Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has censured growing anti-Israeli movements in the United States, saying the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign wants to “isolate and delegitimize Israel.”
The former secretary of state called for suggestions to fight the movement in a letter to Democratic donor Haim Saban and Jewish organization leaders.
“I know you agree that we need to make countering BDS a priority” and to “fight back against further attempts to isolate and delegitimize Israel,” she wrote.
“BDS seeks to punish Israel and dictate how the Israelis and Palestinians should resolve the core issues of their conflict,” she said.
The former first lady also described the campaign as “counterproductive.”
“From Congress and state legislatures to boardrooms and classrooms, we need to engage all people of good faith, regardless of their political persuasion or their views on policy specifics, in explaining why the BDS campaign is counterproductive to the pursuit of peace and harmful to Israelis and Palestinians alike,” she said.
The BDS campaign, which began in 2005, encourages organizations and institutions such as universities and churches to divest from Israel until the fundamental rights of the Palestinians have been recognized.
The boycott campaign called for "various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its obligations under international law.”
In 2013, two US academic groups -- the American Studies Association and the Association for Asian American Studies -- supported the boycott.
The movement received backing from one of the largest Protestant churches in the US last week.
The United Church of Christ’s general assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of divesting funds at its synod in Cleveland.
Clinton also expressed her complete support of Israel if she gets elected president next year.
“Time after time I have made it clear that America will always stand up for Israel — and that’s what I’ll always do as president,” she said in the letter.