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2015 Resolution: Combating the BDS Movement  
 
Policies Headlines
Oct 30, 2015 -- Formally adopted by a direct vote of the RCA membership, the full text of "Combating the BDS Movement" states:
  • Whereas the Jewish people has maintained a continuous presence in its national homeland, the land of Israel, for some 3500 years; and,
  • Whereas the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions (BDS) movement seeks to undermine, denigrate, delegitimize, and ultimately eliminate the State of Israel; and,
  • Whereas the BDS movement impedes peace between Israel and Palestinian Arabs because, without materially helping even one Palestinian Arab, it discourages negotiations with Israel while Palestinian Arabs wait to secure Israel's downfall through BDS and other political activities; and,
  • Whereas support of BDS initiatives by some Christian churches which previously supported Israel has legitimated anti-Semitism; and,
  • Whereas BDS initiatives have poisoned interfaith relations by prompting some Christian denominations to embrace the Kairos Palestine document that excuses terrorism, distorts history, and promotes Replacement Theology; and,
  • Whereas the BDS movement's efforts to create an "intimidation free environment" on college campuses have resulted in Jewish students feeling uncomfortable, unwanted, and the targets of hate crimes; and,
  • Whereas the BDS movement has endangered the lives of Jews worldwide by fueling the explosive wave of global anti-Semitism; and,
  • Whereas Illinois, Tennessee, New York, and Indiana have recently passed legislation condemning BDS activities, in some cases including economic penalties for entities supporting BDS measures; and,
  • Whereas United States law has recently committed it to wide-ranging efforts to combat BDS efforts at home and among its trade partners in Europe and around the world
Therefore, the Rabbinical Council of America
  • Reaffirms its 2014 resolution which denied the "narrative" of BDS proponents wherein Israelis are occupiers and/or colonizers of a land foreign to them; condemned any organization which follows a BDS policy; and, called upon all people of good will to denounce, oppose, and obstruct BDS efforts whenever they are in a position to do so; and,
  • Applauds the numerous federal and state officials who have supported anti-BDS legislation; and,
  • Encourages all politically active individuals, rabbis and lay people alike, to urge legislators to support anti-BDS measures and laws in more jurisdictions; and,
  • Calls on its members to provide emotional and political support to college students, faculty, or others who are targets of BDS campaigns, and to help them to fight back; and
  • Calls on its members to thank Christian clergy who have stood by Israel; and,
  • Calls on its members to explain the religious significance of the State of Israel to potentially receptive Christian clergy, and to partner with them on pro-Israel initiatives; and,
  • Calls upon rabbis and lay people alike to understand the arguments and techniques of the BDS movement, in order to educate congregants and others how to refute and combat them.

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