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Phony Claims of Victory by the BDS Movement

A sampling of phony claims:

  • In 2022, BDS advocates trumpeted a decision by General Mills to sell its stake in a joint venture in Israel but the company said it was unrelated to the boycott movement and was part of a new global business strategy.
  • In 2018, Airbnb said it would remove listings of properties in Israeli settlements in the West Bank but never did and reversed the decision a few months later.
  • In May 2010, Deutsche Bank declared that it had not divested from any Israeli companies, despite the BDS Movement’s claims.
  • A similar victory was claimed when UK firm Blackrock sold its shares in a targeted company. When Blackrock issued a statement saying that the financial choice had nothing to do with Israel and only reflected the firm’s monetary concerns due to the targeted company’s poor performance, BDSers still continued to tout their ‘win.’
  • The same thing occurred in the case of TIAA-CREF, when divestment was falsely reported in 2009. The BDS Movement declared TIAA-CREF divested from a company that it had never invested in. However, BDS supporters are again urging divestment, showing that BDS just won’t go away.
  • The BDS Movement claimed a store in New Jersey decided to stop selling Israeli dates. The store, Corrados, denied these reports, although they did say that an employee took down the dates when a customer made a scene, although they were put back up for sale after that customer left.
  • The BDS Movement even made false claims about victories in Israel itself
  • The department store John Lewis has accused The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) of sending “false and misleading” information after it published a triumphant press release linking the company’s withdrawal of “Ahava” products with the boycott campaign. In reality, the decision to stop selling Ahava products was made in 2008 after a decline in sales and was a “purely commercial decision.

So why does the BDS movement issue phony claims of victory?

  • Even if a certain scenario is not a true victory for BDS, BDS advocates attempt to create enough buzz around the final decision to characterize it as a victory.
  • The creation of an illusion of success is far more viable when the given scenario is highly controversial
  • This is a continuation of BDS strategy to brand Israel as the inheritor of South Africa’s Apartheid legacy

    Sources: Julia Jacobs, “Airbnb Reverses Policy Banning Listings in Israeli Settlements in West Bank,” New York Times, (
    Marc Rod, “General Mills says departing Israel was a business decision, not a boycott,” JewishInsider, (June 2, 2022).