Hadassah

Combating Delegitimization of Israel

Zionist Affairs | Jul 2014

Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, Inc., reaffirms its long-standing policy against all forms of organized boycotts and denounces the systematic global campaign to delegitimize the State of Israel. 

In recent years, the United States has seen a rise in the campaign to delegitimize Israel—which employs the tactics of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS)—on college campuses, by churches and celebrities, and in local communities across the country. 

American businesses, churches, and universities have and continue to divest from Israel—the removal of investments from Israeli companies or those that do business with Israel. Israel’s opponents actively avoid purchasing Israeli products and urge businesses to remove Israeli goods from their shelves. Musicians and artists are urged to boycott Israeli venues and festivals and are severely criticized—or become subject to boycotts themselves—if they do not comply. Academic and professional associations have voted on condemnations of Israel and bans against collaborations with Israeli institutions and experts.  These dangerous efforts provide critics with a platform to foment hatred against Israel and promote anti-Semitism worldwide—while aiming to harm the Israeli economy and isolate Israel in the realms where communication and collaboration are most essential.

Countless partnerships between Israelis and others have led to technological innovations, medical advances and economic growth worldwide. Israel is well recognized as a world leader in the bio-medical and high-tech industries, so collaborations between Israeli academicians, universities and hospitals not only benefit partner institutions, but all of humanity.  Academic and creative exchanges also promote dialogue and cross-cultural understanding.

The Hadassah Medical Organization has benefited from many collaborative initiatives—including those with Palestinian physicians and researchers—and, unfortunately, has experienced the frustration and stagnation caused when international partners withdraw from joint ventures. 

Hadassah supports the efforts of Israel advocates to counter delegitimization through buy Israeli goods campaigns, mobilization against boycotts and divestment, and active support of individuals and organizations that stand strong against criticism and continue to support Israel.   

In 2012, Hadassah and leaders from the Braun School of Public Health and Community Medicine of Hebrew University-Hadassah were instrumental in rebutting an anti-Israel resolution from the American Public Health Association.  Braun’s public health experts refuted the resolution’s inadequate and prejudicial conclusions and helped to lead the education and mobilization campaign which ultimately defeated the resolution. 

Hadassah calls on members of the academic, cultural, and business communities to speak out against delegitimization of Israel and to actively pursue partnerships that can better the world and support a future of peace in the Middle East. Hadassah urges the U.S. Administration to use its global leadership position to discourage delegitimization of Israel by other countries, academic and scientific institutions in the U.S. and around the world.

Hadassah urges our regions and chapters to educate their respective members and communities, and encourages them to advocate and join in coalitions with other Israel advocacy groups to combat delegitimization.   

Hadassah's Policy Statements represent the organization's official stance on a wide variety of issues facing our nation, Israel and other international matters of concern. Policy Statements are debated and voted on at national meetings by Hadassah’s national board and delegates from our membership. Once approved, statements become official policies of the organization and serve to define Hadassah's overall agenda and advocacy priorities. Hadassah, as a charitable organization classified under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, is strictly non-partisan and is prohibited from any direct or indirect support or opposition of candidates for public office.

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