Home Page >
BDS National Committee (BNC) News

Anti-Israeli agenda expected at Penn conference undefined undefined
undefined undefined January 29, 2012 |By R. James Woolsey and Jonathan Schanzer
undefined undefined

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a complex issue, one that deserves serious scholarship and open, civil debate. Expect to see none of that next weekend on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania, where the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) movement is staging a "conference."

Instead, as we should have learned from many past BDS events at colleges around the country, this will be an exercise in disinformation and propaganda, a call for political and economic warfare, and an attempt to foment hatred of Israel. That is obviously bad for Israelis. It is - perhaps less obviously - bad for Palestinians as well.

undefined undefined

One simple fact that will be avoided next weekend: Almost all Israelis agree, in principle, to a "two-state solution." They favor the Jewish state and a Palestinian state living as neighbors and living in peace. Palestinian leaders have explicitly rejected that approach.

Hamas, which rules Gaza, is openly committed to annihilating Israel. The Hamas Covenant states clearly that there can be "no solution . . . except through Jihad," adding, in case there is any misunderstanding, that the goal is to "obliterate" Israel.

The Palestinian Authority, which rules on the West Bank, is generally thought of as more moderate. But PLO official Nabil Shaath said clearly: "The story of 'two states for two peoples' means that there will be a Jewish people over there and a Palestinian people here. We will never accept this." Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently added: "Don't order us to recognize a Jewish state. We won't accept it."

Also, as the Arab-Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh recently reported: "Abbas' Fatah faction has declared war on all informal meetings between Israelis and Palestinians." The Abbas/Fatah objection to such meetings, Toameh explained, is that they promote " 'the culture of peace' and are designed to 'normalize' relations between Israelis and Palestinians." Palestinian leaders can't have that, can they? You think any of this will come up at the Penn BDS conference?