(CNSNews.com) – Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a former member of the Dutch parliament who is now an author and human rights activist, condemned the hypocrisy of campus protesters who demand “boycotts, divestments and sanctions” (BDS) against Israel, but not against Islamic countries.
“I have a different acronym for BDS,” the Somali-born Hirsi Ali said during a keynote speech at the Tzion Gann Academy in Brookline, Massachusetts last week.
“Instead of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions—I call them Bully, Deceive, and Sabotage the only society that is free in the Middle East.
“Where is the BDS movement against the Islamic State? Where on campuses is the BDS movement against Saudi Arabia? The Iranian regime, who for decades [has] promised to wipe Israel off the map, who are developing a nuclear bomb?” asked Hirsi Ali, who was raised as a Muslim but says she is now an atheist.
“There's no BDS movement against them on campus. Why? Last year in Nigeria, 200 girls were kidnapped. They were sold into slavery. There was no BDS movement against Boko Haram.”
Hirsi Ali also said it was “appalling” that 70 years after the mass extermination of European Jews, “Jew hatred” is being publicly proclaimed in Europe.
“Arabs and Jews are all Semites. So, to be more specific, [this is] Jew hatred. For centuries, Jews had no place to call home. They didn't have a state of their own. Now they do. I celebrate that. Anti-Semites, from all over the world, resent this,” she told the gathering.
“It is appalling that only 70 years from the Holocaust, crowds in Europe chant ‘Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.’ It is even more appalling that 10,000 soldiers in Paris are needed to protect Jewish sites. That is the continent that promised ‘never again’. The men and women who were in the concentration camps, who are tattooed, some are still here. And it is happening again.”
Hirsi Ali went into hiding after the 2004 murder of Dutch film director Theo van Gogh three months after their film “Submission” – which highlighted the oppression of Muslim women – aired on Dutch public television. She is the author of “Infidel” and “Nomad: From Islam to America.”
In a Jan. 7 oped in The Wall Street Journal following the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, Hirsi Ali wrote that “perhaps the West will finally put away its legion of useless tropes trying to deny the relationship between violence and radical Islam.”
Ali also criticized what she called “virulent anti-Semitism” on many U.S. campuses after the premiere showing of Crossing the Line 2: The New Face of Anti-Semitism on Campus, a new documentary directed by Jerusalem U’s Shoshana Palatnik.
Watching the film was “like having a bucket of ice water being poured over my head,” Hirsi Ali told the sold-out crowd.
“The more we pretend that this is happening somewhere far away, the more hopeless and helpless we feel. But this is not happening far away. This is happening on American campuses, British campuses, Canadian campuses.”
Last year, Brandeis rescinded its decision to award Hirsi Ali an honorary degree after faculty members complained that doing so would upset the Muslim community.
The Anti-Defamation League, which calls BDS policies part of “a global effort to isolate and punish Israel because of its policies toward the Palestinians,” reported an escalation of anti-Israel events on campus during the current academic year.
In January, the student senate at the University of California/Davis passed a resolution calling on the university’s Board of Regents to divest from any companies that “aid in the Israeli occupation of Palestine and illegal settlements in Palestinian territories.” The resolution was later rescinded by the student court.
“Anti-Israel activities on campus cause students today to feel embarrassed to be pro-Israel, or could even lead them to hold negative opinions about Israel,” said Jerusalem U president Amy Holtz.
“Raising awareness of this growing problem is crucial. We made this film in order to give students the knowledge to differentiate between education and intimidation, debate and hate. They must be able to identify when it is crossing the line” into anti-Semitism, Holtz added.