Challenging the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement : 20 Years of Responding to Anti-Israel Campaigns book cover
1st Edition

Challenging the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement
20 Years of Responding to Anti-Israel Campaigns

  • Available for pre-order on February 21, 2023. Item will ship after March 14, 2023
ISBN 9781032218809
March 14, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
266 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations

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USD $44.95

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Book Description

Challenging the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement focuses on the efforts to oppose antisemitism, the academic boycott, and the BDS movement.

The State of Israel has faced many threats, most of them military, since it was established in 1948, but the threat posed by the NGO forum at the United Nations World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa, in August 2001 was different. The forum unleashed the "new" antisemitism which targeted the State of Israel, as well as a non-violent, civil society-based campaign based on the South African anti-apartheid campaign of the 1980s – which was to form the basis of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement directed at the State of Israel.

Featuring case studies from the United States, Great Britain, Israel, and South Africa, each chapter of this wide-ranging volume discusses examples of opposition to the divisive BDS campaign and the proposed academic boycott of Israel over the last two decades, including the fight for formal recognition of the "new" antisemitism by governments and international bodies and the use of a variety of legal measures. The rise of antisemitism within academia and wider society is also examined.

This book will be vital reading for students, scholars, and activists with an interest in social movements, Israel, and Middle East politics and history.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction  2. Durban: A Different Attack on Israel and the Jewish People and its Consequences  3. Lessons from Durban: A Personal Testimony  4. The Circumstances and Reasons Surrounding the Adoption and Recognition of the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism  5. The South African Variant: Anti-BDS Politics on Campuses of the Beloved Country  6. The Central Role of the NGO Network in Promoting the BDS Movement  7. The Anti-Israel Movement on the U.S. Campus  8. BDS: How a Crusade Against Israel Became a Pre-Occupation of the Academy  9. Convergences and Divergences between Secular and Religious Anti-Zionism in the United States  10. The Mutual Weaponisation of BDS: A Perspective from Israel  11. Online BDS and Antisemitic Hate  12. Why BDS is Destined to Fail

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Ronnie Fraser is Director of the Academic Friends of Israel which he founded with his wife, Lola, in 2003. Together they have campaigned against the academic boycott of Israel and antisemitism on campus. He is a retired college lecturer and author of British Trade Unions, the Labour Party, and Israel’s Histadrut (2022).

Lola Fraser is a retired teacher with a degree in history and sociology. She co-founded the Academic Friends of Israel with her husband Ronnie and is currently a researcher for the history website "British Jews in the First World War, We Were There Too".


"A must-read for anyone who wants to understand the most recent and powerful mutation of antisemitism, the demonization of the Jewish state. The BDS campaign has been very successful in defaming Israel and the Jewish people by proxy by using human rights language in a twisted way. This book explains how the BDS campaign became so influential among academic and cultural elites and what can be done about it."

Dr Günther Jikeli, Erna B. Rosenfeld Associate Professor, Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism, Indiana University, USA

"These essays make an impactful contribution to the understanding of the dangers and mechanics of the BDS movement globally. Providing an astute analysis of how the academy is driven by these false narratives and scholar activists that use propaganda rather than actual scholarship. Understanding the insidious objectives of the movement is key to combating it."

Dr Asaf Romirowsky, Executive Director, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East

"This edited volume focuses on the campaign to impose the BDS campaign on the State of Israel and the response by Israel and its supporters to that campaign. It is wide-ranging, comprehensive and incisive guide to the issue, a must-read for anyone interested in this subject."

Professor Jonathan Rynhold, Head of the Department of Political Studies, Bar-Ilan University, Israel

"This is a very good book which brings together leading scholars in the field of antisemitism research on both sides of the Atlantic, and beyond, to provide a comprehensive and unique perspective on the many aspects of BDS."

Lesley Klaff, Senior Lecturer in Law, Sheffield Hallam University, UK