On Tuesday May 31st, over 1500 pro-Israel activists gathered at the United Nations Headquarters to take part in the “Ambassadors against BDS International Summit”. Amongst the crowd were many students, representatives of organizations, and notable dignitaries, including Israeli Ambassador to The UN, Danny Danon, Ambassador Ronald Lauder of the World Jewish Congress, and CEO of the Anti Defamation League, Jonathan Greenblatt. During this historic event at the UN’s General Assembly Hall, hundreds of Israel supporters waved Israeli flags and affirmed their commitment to the Jewish State. The Summit’s mission was to deal head on with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement whether it is on campus, the legal field, or the public sphere. Attendees were also treated to a musical performance from reggae star Matisyahu, who refused to publicly condemn Israel at a Music festival in Spain last summer.
The UN summit was entitled Building Bridges Not Boycotts, and many of the speakers denounced what they deemed to be a hateful and anti-Semitic campaign against the Jewish State and the Jewish people. Greenblatt blasted the movement, stating that “at its core BDS is an anti-Semitic movement. It is part and parcel of the larger effort to delegitimize the Jewish state: That is to erode its basic foundational legitimacy and weaken its morale in the face of great external threat.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared in a video message, and expressed similar sentiments, calling for the need to fight BDS. He discussed the moral outrage and hypocrisy of BDS, questioning their focus “on an open society like Israel, and not the mass murdering dictatorships of North Korea, Iran, or Syria.”
Not only was this a successful event in terms of sheer numbers, but it also provided the greater pro-Israel community with many useful guides, contacts, and resources on how to effectively to stand-up to and combat BDS