It’s been a bad couple months for the BDS movement.
First, it was raked over the coals internationally for its attempt to ban American-Jewish singer Matisyahu from a Spanish festival. Then, after Iceland’s capital Reykjavik adopted a boycott of all Israeli products last week, its mayor promptly backtracked and apologized after the move was condemned by the country’s own prime minister as “absurd.” This week, another BDS initiative backfired, when the movement’s most openly anti-Semitic wing in South Africa attempted to protest Pharrell Williams’s concert in Cape Town, simply because his sponsor, the Jewish-owned store chain Woolworths, stocked Israeli products not produced in the settlements. BDS South Africa promised 40,000 protesters and applied for a permit to accommodate them, declaring it would be “the largest protest event in South African history against any musician or artist.” Only 500 showed up.
Each of these instances, which were backed by the BDS movement’s top leaders, reinforced the perception that BDS does not simply have a problem with particular Israeli policies in the West Bank, but with Jews in general.
Today, the movement got even more bad news: so many people are trying to get to Israel that Delta Airlines is adding flights to its already crowded New York-to-Tel Aviv route. “Delta already offers daily round-trip service between New York JFK and Tel Aviv,” USA Today reported on Thursday. “But starting May 26, Delta will add four more weekly flights using 291-seat Boeing 777-200ER aircraft. With that, Delta will fly a total of 11 weekly flights between JFK and Tel Aviv.”
“From next summer,” a Delta official said, “Delta will offer more than 2,300 extra seats between Tel Aviv and New York, one of our largest trans-Atlantic markets, responding to customer demand for increased nonstop service.”
Moves like this suggest that for all the angry op-eds generated by the boycott Israel movement, people on the ground are voting with their feet—and their flights—in the very opposite direction.