BDS Undercover

By Debra Heller

David Collier is a Jewish resident of England who has inflitrated the BDS [Boycott, Divest and Sanction] movement in the UK and Scotland and has revealed the hard-core anti-Semitism that drives it. Stripping away all of the pretense about sympathy for Palestinians, he has exposed the movement’s frightening levels of raw and truly sickening anti-Jewish hatred, a rabid malevolence that is openly infecting the UK’s social media and Europe’s streets. As long as anti-Semites wrap themselves up in the Palestinian flag, David Collier argues, too many people are willing to turn a blind eye. In fact, so rampant is the disease now, in some settings you can be ostracized if you do not partake in the frenzy. Bashing Israel has become a trendy position for the ignorant social justice warrior. “‘Palestinianism’ is a viral Ponzi scheme,” he has stated, and as it spreads, it carries anti-Semitism with it. Ami spoke to David Collier about his bold activities and frightening discoveries.

How did you come to infiltrate the BDS movement?
I had a “cover story”: I told them that I used to be interested in politics up until the 1970s but that I gave up because it became too right-wing. Having only become interested again because of Jeremy Corbyn, now I’m a Labour activist. Then I started to act like one of them. I took BDS activist courses, where they teach people how to disseminate their information on campus. We’d talk about how nasty Israel is. I’d go to their events and listen to their talks, each one demonizing Israel more than the next, and I just picked up information as I went along.

What have you done with that information? Was it helpful?
It’s been very helpful. I can’t tell you everything, but much of it has been given to the authorities, and whenever I blog about it, it receives national attention in the media.
I’m not sure if things are the same in the US, but the first requirement for setting up an anti-Israel movement on campus is to lobby the university to create scholarships for Gazan refugees, because they want to make sure that the rhetoric is embedded in the campus. Students come and go but scholarship programs continue, and no one can argue the anti-Israel case better than a Gazan refugee. If you look at where these programs exist, it’s generally those campuses that are not hardcore anti-Israel. So it’s a way of converting a campus from being relatively pleasant or at least not antagonistic towards Jewish students to one that is hardcore Jew-hating.

How painful is it to sit in on these meetings and listen to all the lies and hate?
It’s very painful, although I’ve become desensitized to a certain degree, just as anyone becomes desensitized after experiencing pain for too long, but it still hurts. I can tell you that when I do the kind of report I did on the Scottish anti-Semitic campaign and spend so much time on their Facebook pages it takes me weeks to recover. I have to completely disconnect from social media for weeks afterwards, and I experience a very significant low when I’m done. It’s hard because all their poison gets in your veins. You’re living in a world that’s sick and hate-driven against Jews and I’m a Jew, so it’s very bad.

When you went undercover, did you find that the activists were mostly Muslim or mostly European?
The two don’t mix very well; different groups have different demographics. The Muslim activists gather under a Muslim flag. For example, there’s a group in London called the Friends of Al-Aqsa. When they have a meeting the room will be 95% Muslim. When BDS stages a march, it will be 75-80% European.


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