A Rabbinic View of BDS

There’s a growing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement by people hoping to end the mistreatment of Palestinian families. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a toothless anti-BDS bill. Rabbi Brant Rosen sees its passing as “pure politics.” The bill can be found here

Rabbi Rosen notes that the bill ignores BDS goals to end the occupation, achieve equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel, and recognize the right of return for Palestinian refugees. Read Rabbi Rosen’s full statement here: https://rabbibrant.com/2019/07/26/playing-politics-with-human-rights-thoughts-on-the-recent-anti-bds-house-bill/

The rabbi also provides a fuller context for a quote in the bill: “A Jewish state cannot but contravene the basic rights of the land’s indigenous Palestinian population and perpetuate a system of racial discrimination that ought to be opposed categorically, as we would opposed a Muslim state or a Christian state or any kind of exclusionary state…We oppose a Jewish state in any part of Palestine. No Palestinian, rational Palestinian, not a sell-out Palestinian, will ever accept a Jewish state in Palestine.” 

More than anything, Rabbi Rosen reaffirms that the call for BDS mirrors the use of BDS to end Apartheid in South Africa, seeking equal rights and treatment for non-Jews, something very consistent with Jewish moral thinking. Given the commitment to Jewish morality, support for the peaceful BDS movement is, Rabbi Rosen reasons, not something we should ignore.

You can keep up with Rabbi Rosen on his blog, Shalom Rav. You can learn more about the evolution of Rabbi Rosen’s thinking in his book Wrestling in the Daylight: A Rabbi’s Path to Palestinian Solidarity.


Posted on

March 31, 2022

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