Ron Machol and Joseph Sabag are correct to note that Maryland’s anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) legislation is “narrowly tailored” and “similar to many other anti-discrimination laws that protect women, racial minorities and LGBTQ individual” which “do not restrict a person’s right to speak against Israel”(Md’s BDS law prevents discrimination against Israel, March 11). BDS is, in fact, a discriminatory movement—and many of its supporters have said as much.
As the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) has documented, BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti opposes a two-state solution and has called for a “unitary state, where, by definition, Jews will be a minority” and, using a euphemism for terror, has praised, “armed resistance” on the inaccurate grounds that Jews “aren’t indigenous” to the land.
Terrorist groups have, as Machol and Sabag noted, links to the BDS movement. Congressional testimony delivered on April 19, 2016 has noted that some “leading drivers” of the BDS campaign have extensive ties to Hamas-linked charities. Research by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a Washington D.C.-based think tank, has also turned up links to another U.S.-designated terror organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
Both BDS and these terror groups seek the delegitimization and destruction of the Jewish state. These movements are not grassroots. But they are discriminatory and destructive.
The writer is a senior research analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.
(Note: This letter to the editor appeared in The Baltimore Sun on March 14, 2019)