This article was first published by Fox News.
The anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement pretends to be working toward peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but in reality many of its supporters want to destroy Israel as a Jewish state. For this reason, BDS has attracted support from terrorists, convicted killers and anti-Semites in the U.S. and abroad.
In fact, at many of BDS demonstrations – like ones filmed by the Investigative Project on Terrorism – demonstrators make no secret of their aims. "And the people of Palestine will wipe the Zionist entity (Israel) off all the world maps" one demonstration leader shouts on the IPT-recorded video.
On the same video demonstrators chant: "We don't want no two-state, we want 48," referring to 1948, before Israel was created from the British colony of Palestine. And for good measure, they chant: "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free," meaning a new Palestinian state will go from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea and swallow up all of Israel. And yet other chants: "Death to the peace accords," "smash the settler Zionist state," and "there is only one solution, intifada revolution."
Law enforcement officials in the U.S. should keep a close eye on demonstrators like these, knowing that inflammatory anti-Semitic and anti-Israel rhetoric often leads to violence. The New York City Police Department and other law enforcement agencies have investigated a number of plots directed specifically at Jewish citizens and institutions.
BDS seeks to isolate Israel from world, ostensibly to protest Israel's presence in the West Bank and to call for creation of a Palestinian state. BDS seeks: a worldwide boycott against Israeli products, universities and cultural institutions; divestment from companies that provide equipment to the Israeli military; and international economic sanctions against Israel.
The willingness of young leaders of many BDS-supporting groups, such as the Blacks for Palestine, to look to violent terrorists for support exposes BDS's claim of a commitment to nonviolence as a fraud.
Several U.S. domestic terrorists who are now serving life prison sentences for killing law enforcement officers have announced their support for BDS with the goal of destroying Israel.
Inmates such as Herman Bell, Anthony Bottom, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and Clark Edward Squire – who were members of the Black Liberation Army – as well as the Weather Underground's David Gilbert, have posted statements calling for the end of "US/Zionist Imperialism in Palestine." They also have encouraged the use of any means necessary – including violence – to achieve the goal of "driving the Zionist oppressors out of your land."
Gilbert, incarcerated for killing two police officers and a Brinks security guard in 1981, has received visits from several advocates for the Palestinian Solidarity Movement, now known as the International Solidarity Movement. While the movement states that it is nonviolent, it goes on to say: "our nonviolent approach does not mean that we have the right to dictate to Palestinians how to resist military occupation and apartheid."
In other words, we don't condone violence. But if you use it we're OK with it.
Another of Gilbert's prison visitors is a leader in the Syracuse Peace Council, which has advocated for the BDS movement's campaign to isolate Israel economically and politically.
"This diverse committee of activists provides grassroots education and generates political pressure needed to re-orient US policy toward a just peace in the Middle East," the peace council said in a 2013 statement.
This member of the council has also visited Assata Shakur in Cuba. Shakur, better known as Joanne Chesimard, was convicted in the murder of New Jersey State Police Officer Werner Foerster. Shakur has the distinction of being the first woman named to the FBI's Most Wanted List. One wonders what a peace council and a cop killer have in common.
Keep in mind that many domestic terrorists from the 1960s began as members of non-violent protest organizations, only to later become completely committed to violence to achieve their objectives. The similarities between the BDS movement and the 1960s protest groups are alarming.
Gilbert worked with Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn in the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), an originally non-violent student activist organization begun in 1962. The SDS wanted to use civil disobedience and other nonviolent means to cause changes in social, political and economic policy within the U.S. government.
After several years of non-violent protest, however, a segment within the SDS – including Ayers, Dohrn and Gilbert – became disillusioned and wanted to take violent action against the United States government. They determined that violence was the only effective means to overthrow any government that they deemed oppressive.
These same people are now active in the BDS movement. Viva Palestina, an organization founded by former British Member of Parliament George Galloway, organized a series of convoys loaded with supplies delivered to the Hamas-run government in Gaza.
Participating in the convoy was then-New York City Councilman and current New York state Assemblyman Charles Barron.
Barron, it should be noted, is a former member of the Black Panther Party who still maintains contact with several members of the Black Liberation Army currently in prison for the killing of four New York City police officers.
The BDS claim to be seeking to bring about peace between Israel and the Palestinians rings hollow as long as so many of the movement's adherents seek the destruction of the Jewish state and as long as the movement draws support from killers and terrorists.
Israel has repeatedly shown its willingness to make compromises and give up territory for peace. For example, it withdrew from both the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt and the Gaza Strip (now controlled by the violent terrorist group Hamas).
But for peace to become an achievable goal, Palestinians and groups like BDS need to commit themselves to compromise and living in peace with Israel and give up their pipe dreams of wiping Israel off the map. Unfortunately, that seems a long way off right now.
Patrick Dunleavy is the former Deputy Inspector General for NYS, author of the Fertile Soil of Jihad, and Sr. Fellow at the IPT. Follow him on Twitter @PTDunleavy.