Yesterday the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement called for a boycott of billionaire investor and activist George Soros.
The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the largest coalition in Palestinian civil society that is leading the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement for Palestinian rights, called today for a boycott of the Soros Fund Management and the Open Society Foundations due to the recently announced – first-quarter 2014 — investment by Soros in SodaStream stock and increased investment in Teva Pharmaceuticals, both Israeli companies that are deeply involved in violations of international law.
Ironically, Soros, through his Open Society Foundation, is known for funding many similarly oriented non-governmental organizations (NGOs). According to a special report (.pdf) compiled by the watchdog group NGO-Monitor (emphasis added):
The first category comprises large and extensive Open Society Foundation grants to Palestinian organizations such as Al-Haq, Al-Mezan, and Palestinian Center for Human Rights, as well as Israeli political NGOs, including Yesh Din, Breaking the Silence, and Adalah. These groups are active in promoting the Durban strategy by attempting to portray Israel as a “racist” and “apartheid state” that commits “war crimes.” A primary goal of such demonizing language is to isolate Israel internationally, leading to the implementation of sanctions. Many of these NGO recipients are also leaders in the international boycott, sanctions, and divestment (BDS) and “lawfare” campaigns, including the filing of international lawsuits aimed at harassing Israeli officials.
The Israeli company SodaStream was a target of the BDS movement late last year when it signed actress Scarlett Johansson to be its global brand ambassador. Johansson stood up to the pressure and argued that SodaStream was actually a company that was fostering coexistence between Israel and Palestinians. Recently, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres promoted SodaStream on her show.
In the March 2014 issue of The Tower Magazine, Howard Wohl wrote Why Liberals Must Repudiate the BDS Movement. In the April 2014 issue of The Tower Magazine, Molly Rosen described “how one of America’s elite schools became the latest flash point of anti-Israel activism and anti-Semitic intimidation,” in Staring Down the Devil at the University of Michigan.
[Photo: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung / Flickr ]