Danger Ahead: Anti-Israel Movement Targets New Friends

Op-Ed: The anti-Israel trend you’ve never heard of

By David Bernstein (David Bernstein is president and CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the representative voice of the Jewish community relations movement.)

David Bernstein. President & CEO - Jewish Council for Public Affairs. Credit: @DavidLBernstein

David Bernstein. President & CEO – the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. Credit: @DavidLBernstein

January 4, 2016

NEW YORK (JTA) — If you want to understand why the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement, or BDS, has gained so much ground in the past two years, look no further than intersectionality, the study of related systems of oppression.

Intersectionality holds that various forms of oppression — racism, sexism, classism, ableism, and homophobia — constitute an intersecting system of oppression. In this worldview, a transcendent white, male, heterosexual power structure keeps down marginalized groups. Uniting oppressed groups, the theory goes, strengthens them against the dominant power structure.

As you might have guessed, the BDS movement has successfully injected the anti-Israel cause into these intersecting forms of oppression and itself into the interlocking communities of people who hold by them. So it’s increasingly likely that if a group sees itself as oppressed, it will see Israel as part of the dominant power structure doing the oppressing and Palestinians as fellow victims. That oppressed group will be susceptible to joining forces with the BDS movement.

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