August 20, 2019

Israeli President on BDS: ‘Nothing Progressive About Anti-Semitism’

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Israeli President Reuven Rivlin condemned the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in a Thursday speech at the Israeli Strategic Ministry’s anti-BDS conference in Jerusalem, saying that there’s “nothing progressive about anti-Semitism.”

Rivlin began his speech with the argument that “BDS does not seek peace,” as its only goal is “to delegitimize Israel’s very existence.” He argued that all possible avenues must be utilized to defeat BDS.

“We must expose the modern blood libels spread by BDS and banish its hate and discrimination,” Rivlin said. “The state of Israel has no problem with legitimate criticism.”

Rivlin explained that legitimate criticism involves Diaspora Jews voicing concerns about the Israeli government’s actions regarding security; he argued that the Israeli government should put further stock into the Diaspora’s views.

The Israeli president pointed out that there is an increase in both left-wing and right-wing anti-Semitism as well as anti-Semitism from Islamists, and highlighted how left-wing anti-Semitism manifests itself as anti-Zionism.

“They try to present their campaign to boycott Israel as progressive,” Rivlin said. “There is nothing progressive about hate. There is nothing progressive about anti-Semitism.”

He then condemned right-wing anti-Semitism, arguing that they claim to “admire Israel but they don’t like too much Jews. Friends, as I have said in the past, the Jewish people are not strategic allies. We are all one family.”

Rivlin expressed confidence that BDS would be defeated.

“Just look around you,” Rivlin said. “Israel is wholly thriving, a world-center innovation in progress and a magnet for investment and business and hub for those who seek a better world. That is the story of Israel.”

H/T: i24News