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Max Blumenthal | Torture, violence advocate to keynote anti-BDS event

(02/02/12 5:27am)

As the first national Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions conference approaches at the University of Pennsylvania, several participants have faced false and sadly predictable smears. Ali Abunimah, a renowned Palestinian writer and solidarity activist who will deliver the conference’s keynote address, was recently accused by Emily Schrader, an activist with the pro-Israel group StandWithUs, of “incitement to violence against Israelis.” Wayne Firestone, the president of the pro-Israel student group Hillel, accused the Penn BDS conference of advocating “warfare” and fomenting “hatred.” The allegations leveled by Schrader and Firestone could not be further from the truth. Not one participant in the Penn BDS conference has “incited” violence against Israelis or anyone else. Instead, BDS advocates have raised their voices in support of an expressly non-violent movement that takes its inspiration from the American civil rights struggle against Jim Crow bigotry and the international campaign against South Africa’s apartheid regime.