Anti-Israel demonstrators march behind a banner of the BDS organization in Marseille, June 13.. (photo credit:GEORGES ROBERT / AFP)
To fathom the potency (or lack thereof) of the BDS movement targeting Israel, the diverging and converging paths of its activity in the US and EU can be quite telling.
First, the divergences: Buoyed by the infamous 2001 UN Durban “anti-racism” conference in South Africa, ferociously anti-Israel mini-movements became the norm in Western Europe. Nearly 15 years after the conference, large sectors of European Muslims and hard-leftists, bolstered by an indifferent mainstream society, have turned BDS into an assault on Israel’s legitimacy.
The economic damage done to Israel by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is rather insignificant thus far. Rather, BDS is about lethal force. In short, the extremist core of the movement seeks to dismantle Israel. The British poet W.H. Auden understood where movements animated by a fundamentally irrational ideology lead: “When words lose their meaning, physical force takes over.”