North American Jewish NGOs and strategies used in fighting BDS and the Boycott of Israeli academia

Reut Cohen, Eli Avraham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since the establishment of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement in 2005, organizations and institutions around the world have been trying to promote a boycott of Israeli academia. Against the BDS movement stand activists, Israeli diplomats, academics and Jewish organizations. Using the image repair theory and the multi-step model for altering image, this study sets out to analyze strategies used by seven NGOs in their fight against the BDS movement to boycott Israeli academia. Our analysis of articles, visuals, editorials and initiatives published in these NGO's websites shows the use of three kinds of strategies: (1) Source strategies (presenting the BDS promoters as anti-Semitic, questioning their goals and exposing their desire to destroy Israel); (2) Message strategies (proving that the claims against Israel are false, presenting facts that contradict the claims, and expanding Israel's positive image); and (3) Specific target audience strategies (presenting Israel to Western audiences as a democratic country and illustrating that Israel and the West have the same values).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-216
Number of pages23
JournalIsrael Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'North American Jewish NGOs and strategies used in fighting BDS and the Boycott of Israeli academia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this