Former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks has released a strongly worded animated video challenging the arguments put forward by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.
Released to coincide with start of Israel Apartheid Week at university campuses across the world, the six-minute long film sees Lord Sacks condemning BDS as “dangerously wrong because beneath the surface it’s an attempt to delegitimise Israel as a prelude to its elimination”.
In a hard-hitting message, Lord Sacks argues that BDS is based on a “vicious lie that Israel is a colonial presence in the Middle East”.
He adds: “The Jewish connection with the land of Israel goes back roughly twice as long as the history of Christianity, three times as long as the history of Islam.
“Jews are the only nation in history to have ever established a nation state in the land, and the only nation never to have lacked a presence there.”
Expressing his support for the Palestinian right to self-determination and for a state of their own, Lord Sacks says: “The BDS movement will achieve neither of these things.”
Asking why the BDS movement chooses only to protest against Israel, and not other countries in the Middle East and Africa that breach human rights, he concludes: “In a world awash with human rights abuses to focus on one nation only, and that the only effective democracy in the Middle East, looks less like a campaign for human rights then a campaign against Israel’s very right to be.”
Pointing out how repeated efforts to destroy Israel militarily since 1948 had failed, Lord Sacks argues subsequent attempts to damage the country through economic and political means had also been unsuccessful.
BDS, he says, is the latest attempt to deligitimise Israel and it will also “ fail.”
The movement is the “latest mutation of the world’s oldest hate - antisemitism”.
The new video, which was created in partnership with Israeli company White Animation, shows an animator drawing a cartoon of Lord Sacks on a whiteboard, and the writing out arguments against BDS.
Lord Sacks says: “Over the coming weeks, Jewish students around the world will face the prospect of vicious Israel Apartheid Weeks on their campuses. The Jewish people’s fight against BDS is a serious challenge. We need to utilise every resource possible in defence of the State of Israel, making our arguments in increasingly innovative and creative ways in order to capture the widest attention.This includes battling the vicious hatred of Israel that occurs online. My new whiteboard animation is aimed at being one such resource to do just that and I hope that with everyone’s support we can share and spread its message far and wide.”