Jewish alumni and students of Ohio’s Oberlin College say the pro-Palestine Boycott Israel movement has become a springboard for growing anti-Semitism.
“Several student organizations at Oberlin have assumed the role as the mouthpiece of the BDS (Boycott, Divest From, and Sanction Israel) movement, which claims to be a defender of Palestinian rights, but whose inflammatory language falsely portraying Israel as an illegitimate, colonialist and murderous regime demonstrates that its primary goal is to demonize the Jewish state,” an open letter from graduates to the school administration says.
The BDS activists are telegraphing to Jewish classmates that they “either forfeit your allegiance to Israel and join us, or we will brand you as an enemy of justice and complicit in the oppression of the Palestinian people.”
This was one of the “goals” in a list of non-negotiable demands black students handed administrators: “The divestment from all prisons and Israel.”
Marvin Krislov, the Oberlin president, roundly rejected the demands: “I will not respond directly to any document that explicitly rejects the notion of collaborative engagement,” he said.
And last September the school’s Investment Office rebuffed BDS and SFP demands that the college divest from several companies that do business in the occupied West Bank.
In an online statement, Students for a Free Palestine denied being anti-Semitic — or stoking hatred.