As many people, especially Jews and Christians, recall the terror of Nazi persecution that resulted in the extinguishing of millions of lives during the Holocaust, some parties are calling for a boycott of the upcoming Israel Day Parade planned for New York City.  Bill Donohue, who leads the Catholic League - a civil rights advocacy group based in New York City - released a statement in which denounced efforts of anti-Israel groups to be included in the parade. The acerbic Donohue said that his group will be part of the '100 Shofars Rally' on April 29 to protest against the issue. The 100 Shofars Rally will take place on April 29 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in front of the UJA-Federation Building at 130 E. 59th Street (between Park and Lexington) in New York City.

Said Donohue, "The obscene, and totally hypocritical, sponsorship of the Boycott Israel campaign picked up steam last December when the American Studies Association voted to boycott Israel's institutions of higher education. If these people were interested in justice, they would commend Israel, not condemn it."

Donohue added, "The Jewish community can depend on the support of the Catholic League in protesting all Boycott Israel campaigns."

The global boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement, which has coalesced around organizations such as the Palestinian BDS Movement and QueersAgainstApartheid has been vocal in denouncing was is regarded as Israel's so-called 'apartheid' or exclusion of Arabs (mostly Muslim) and its defense policies. By bringing pressure on governments and other institutions, the BDS movement seeks to isolate Israel and bring about changes in Israeli policy, including the dismantling of the defensive wall that Israel has built along certain sectors of its borders shared with Palestinian areas.

The BDS movement has had some success in compelling organizations to cease investment in Israel or to block Israeli diplomatic, scientific, and business initiatives. For example, Earth Day Network, which coordinated the observance of Earth Day, ceased its partnership with SodaStream, a company that has a production facility in what the BDS regards as an "an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank." Also, EPAL - a Portuguese company which provides water to Lisbon - announced this month that it had terminated a technology exchange deal with Israeli state water company Mekorot following protests over Mekorot’s role in Israel’s so-called ‘water apartheid.’ According to BDS, "Portuguese MPs and campaign groups had argued that the deal amounted to support for Mekorot’s role in the theft of Palestinian water."



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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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