Andrew Yang Says BDS Harkens ‘Back to Fascist Boycotts of Jewish Businesses’

New York City Mayoral Candidate Andrew Yang wrote in The Forward that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement harkens “back to fascist boycotts of Jewish businesses” in a January 22 op-ed in The Forward.

Yang, who previously ran in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, noted that Jews were the victims in nearly 60% of the hate crime complaints in New York City. He also pointed out that neo-Nazis aren’t the only source of hate crimes.

“A Yang administration will push back against the BDS movement, which singles out Israel for unfair economic punishment,” Yang wrote. “Not only is BDS rooted in antisemitic thought and history, hearkening back to fascist boycotts of Jewish businesses, it’s also a direct shot at New York City’s economy. Strong ties with Israel are essential for a global city such as ours, which boasts the highest Jewish population in the world outside of Israel.”

He concluded the op-ed by stating: “If I am elected Mayor, I will continue to look to the Jewish community as a source of inspiration for what is possible in New York City. And I will stand with my Jewish neighbors against antisemitism and anti-Jewish violence. New York is New York thanks to our city’s Jewish population — past, present and future.”

Pro-Israel Twitter users praised Yang.

“A powerful op-ed from @AndrewYang recognizing the vibrancy of NYC’s historic immigrant communities, emphasizing the importance of strong U.S.-Israel ties, and opposing BDS, which he notes is ‘rooted in antisemitic thought and history,’” Democratic Majority for Israel tweeted.

International human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky similarly tweeted, “Thank you @AndrewYang for your unequivocal commitment to support the Jewish community, including in the fight against Antisemitism and unequivocal condemnation of BDS.”

Activist Yoni Michanie also tweeted: “BDS is detrimental to both Israelis and Palestinians. Many of the movement’s supporters — however — choose to ignore this because of a malignant obsession to demonize the world’s only Jewish state. Great on @AndrewYang to have recognized this.”

Ostrovsky also tweeted out some screenshots of those criticizing Yang’s op-ed, including former Women’s March, Inc. leader Linda Sarsour.

According to Jewish Virtual Library, Yang said in December 2019 that he doesn’t support BDS because it “does not help us get closer to achieving a two-state solution, but I will always defend Americans’ First Amendment rights.”

Yang is one of 34 candidates who have thrown their hat in the ring for the New York City mayoral race; the primaries occur in June and the general election is on November 2.


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