Some 70 Jewish university students from 20 countries attended on Wednesday a special session of the Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs dedicated to the fight against the BDS movement.
”The new anti-Semitism, which includes the delegitimization of Israel, hurts Jews in the Diaspora,” said Committee Chairman MK Avraham Naguisa (Likud). ”Jewish students abroad are the basis for the development of Jewish leadership in the Diaspora, and in case you decide to make Aliyah – you can be leaders here.”
MK Michael Oren (Kulanu) told the students that the ”story of anti-Semitism in Europe is of great strategic importance to the State of Israel. We are currently fighting the labeling of products made in Judea and Samaria because this issue is definitely related to anti-Semitism. Europe does not label products from the other 200 border conflict zones in the world. The line between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism is constantly being blurred, and just recently a student was not elected to an association on campus only because she is Jewish.”
(MK Michael Oren)
MK Ksenia Svetlova (Zionist Camp) praised the students for ”fighting a phenomenon that is as ancient as the world itself, this time under the name BDS, but in the past it appeared in a different guise.” She said ”if we do not rally around the prime minister on the BDS issue, we will not be able to properly combat the phenomenon.”
MK Mordhay Yogev (Habayit Hayehudi) told the students ”Israel is a home for all of you, regardless of whether you choose to make Aliyah or not. There is a cultural difference: While we sanctify life, our enemies sanctify death. The Europeans, on the other hand, are merely seeking a life void of any content. BDS is not working for a two-state solution; it is working to disassemble the State of Israel.”
A student from Hungary called to strengthen the ties with Israeli decision makers, while another student spoke of the expansion of the activity promoting a boycott against Israel since Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. ”We see people on campuses praising terror and calling for an intifada. How is it that the State of Israel is not providing a serious platform for the fight against anti-Semitism?” He wondered.
A student from France said ”it is becoming increasingly difficult to fight BDS on campuses. We must switch from defense to offense. Instead of explaining that Israel is not an apartheid state, we should present its successes in the field of technology.”
Shiran Assaf of the Jewish Agency said the organization is preparing to send emissaries to campuses abroad in order to strengthen Israel`s ties with Jewish students and assist in the fight against anti-Semitism.
Dr. Zeev Hanin, Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Absorption, urged the students to support and take part in projects where there is cooperation with Israelis scientists and technologies. He also called on them to spend more semesters in Israel.