MYTH: BDS is a grassroots movement organically spread by college students.
FACT: BDS is a coordinated, national campaign supported by a network of professionals and organizations that hide their financing from the public.
“These are not organized by a couple of students here and there. You see the same speakers, you see the same programs, you even see the same logos and handouts.” – Professor Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor (“BDS Money Trail,” 3/24/15)
Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) is the primary organizer of BDS initiatives and anti-Israel activities on U.S. college campuses.
But SJP is not a legal entity, it does not file tax documents, nor does it disclose its staff and directors. Instead, SJP relies on third party organizations to finance its activities, including nonprofits like the Wespac Foundation in New York and American Muslims for Palestine.
- With more than 150 chapters, SJP members have “become the bullies of the quad at college campuses around the nation, shouting down speakers, terrorizing Jewish students and intimidating those who disagree with them.” “Individual members have been accused of “assaulting students, vandalizing property and hurling anti-Semitic slurs at Jewish students, all in the name of their cause.” (“Pro-Palestinian Students Bring Hate, Intimidation To Campus, Critics Say,” 6/9/14)
- For SJP, “talk of democracy and rights and justice masks the BDS objective that is nothing other than the end of the Jewish state.” (“The B.D.S. Threat,” 2014)
Groups like SJP recruit students to launch BDS initiatives, and then control the process with pre-fabricated materials and trainings to ensure messaging and tactics are coordinated across college campuses.
- “These off-campus organizations have a combined annual budget of at least $42 million.” (“Co-author of UCSA resolution needs to disclose affiliations,” 2/6/15)
- In 2011, SJP held a conference to train 350 students. Conference organizers sought to create a national SJP structure to “mark the beginning of a new era in Palestine solidarity organizing in the United States.” (“The First National SJP Conference Adopts BDS Principles As Point Of Unity,” 10/21/11)
- Since 2011, SJP has organized four national conferences, and training has grown to over 500 students annually. (“SJP National Conference Highlights” 10/31/14)
- SJP conferences are supported by American Muslims for Palestine. AMP leaders have engaged in a variety of extremism, including support for terrorism and genocide denial. One of SJP’s past keynote speakers publicly defended the 9/11 attacks. Khader Adnan, of the terrorist organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad, was a speaker in 2012. Adnan had previously incited suicide bombings against Israelis. (Tammy Rubin, “Co-author of UCSA resolution needs to disclose affiliations,” 2/6/15)
SJP utilizes students to undermine peace and cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians by promoting anti-normalization as part of BDS. Anti-normalization means opposition to normal interactions and relations.
- “If we are to see any progress in the areas of peace, coexistence, security, freedom, justice and rights, it will be on a basis that Palestinians and Israelis have a shared future. We need space to run programs that bring Israelis and Palestinians together to explore these values as one, without fear or intimidation.” (“A Bigger Threat Than BDS,” 7/2/15)
- The anti-normalization movement “effectively cuts off any type of interaction between average Palestinians and average Israelis, which makes it very easy for each side to dehumanize the other…. There is no room to engage with anyone who might actually need to be convinced.’” (“Is growth of anti-Israel boycott all good news for Palestinians?” 6/12/15)