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Biden sparks outrage among human rights activists after slamming BDS efforts

Biden said during a phone call with major donors that criticism of Israel's policy "morphs into anti-Semitism"

Washington, D.C. (QNN)- Former Vice President and presidential hopeful Joe Biden sparked outrage among progressive activists in the United States after slamming the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement and condemning calls that support Palestinians’ rights.

“Criticism of Israel’s policy is not anti-Semitism,” Biden said during a phone call with major donors earlier this week. “But too often that criticism from the left morphs into anti-Semitism.”

The call was part of a virtual fundraiser hosted by Dan Shapiro, a former ambassador to Israel, and Deborah Lipstadt, a professor of Jewish history and Holocaust studies at Emory University.

Also on his campaign website, Biden vows that he will “firmly reject the BDS movement, which singles out Israel — home to millions of Jews — and too often veers into anti-Semitism, while letting Palestinians off the hook for their choices.”

Biden was asked during the call how to respond to anti-Semitism among progressive Democratic activists in both the US and the United Kingdom. “We have to condemn it, and I’ve gotten in trouble for doing that,” the former vice president replied. “Whatever the source, right, left or centre.”

In a statement released following reports about Biden’s comments, leaders of the BDS movement – under the auspices of the Palestinian BDS National Committee – said Democratic voters should be endorsing the movement instead of rejecting it.

“By rejecting BDS, Joe Biden endorses US complicity in Israel’s decades-old regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid, and supports depriving Palestinians of our fundamental human rights,” the group stated.

Many human rights activists and journalists condemned Biden’s remarks and called them racist.

Biden campaign’s site also adds that he would “urge Arab states to move beyond quiet talks and take bolder steps toward normalization with Israel” and “further expand scientific collaborations with the close US ally. It also reiterates his pledges to maintain existing military aid to Israel while restoring Palestinian economic aid so long as it remains subject to existing restrictions within US law.

During the call, Biden said his “commitment to Israel is absolutely unshakable” and promised to reverse several policies pursued by the administration of US President Donald Trump if elected in November, including restoring diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority and economic and humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people.

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