Deporting BDS Activists from Israel – the Real Story

Earlier this month, Israel announced a new policy: to deport BDS activists currently in, or attempting to enter, the country.

BDS means “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions,” and bills itself as a human rights movement with the goal of isolating Israel in the international community. BDS activists strongly criticized the new Israeli policy as “anti-democratic,” “irrational,” and “heightened repression.”

But is any of that true?

HonestReporting’s Daniel Pomerantz debated this topic on the program “Faceoff,” on the i24 news channel.

(Skip ahead to time 10:00 for the BDS debate.)

FaceOff – 08/13/2016 by i24news-en


Here is some of what he had to say on the program:

Just last year the United States deported 235,413 people, down from its usual average which is closer to 400,000.

U.S. law provides a variety of reasons for deportation, including belonging to an organization that supports “…opposition to…or overthrow of, the Government of the United States…”  as well as another rule that allows deportation of anyone whom the Secretary of State reasonably believes could have “potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States.”

The European Union and member states have similar rules and refuse entry to hundreds of thousands of people every year.

So why would members of BDS hold Israel to a different standard?

The answer is obvious from public statements by BDS activists:

  • BDS founder Omar Barghouti says“Definitely most definitely we oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine.” (He clarifies in context that by “Palestine” he means all of Israel, and not merely a particular territory).
  • CalState Professor of Political Science and BDS leader Assad Abu Khalil says, “The real aim of BDS is to bring down the State of Israel,” and that “this should be stated as an unambiguous goal.”
  • One BDS activist, John Spritzler put it succinctly, “Israel has no right to exist…”

One can easily find large numbers of similar statements from BDS leaders and activists.

So despite the claim that BDS is a “human rights movement,” its leaders are clear that BDS is actually a movement to destroy Israel and its concept of a Jewish state.

Join the Fighting BDS Facebook page and follow @FightingBDS on Twitter and stand up against the delegitimization of Israel.

It should be noted that BDS has never objected to the existence of the world’s 57 Muslim nations nor to the world’s 24 Christian nations nor to the world’s six Buddhist nations. It is only the world’s one Jewish state that BDS activists single out for overthrow and destruction.

When challenged on their single-minded obsession with destroying the world’s only Jewish country, BDS activists claim that they are concerned with Israeli occupation of Palestinian land (again, a reference to all of Israel rather than any particular territory). But there are presently 124 governments in the world involved in territorial disputes, and BDS activists object to exactly none of them. Except Israel.

Finally, BDS supporters resort to inaccurate claims of apartheid along with false analogies to the darkest years of South Africa. HonestReporting has thoroughly debunked those claims in this video, which we released during the BDS supported, “Israel Apartheid Week,” last March.



Countries throughout the world issue visas to visit, to work, and other similar activities. There is no country in the world that issues a visa for people to advocate for the destruction of the host country, nor is there any county in the the world that would be expected to let such a person stay after violating the terms of their visa.

Quite simply: Israel should be held to the same standards as every other country on Earth.


For resources on BDS, click here.


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