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As the crowds scream their hatred at Israel and Jews at or near the universities, and support for the Hamas terrorists, the tensions between Jews and non-Jews in this country continue to grow. The practice of anti-Semitism to such an extreme degree is new for Jews, and we don’t know what it means for our future. As if those protests weren’t concerning enough, the Boycott, Divest and Sanction (BDS) practice is raising its ugly head:
The BDS movement was formed by the League of Arab States in the mid-1940s. It barred trade with Israel and encouraged boycotting groups that still chose to do business with Israel.
In 1977, the U.S. Congress passed anti-boycott legislation that prohibited American citizens or businesses from refusing to do business with Israel at the request of other foreign governments.
The U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights lauds the inroads they have made with BDS in various segments of society.
Over time, allegiance to the movement showed up in fits and starts, but now we may be seeing its reappearance. Its intention is not only to punish Israel, but people, particularly Jews who do business with Israel are the latest target of a boycott:
On Oct. 30, the Philly Palestine Coalition posted on Instagram urging its 15,000 followers to boycott Philadelphia restaurants that are ‘owned by Zionists,’ serve Israeli food, raise money for Israel, or are owned by Philadelphia-based Starr Restaurants.
Among the restaurants on the list is South Philadelphia’s Essen Bakery. Owner Tova du Plessis is Jewish but not Israeli. The coalition says it is targeting her because of an Instagram post she wrote on Oct. 9: ‘I stand by Israel’s right to exist, to be a home for all Jewish people, to defend herself.’
Philadelphia officials are keeping their distance:
What do Philadelphia officials have to say about this anti-Semitic campaign? Very little. Mayor Jim Kenney refused to condemn the boycott, saying in an email that the city’s priority is to ‘consider and care for every community in our region that may be experiencing pain and uncertainty due to this conflict.’ City Councilman Anthony Phillips offered a similar dodge. ‘In Philly, food is not political or geopolitical,’ he said in a text message. ‘Some like cheesesteaks from Dalessandro’s and others like them from Max’s!’
Most of the other city council members have refused to comment.
The reactions to these boycotts should tell us whether people are prepared to support Hamas or support Israel. Will people continue to frequent these and other places of business? Will small business owners have to not only suffer rejection by customers and loss of income, but more violent reactions from those who feel obligated to punish the supporters of Israel?
Will this be a one-off action by a group that supports Palestinians or will other cities take their lead? Will customers ignore the calls for boycott or feel the pressure to shop somewhere else?
Kristallnacht, anyone?Published in