Board of Deputies and UJS launch first-ever anti-BDS resource for students

The Board of Deputies and Union of Jewish Students (UJS) today launched a campaign resource which will help students to combat the BDS movement on campus.

As the new term approaches, more than 2,000 resource cards, entitled #bridgesnotboycotts will go out in freshers packs across the UK. It will be accompanied by a powerful and targeted social media campaign, ensuring word gets out to students across the country.

The message of the campaign is of peace and mutual respect. It provides practical help to students who face anti-Israel boycott action at universities and colleges, with links providing ideas on how to combat BDS and move the conversation away from boycotts and towards reconciliation.

Board of Deputies Vice President Marie Van der Zyl said: “University is a great place to be Jewish, however there are often motions calling for Israeli products to be boycotted, which can be a big challenge. The campaign resource will provide information from our community’s leading experts on understanding the BDS movement, tactics to combat it, and how to build bridges across communities. Boycotts are damaging to the university experience; they do nothing other than sow hatred and division, and therefore this resource will empower those who want to bring a more positive message to campus”.

A spokesperson for UJS said: “Israel is a big part of many Jewish students’ lives, and they should not feel targeted because of that. This campaign represents a big step towards creating a campus environment where students do not feel punished for their identity and one that promotes peace and dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians. It brings a variety of communal organisations together to provide support to our students at university.”

UK Lawyers for Israel have a legal guide for students which is featured on the resource card. A spokesperson said: “Legal action can often be used to help defeat BDS motions and stop them being implemented. This is where we come in. Our link on the resource card provides information about how we can support students to fight BDS from a legal perspective.”

To view the #bridgesnotboycotts campaign resource, click here.

To read the Board of Deputies pamphlet, A Better Way than Boycotts, click here.

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