The BDS Movement: On The Inside

by Lee Kaplan— and the team April 14, 2016


The term BDS refers to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions conducted against the state of Israel, and also a way to attack the Jewish people both in Israel and worldwide. Partially funded by the PLO, the BDS movement grew out of the Arab League boycott of Israel begun in 1950 after Israel’s War of Independence. The Muslim and Arab world and its Arab League, despite tentative agreements with Egypt and Jordan, began the boycott in 1950 and have never signed a peace treaty with Israel even after the cessation of hostilities in 1948. Five Arab armies back then sought to wipe the new Jewish state off the map but failed. The purpose of the Boycott was to starve the Jews out of their new homeland.  The Boycott movement was given new life and recreated as

(left to right) Adam Shapiro, Huwaida Arraf

(left to right) Adam Shapiro, Huwaida Arraf

Arab irredentists expanded the movement later in the academic arena, notably in American colleges and later in churches and through labor movements. The International Solidarity Movement was set up by Yasser Arafat in 2001 with the help of two “camp counselors,” Huwaida Arraf and Adam Shapiro, who were employees of Seeds for Peace, a camp set up and funded by the U.S. State Department, to  operate in the U.S. and Europe to promote  BDS and other anti-Israel activities on campuses and elsewhere (see The BDS movement is a support mechanism for Palestinian terrorist groups in their efforts to de-legitimize and ultimately destroy Israel. Its leadership calls terrorism that kills Israelis “legitimate resistance.”


The Vietnam War produced in American colleges a revolutionary mindset among campus radicals to bring down the capitalist U.S. government as Marxist-inspired self-defined “revolutionaries” sought to promote communism and the downfall of America and American interests both at home and abroad. Israel during the Cold War was considered a staunch U.S. ally that one day might be called upon to protect U.S. interests in the Middle East in the event of war with the Soviet Union. Ho Chi Minh dispatched North Vietnamese intelligence officers to U.S.  campuses to stir up opposition to the War which resulted in campus riots and demonstrations. The PLO leadership, at one time a proxy of the KGB against U.S. interests, learned from North Vietnamese advisors how to expand their support base by linking PLO goals to other popular political movements to swell their numbers and support. The Vietnamese advised the PLO that in lieu of being too vociferous in announcing themselves as a revolutionary movement,  it would be more successful trying to pass itself off as a human rights movement to try and gain universal appeal. Terrorism was thus justified as a human rights necessity to fight against a Jewish state and the Boycott was just another weapon to provide support for terrorism while claiming to be “nonviolent.”  BDS leadership never condemns terrorism using the euphemism “legitimate resistance.” However, the Boycott, despite claims of being “nonviolent” (as if starving Jewish families to support terrorists’ goals could be disguised as such), through its leaders like Paul Larudee openly recognize a right to use violence against Israelis to achieve the Palestinians’ revolutionary goals. This deception, and the insistence that the movement is “Palestinian-led,” v voiced in the recordings are the two main mission obligations always mentioned.

Arab-American college radicals such as Jess Ghannam (a professor of psychiatry today at UC San Francisco), Zahi Damuni ( a biochemist, formerly of St. James University in Canada), and Mazen Qumsiyeh (a geneticist from Yale, fired for anti-Semitic emails), some of whom were born in the West Bank, went on to graduate university and with their professional incomes started the group Al Awda (Arabic for “the Return”), an organization set up to promote PLO and later Hamas goals against Israel’s existence. During this time, Al Qaeda was also founded by a Palestinian named Abdullah Azzam, the mentor for Osama Bin Laden. This was the Muslim jihadist link behind the BDS Movement to this day. Today, the leadership of Al Awda helps promote BDS along with myriad other groups and clubs that have sprung up to promote starving out the Jews in the Middle East and, by extension, linking to the worldwide jihad. Al Awda is still very active in the USA and in promoting BDS. BDS was launched in Israel in 2005 by Palestinian Jamal Juma and later Omar Barghouti, an Arab student from Kuwait attending Tel Aviv University helped to specifically launch the academic boycott in Israel and worldwide with the help of Jess Ghannam, Manzar Foroohar (an Iranian Muslim) and some other Arab professors in the USA in 2007 that comprised a steering committee.

bds activists

In 2001, right after the attacks on 9/11, the Students for Justice in Palestine was created by Hatem Bazian and Snehal Shingavi, two Muslim lecturers at U.C. Berkeley who openly support Hamas and the so-called “Palestinian revolution.” The BDS Movement became a consortium of these groups promoting BDS.

