Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.
“We support the BDS movement.”
Those were the words of Ismail Haniyeh, a former Hamas prime minister and the head of its Politburo. And they revealed that Hamas considers BDS to be a component of its strategy for destroying Israel.
Even as Hamas continues the violence against Israel, it has gone on cheering BDS.
Hamas officials have praised BDS as a means of destroying Israel and urged greater BDS coordination against Israel. But Hamas support for BDS is a lot more than just words. And the support isn’t one-sided.
The US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), the umbrella group for BDS in this country, whose work guides Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), has been funneling money to the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) which operates in the terrorist occupied territories of Israel. BNC includes an umbrella group which numbers Hamas, the PFLP and Islamic Jihad, among other terrorist groups, as its members.
The recent expose of these intimate links between terror groups and the BDS movement in a Tablet report by Armin Rosen and Liel Leibovitz demolished the myth that BDS is a non-violent movement or that it seeks a peaceful solution. Rather than a non-violent alternative to terrorism, BDS is an ally of Islamic terrorist groups and seeks to supplement their violence with economic and cultural pressure.
BDS is not an alternative to terrorism. It’s another political arm of the terrorists.
Israel's Minister of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy, Gilad Erdan, has now made "The Hate Net” map public. The Hate Net map charts the connections between BDS organizations and terrorist groups.
"Here are the 42 leaders of the BDS network," Minister Erdan said, at his presentation at the Global Coalition 4 Israel Forum (GC4I), as he explored how the connections to the Palestinian BDS National Committee create a direct link between domestic BDS groups and Islamic terrorist groups.
Hate Net maps how BDS groups in the United States and Europe intersect with designated terrorist groups using political organizations in the terrorist occupied territories as their interface. These organizations, like the Palestinian BDS National Committee, Addameer or al-Haq, launder BDS support while plugging into local terrorist organizations such as Hamas or the PFLP. The PFLP’s Dawson Field hijackings of multiple airplanes in order to seize Jewish hostages was Al Qaeda’s inspiration for 9/11.
Minister Erdan pointed out that al-Haq boss Shawan Jabarin had served over a decade in prison for his role in the PFLP. Jabarin’s dual role with the PFLP terrorist organization, al-Haq and Human Rights Watch had already demonstrated the intersection between activist groups and terrorist organizations.
The Israeli High Court had noted at the time that “Some of his time is spent in conducting a human rights organization, and some as an operative in an organization which has no qualms regarding murder and attempted murder, which have no relation whatsoever to rights. Quite the opposite, they reject the most basic right of all, without which there are no other rights, that is, the right to life.”
In 2016, Rep. Hank Johnson, who would slur Jews as “termites”, BDS backer Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Rep. Dan Kildee and Rep. Matt Cartwright had met with Jabarin on a trip funded by MIFTAH, an anti-Israel BDS group, which is in turn funded by the UN, that glorifies anti-Semitic terrorism and has accused Jews of using blood to make matzas. MIFTAH’s chairman sat on the board of the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture which is mostly funded by George Soros.
Some of the 8 terrorist occupied territories area organizations listed in the Hate Net, BNC (Palestinian BDS National Committee), PACBI (Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel), Al-Haq, Addameer, DCI-P (Defense for Children International – Palestine), BADIL, PCHR (Palestinian Center for Human Rights) and Al-Mezan are accused of serving as links between BDS and terror groups.
As NGO Monitor’s past report had noted, Addameer was an official PFLP affiliate and key figures in the organization were PFLP members, including a board member who was a nephew of PFLP terror boss George Habash. DCI-P’s board members have documented PFLP ties and PCHR’s founder had served time in prison for his PFLP role. These groups connect to familiar anti-Israel groups here like Code Pink.
DCI-P’s terror ties didn’t stop Rep. Betty McCollum from thanking it for its role in her anti-Israel bill.
Hate Net’s 9 US BDS groups, 18 European BDS groups, and various other regional anti-Israel groups are effectively part of a network that includes the PFLP the PLO and Hamas. This network allegedly shares propaganda, funding and political goals.
As Minister Erdan noted, "Under the guise of ‘civil activities’, a coordinated and financed network of organizations is led from Ramallah and Gaza, a quarter of which have links to terrorist organizations, including Hamas and the Popular Front.”
The US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR) sponsors the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC) in the terrorist occupied territories. Donations by Americans to the BNC, which when drilled down to its constituent elements includes Hamas and other terror groups, use USCPR’s tax-exempt status.
How can there be tax-exempt donations going to an organization whose constituent elements include terror groups? While Obama’s people abused the IRS to target pro-Israel groups, and media outlets from the New York Times to the JTA, and anti-Israel groups such as T’ruah and If Not Now, have urged financially targeting pro-Israel charities, this extremely disturbing arrangement was allowed to remain intact.
Meanwhile Students for Justice in Palestine, the campus hate group notorious for its harassment of Jewish students and for anti-Israel events funded by student fees, credits the support of USCPR in its BDS handbook. And SJP members have been notorious for their support of the PFLP. At Temple University, SJP celebrated PFLP terror boss George Habash. Columbia’s SJP tweeted PFLP propaganda. SJP Vassar concluded its withdrawal of anti-Semitic material with a Habash quote.
USCPR’s own constituent elements include American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) whose origins lie in the Palestine Committee that was set up by the Muslim Brotherhood to support Hamas. At least one AMP board member has spent time in prison for his work on behalf of Hamas. AMP's National Campus Coordinator, Taher Herzallah had praised Hamas violence against Israel on social media.
Minister Erdan had noted that, “The relationship between terrorist organizations and the BDS movement has never been closer, ideologically or operationally."
BDS is a crucial part of that operational relationship.
The Hamas shift to using fake civilian protests as human shields for its attacks on Israeli soldiers and farmers is clearly meant to aid its BDS allies. Rather than abandoning violence, the Islamic terror group is finding new ways to combine terrorism with civilian protests in a way that meets both its military objectives and the political objectives of the BDS movement.
Meanwhile campus BDS propaganda is being shaped by groups interlinked with the PFLP and Hamas. And the leading BDS group in America is helping raise money that trickles into a terror-linked network. The notoriously vague demands of the BDS movement are purposely so because spelling them out would mean echoing the rhetoric of their allied terror groups in calling for a genocide against the Jews.
Hate Net’s map of the BDS movement’s ties to terrorism shows the multidirectional operational relationship between bombings and BDS. This relationship is not merely supportive. The Hate Net spectrum shares a common cause. And that cause is the destruction of Israel.
Hamas and the PFLP support BDS. And BDS supports the PFLP and Hamas.
BDS is not just a point of view. It’s not non-violent. Like the Nazi boycott of Jewish stores, it’s another tactic in a violent anti-Semitic campaign by Islamic supremacists to exterminate the Jewish people.