Last week, Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban convened a coalition in Las Vegas of more than 50 organizations to pioneer new strategies to identify and neutralize the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, the spreading effort to boycott Israel. “BDS” sounds better to the ear in the 21st century than “boycott” or “blacklist.”

The key decision reached at the conference was that there would be a concerted effort to curtail BDS, which is hardly an independent, grass roots movement., the BDS website, makes it clear that BDS acts as a subsidiary of the Palestine Liberation Organization, working under the aegis of the Arab League boycott of Israel, an economic war waged against Israel ever since it came into being in 1948.

The Arab League confirms that all data from the Arab League boycott and Arab League blacklist has now been transferred to BDS, which works under the control PLO legations in more than 100 countries, that coordinate their activities with the central offices of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and in Jerusalem.

BDS activists, from campuses around the world, now make timely visits to the PA offices in Ramallah, where cash is allocated for an untold number of activists to take cash home with them for BDS activities.

Since supervision of international relief efforts for Palestinian humanitarian services in the PA or UNRWA hardly exists, a cash surplus exists which the PA allocates for BDS activists.

One of the challenges of the anti-BDS movement will be to close that spigot of campus funds from Ramallah, with the understanding that if each donor nation that funds Palestinian humanitarian services – beginning with the US – were to demand transparency in funding, funds would not be siphoned to “other purposes.”

If that transparency existed, the BDS spigot could dry up.

And then there is a diplomatic avenue.

The PLO embassy in Washington, DC, which coordinates BDS activity in the US, was opened in May 1996, with the permission of the US government, on the proviso that the PLO would cancel its charter to destroy Israel.

The PLO charter remains unchanged.

The anti-BDS activists can now be expected to invoke the non-cancellation of the PLO charter to choke off the PLO office in DC, the fulcrum of support for the BDS.

Last but not least, the Israel Legal Forum has distributed copies of a strong anti-boycott law that was enacted four years ago in Israel. This law mandates that anyone or any organization that engages in advancing a boycott of Israel or Israeli firms can be sued for damages.

Following the energy of the Las Vegas conclave, one can expect a spurt of unprecedented legal cases in which the Israeli government and Israeli citizens will take action against those who promote BDS, the new Arab boycott of Israel.


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.