Gerald Steinberg: On why the UK embraces BDS against Israel

(From Gerald Steinberg, director of NGO Monitor, quoted in a story in the current Jerusalem Report entitled: UK Embraces the Boycott)

[the UK] is indeed a springboard for the proliferation of the BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] movement.

He attributes this to three factors.  First, the high number of NGOs based in the UK:

The sheer number of NGOs with headquarters in the UK as the hub of their European operations is remarkable.  There is a concentration of NGOs in the UK: Amnesty International, Oxfam, Christian Aid, and dozens of others…They are powerful actors and they disseminate an ideology in their campaigns around the world….

Second, the role of the media:

Their ideas are warmly received by…the UK’s left-leaning media, especially the BBC and the Guardian, which provide a lens for viewing events in the Middle East….the media effectively engage in the same demonization of Israel as the BDS movement by painting Palestinians as victims, Israeli as perpetrators and omitting any mention of Hamas’s violent ideological commitment to the elimination of Israel.

The Third source is academia:

It was at British Universities where the first organized broad-based boycott began…while American campaigns have failed, Britain’s academic boycotts continue to have an impact.

(For more information on the BDS Movement from NGO-Monitor, go here.)

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