HonestReporting CEO Joe Hyams addressed a mixed group of graduate and undergraduate students at Brandeis University in Boston last week, discussing the power of social media to shape public opinion and the threat posed by the burgeoning Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Joe noted that Brandeis University was one of the first to speak out against the academic boycott, calling by the American Studies Association (ASA) in December. So far more than 200 university presidents have spoken out against the ASA boycott as a threat to academic freedom. Despite the nearly universal condemnation, however, the ASA refuses to back down from its boycott.
“The BDS campaign is the biggest and most pressing media challenge today,” Joe told the group, adding that the BDS is using the media to turn people against Israel. “Unlike traditional forms of media bias from the mainstream press, which stands to lose credibility when it is shown to be violating principles of journalism, BDS thrives on media exposure.”
He also urged students to work together with those fighting BDS on campuses and in the media. “We can only meet that challenge when each and every one of us echoes and amplifies the work being done to expose those seeking to harm Israel through disinformation and demonization,” he said.
Joe Hyams is currently participating in the two-year Hornstein Jewish Professional Leadership Program at Brandeis University.
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