The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today praised New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for his remarks in which he forcefully rejected the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign as a movement which seeks to undermine Israel’s existence as a Jewish state.
Speaking at a synagogue on August 20, Mayor de Blasio said, “There are plenty of people who support BDS who have advanced degrees and who call themselves progressives. I look forward to challenging them, because it’s ahistorical. And we in the United States, or in any nation, you can disagree with a particular government’s policy at that moment in time, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t believe in that nation, or its right to exist, or its founding ideals.”
“We welcome Mayor de Blasio’s statement rejecting the troubling principles of the BDS campaign, which seeks to do nothing more than delegitimize Israel,” said Evan R. Bernstein, ADL New York Regional Director. “The BDS movement and its campaigns, particularly across college campuses, have really put a damper on moderate and civil discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the mayor’s disapproval casts another shadow on the movement’s concerning agenda.
“Mayor de Blasio’s remarks are also particularly important not just because of his prominent stature, but also because he is a proud progressive, and support for BDS has unfortunately been popular amongst progressive groups,” Mr. Bernstein added.
ADL’s latest report highlights a significant increase in BDS campaigns and other explicitly hostile programs against Israel during the 2015 academic year.