Historic Anti BDS Summit Convenes in UN
Israel’s Ambassador Danon: “We will defeat BDS”
(New York, May 31, 2016) An unprecedented show of support for Israel took place today in the United Nations with over 2,000 students, pro-Israel activists, diplomats and Jewish community leaders gathering in the General Assembly Hall for the largest anti-BDS assembly to date.
The conference, entitled “Ambassadors Against BDS,” was initiated by Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon and was a unique partnership between the Permanent Mission to the UN and over a dozen pro-Israel organizations from around the world.
In addition to hearing lectures from leading international professionals, the conference participants enjoyed a special performance by Matisyahu and sang Hatikvah (Israel’s national anthem) while waving Israeli flags in the General Assembly Hall.
The main plenary session opened with an address by Ambassador Danon who called on the participants to unite in the fight against BDS. “The truth is the best weapon in the battle against the lies and distortions of BDS,” said Ambassador Danon. “BDS is modern-day Antisemitism and we must unite to reveal its true face and put an end to its ideology of hatred and lies,” the Ambassador continued.
Ambassador Ronald Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress, also addressed the plenary session saying: “I wonder if all those people that support BDS have the slightest understanding of what this movement really means. These activists are calling for the destruction of the State of Israel. Make no mistake. The BDS movement doesn’t support the Palestinian people. It is strictly a campaign to delegitimize Israel, which is simply the latest attempt to deny the Jewish people their right to self-determination. The World Jewish Congress will commit all of our resources, and all of our abilities, to help fight BDS.”
Israel’s Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, Vice President of the Supreme Court, provided the participants with a detailed analysis of the international legal battle against BDS and then told them that “as we say every Passover, ‘In each and every generation they rise up against us to destroy us.’ The BDS movement is the latest group who wish to destroy us. They will not succeed in their mission. Just as we defeated the Arab boycott, we will defeat BDS and this movement will be thrown into the trash bin of history.”
The conference was held in partnership with the World Jewish Congress, Keren HaYesod, the American Center for Law and Justice, the Anti-Defamation League, the Maccabee Task Force, the Zionist Organization of America, Israel Bonds, StandWithUs, B’nai B’rith International, Hillel, CAMERA and other organizations.
Singer/songwriter Matisyahu – who BDS activists tried to have banned from performing at a festival in Spain in 2015 for his support of Israel – held a special performance. Matisyahu sang his hit “Jerusalem,” the unofficial anthem of the anti-BDS movement.
Throughout the day, conference participants attended three parallel sessions focusing on the legal and legislative aspects of battling BDS, universities and college campuses, and confronting those who seek to delegitimize Israel. Among the speakers were Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of IAC, Shoham Nicolet, CEO of SodaStream, Daniel Birnbaum, Global CEO of Y&R David Sable, international messaging specialist Frank Luntz, and the Green PrinceMosab Hassan Yousef (son of a Hamas leader who turned informant and pro-Israel activist).
In his speech at the conference Ambassador Danon explained that this was not a one-time event saying that “here, from the parliament of Nations, we commit to fighting BDS on campuses, in the courts and in the halls of the UN. We will not allow the forces of hate to demonize Israel. Together, we will defeat BDS.”
Photo Credits: Shahar Azran