In support of dialogue, progress and peace

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The boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, currently working its way onto the UT campus, marks a regressive leap in the journey for peace in the Middle East. Veiling its ultimate goal — the destruction of Israel — BDS hides behind the facade of pursuing of Palestinian rights.

The primary danger of BDS at UT is that the movement removes the potential for educated conversation. The origin of BDS stems from the fallacious attempt to equate Israel with apartheid South Africa. It calls for consumer, academic and cultural boycotts of Israel, which are impractical, anti-intellectual and unwise.

Moreover, boycotts are divisive. Blaming a single party promotes inflexibility, precludes peace and fails to consider all relevant factors. If those behind BDS were truly interested in education and honesty, they would proportionately target every nation convicted of injustice toward Palestinians, not just Israel. But here the BDS movement is silent.

As New York Times Columnist Thomas Friedman explains, “Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic, and saying so is vile. But singling out Israel for opprobrium and international sanction out of all proportion to any other party in the Middle East is anti-Semitic, and not saying so is dishonest.” When faced with the inflammatory rhetoric and misinformation of the BDS movement, I implore you to see past the distractions and instead seek solutions to the myriad of struggles in the Middle East today. Reject the BDS movement in support of dialogue, progress and peace.

Daley Epstein

Texans for Israel