Five Facts The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement Against Israel

Five Facts The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement Against Israel

Last week, the House of Representatives approved a non-binding, bipartisan resolution that condemned the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement that many believe works to delegitimize Israel as a sovereign nation. The resolution was introduced in March following the controversy over Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) tweets and has since gained widespread support.

Here are five facts about the BDS movement and its impact:

1. BDS defines itself as a movement committed to end international support for Israel’s “oppression of Palestinians” by calling for people around the world to boycott the country’s businesses, divest from the State of Israel, and engage in sanctions campaigns. However, many believe this call to action to isolate Israel from the rest of the global community is anti-Semitic. Moreover, many believe that BDS has roots in other anti-Semitic boycotts that can be traced back centuries.

2. Although the BDS movement is specific to Israel, U.S. citizens have supported boycotts and divestments from other countries in the past. Among the most notable example of Americans boycotting and divesting from a country is actions taken against South Africa during apartheid.

3. Support for the resolution has gained widespread support from both sides of the aisle. Out of the 435 House members, there have been 346 co-sponsors. The final vote was 398-17 with bipartisan support from 209 Democrats and 189 Republicans.

4. During the House debate on the resolution, Rep. Omar proposed her own resolution co-sponsored by Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) and John Lewis (D-Ga.) that highlights how all Americans have the right to participate in boycotts “in pursuit of human and civil rights.” While the resolution did not mention BDS by name, the action was a response to the bipartisan resolution condemning the movement.

5. Despite Rep. Omar’s support of the BDS movement, Israel will allow the congresswoman to enter the country on a trip next month. The Times of Israel reports that she and Rep. Tlaib will visit Israel as well as the West Bank, even though there is a law preventing any individual known for supporting BDS into the country. In the past, Omar has said she supports a two-state solution.