enough of them, and they’re aggressive enough, to keep friends of Israel busy.

One fruitful arena for the BDS movement is the colleges and universities. There are two likely reasons. First, the leftward tilt of much of the faculty. Unfortunately, the illiberal Left is obsessed with Israel. Second, the combination of passion and ignorance that can characterize youth. (I write this as a formerly young person, who knows what he’s talking about.)

The University of California has been the recent focus of the BDS-niks. A divestment motion was recently narrowly defeated at the Berkeley campus. A similar motion is on the calendar for May 5 at UC San Diego.

And on April 30, someone named Shahrokh Azedi announced on a BDS site that the circus is coming to UC Riverside:

UCR Students, Faculty, and Employees

With this correspondence the UCR campaign to Boycott, Divest &Sanction the apartheid regime of Israel begins. As the initial phase of this campaign we are asking all the progressive minded students, faculty, and employees of the UCR to send an email to chancellor[at]ucr.edu and request that UCR to join [sic] the national movement at the US universities and colleges and divest from Israeli apartheid regime immediately.

Phase II of the campaign will start in the near future.

For more information go to www.bdsmovement.net

UCR for BDS Israel

This Shahrokh Azedi character, by the way, is quite a piece of work. In March the Iranian government station Press TV had a report on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad opening a highway in Isfahan. In the comments section Azedi wrote:

“Ahmadinezad is the best president we every [sic] have had. Although I live in Los Angeles, US, I continue to be proud of our political independence. I am also ashamed that some “Iranians” have let to be fulled [sic] by pro-zionists media in Southern California and participate in anit-Iranian [sic] activities. Mr. Ahmadinezad, please know we support your courage in standing up against Zionists and Imperialist [sic] and in moving Iran forward toward modernization.”

Anyone who regards the Islamist Ahmadinejad as Iran’s greatest president is no friend of liberalism and democracy.

The BDS movement has few actual victories in the U.S. to its credit, but must nevertheless be taken seriously. In a democracy, it is often not the majority, but the loudest, who set the tone and the agenda. Their relentless efforts can give the impression that the notion of Israel’s illegitimacy is gaining ground, unless friends of Israel continue to hand them their heads.

I'm a teacher, writer, and activist based in Bangalore. I am dedicated to various issues including #BDS and Palestine, living Zero Waste, and reversing the effects of climate change.

Posted in Divestment, Student Organizing, U.S. Academica
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