At a time when the voices of bigotry, racism, and war mongering have in many ways, become the loudest, we cannot allow New York State to silence those students fighting for peace. This nation, and indeed the world, need their voices now more than ever.
As BDS racks up victory after victory, gaining new members daily, especially among young people and people of color, the forces of reaction are gathering together to try to stem the tide. But they are facing an uphill battle, and they know it.
Less than one month after the University of California Regents took a swipe at the First Amendment, voting to denounce and conflate "anti-Semitic anti-Zionist" language on campus, the California state Legislature will take up Santa Monica Assemblyman (D) Richard Bloom's bill.
If members of the BDS Movement, and supporters of its agenda, were truly passionate about the Palestinian people and their livelihood, they would realize that solely blaming Israel is not the answer, and would seek to create reform within the Palestinian Authority.
When the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) comes to town this week for their annual policy conference, high on the agenda of issues they'll be pushing Congress to support are bills designed to "fight the boycott of Israel."
When the debate visits a campus, it typically leaves behind a campus in shambles: friendships and relationships are severed, people stop talking to each other, and the overall educational mission of the institution is irreparably harmed.
The bill requires divestment from and prohibits business transactions, contracts, and investment with companies, contractors, subcontractors, NGOs and/or individuals that boycott an allied nation or companies of an allied nation -- Israel.
In recent years, the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement has gained increasing traction at universities, academic associations, municipalities, churches, unions, pension funds, and investment portfolios in America and around the globe.
It's no secret that American campuses are becoming extremely hostile to Israel. The growth of Students for Justice in Palestine, BDS proposals, Apartheid Weeks, and so on, mean that all the anti-Israel discourse anyone could want is freely available.
What Israel needs now is a new approach -- one that does not involve any physical risk of actual withdrawal, but still demonstrates to Israelis, Palestinians, and to the world at large that Israel intends to separate from the Palestinians and carry out the UN mandates of two states.
Why do Palestinian groups and individuals continue to use violence against civilians? It's the billion-dollar question at the heart of the conflict that no one is seriously addressing. And it might hold the key to peace.