ADL is second establishment Jewish group to oppose Israel’s anti-BDS law

Ron Kampeas

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Anti-Defamation League became the second establishment Jewish organization to speak out against Israel’s new anti-BDS law.

“Israel’s democracy, pluralism, open society serve as best defense against #BDS,” the group said on Twitter on Wednesday, using the acronym for the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. “New law harms rather than helps.”

The bill, adopted Monday by the Knesset, bans entry to foreigners who publicly call for boycotting the Jewish state or its settlements.

“We are deeply invested in fighting scourge of #BDS and delegitimization,” another tweet said. “This law doesn’t help.”

Both tweets linked to a New York Times story on the bill’s passage.

ADL’s opposition comes a day after the American Jewish Committee said it was “troubled” by the bill.

An array of American groups on the left — including J Street, Americans for Peace Now, Ameinu, the New Israel Fund and T’ruah, a rabbinical human rights group — condemned the law as soon as it passed.

According to the final wording of the boycott bill, the ban applies to any foreigner “who knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel that, given the content of the call and the circumstances in which it was issued, has a reasonable possibility of leading to the imposition of a boycott – if the issuer was aware of this possibility.” It includes those who urge limiting boycotts to areas under Israeli control, such as the West Bank settlements.

Some backers of the bill say it would be used only against those active in organizations that support BDS, and would not block an individual for something she or he might once have said.