(Left to right) Hatem Bazian, Snehal Shingavi

(Left to right) Hatem Bazian, Snehal Shingavi

Bazian, an activist with American Muslims for Palestine, a Hamas affiliated group, began the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) while calling for an “Intifada in America.” In a classic Rico-style conspiracy, American and Canadian college campuses were used to create satellite operations largely funded by the American and Canadian taxpayers funding campus clubs that promote BDS.  This was in part the Palestine Solidarity Movement network that was part of the International Solidarity Movement network worldwide. Both movements are part of that same network.  Conferences that promote BDS in the past have been funded through the now-defunct Islamic Association for Palestine as a primer to use taxpayer money from college clubs to promote BDS and the goals of Hamas. At a UN Conference on Racism held 2001 in Durban, South Africa, BDS was further promoted worldwide as a method to bring down the Jewish state. The U.S. government was forced to withdraw from that conference because of the blatant misrepresentation and promotion of BDS and anti-Semitism.  Nevertheless, the dye was set and BDS became a national and even international movement.

The BDS Movement was not limited to just Arab-American or even American student radicals on the campuses.. As an outgrowth of the war in Vietnam, many radical revolutionary activist retreads from that era also organized to promote BDS off campus as well. This was done by approaching labor unions, libraries, environmental groups, any place there were groups of people among whom BDS could be promoted. . California is a hotbed for BDS with its large college network but the BDS movement has found non-campus locations and groups throughout the entire U.S., from Washington State to Florida, from New York to New Mexico, where tactics, information and direct actions are organized. Affiliated chapters abound of Al Awda, such as Students for Justice in Palestine, SUSTAIN (Stop US Taxpayer Aid to Israel Now) and many other names.  The Marxist group ANSWER, started days after 9/11 to promote anti-U.S. bigotry, also became a large backer of BDS through cooperation in bringing large numbers of activists to demonstrations and sharing resources. The U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation was later created as a lobbying group in Washington, D.C. that consolidates over 100 chapters of the BDS movement according to their website.

BDS Groups such as Norcal ISM (the Northern California chapter of the International Solidarity Movement, a Marxist inspired group), 14 Friends for Palestine in Marin, Santa Cruz’s Resource Center for Nonviolence (some call it the Resource Center for No More Israel), South Bay Mobilization in the San Jose area and others emerged as off campus organizations promoting BDS “by any means necessary”. Many of these groups are made up of older people still pursuing their revolutionary dreams from the 60’s with an assault on Israel as a U.S. ally being at the top of their Marxist or anarchist agendas.


A major part of the problem as surrounds these groups is that they are almost always given 501 c3 nontaxable status despite their goal being to destroy a U.S. ally and attack Jews worldwide. An interview with an IRS officer this reporter had reveals they are able to get this status by lying on their applications saying they are educational groups promoting human rights. They are, in fact, support groups for terrorists such as in Hamas and the PLO. What is even more alarming is they usually get this designated tax status in as little as thirty days while legitimate groups promoting human rights for real may have to wait for up to a year for the same status. These groups send money overseas that goes to aid the likes of Hamas and in the long run comes back to bite the United States and its ally, Israel.

Norcal ISM is one of the most active of these BDS promoting groups and is headed by a man named Paul Larudee. Larudee operates his Norcal ISM out of his home in El Cerrito, California where he has set up nine non-profits to promote BDS and anti-Israel goals, including one called the Free Palestine Movement. Larudee generally holds meetings at Grassroots House, a building in downtown Berkeley that is shared by myriad radical groups for organizing and planning anti-U.S. and anti-Israel activities like BDS.

Larudee once wrote an article about his joy at sleeping in the bed of a suicide bomber during one of his subversive trips to the West Bank to show support for Hamas. Stop the ISM actually got Larudee deported from Israel in 2006 after uncovering he entered the country under the false identity of Paul Wilder with a U.S. passport obtained for fraudulent purposes. Radical elements in Israel tried taking his deportation order to Israel’s Supreme Court, but articles such as this one persuaded the court to deport him immediately. Larudee, never losing a moment, next went to Lebanon as a volunteer and human shield for the terrorist group Hezbollah. He returned to later participate in the Gaza Flotilla boat that sailed to support Hamas. Larudee is one of the BDS movements main leaders in the U.S. and yet the government, even the FBI, look the other way at his antics.

Read more with undercover videos of  BDS Board of Directors meetings

Also see:

Exposing the Palestinians’ Anna Baltzer