Though IAN believes BDS to be a counterproductive tool that largely rejects Israel’s right to exist, while drowning out the real conversation about how to end the conflict, we also staunchly support free speech. And when it comes to BDS, as this editorial attests, the best way to counter such assaults on Israel’s legitimacy is often through positive and productive messaging that will encourage peace and reconciliation, rather than alienation.
Some key excerpts:
“In the end, though, we have to ask: What does it matter? Even speech that is biased, hypocritical or hateful should not be censored but instead countered with more and better speech. This is the American value, the Jewish value — a value that is not practiced in other parts of Israel’s tough geopolitical neighborhood, which is all the more reason for the Jewish community here to uphold it rigorously.”
“The BDS movement’s attempts to create a foothold on college campuses around the country should be monitored and, when necessary, countered. But turning it into a cause célèbre for outside individuals and groups just feeds the media beast and heightens its exposure. A better model is the reaction to a BDS conference held at the University of Pennsylvania last year — with quiet, affirmative programming by the campus Hillel and overall disinterest from everyone else. Universities should model neutrality and restraint in the face of controversial, even onerous, ideas. The rest of us should just model restraint.”