The Washington Post recently carried a short but important letter by Allan Brownfeld of the American Council for Judaism. The letter was titled: "Boycotting Israel is not anti-Semitic". Here is an extract from Brownfeld's letter:
"Whether one agrees with this [BDS Boycott of Israel] movement or not, and many Jews are leading participants, the fact is that it is in no way 'anti-Semitic'. Judaism is a religion of universal values...the boycott movement is a nonviolent effort to show opposition to the [Israeli] occupation, similar, its advocates argue, to the sanctions movement against South Africa [in the 1980s] to show opposition to apartheid. Hatred of Judaism or Jews, which is what constitutes anti-Semitism, appears to be absent from these BDS boycott of Israel efforts.
Only by redefining “anti-Semitism” to mean criticism of Israel can such a charge be sustained. Israel’s policies in the occupied [Palestinian] territories should be debated on their merits, and defenders of the [Israeli] occupation should not hide behind false charges of “anti-Semitism.”
A second letter was also published by the Washington Post emphasizing the increasing presence of Jews in the non-violent BDS Boycott of Israel movement:
The recent news articles about the movement to boycott Israel fails to highlight an interesting aspect of the burgeoning boycott, divestment and sanctions, or BDS, movement, namely the increasing number of Jews in the United States and elsewhere who support some form of boycott.
Given their support for the US civil rights movement in the 1960s and the proud Jewish tradition of nonviolent resistance against injustice, it makes perfect sense that more American Jews are choosing to join the peaceful Palestinian call for BDS.