The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement must be halted in its tracks, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid said Saturday night, speaking to over 700 members of the Jewish community at the Park Avenue synagogue in New York.
"The situation is getting worse," he said. "The tide is turning and it must be turned back now or it will sweep over us."
Lapid noted that the BDS campaign has extended far beyond college campuses and has begun to pick up significant steam.
"The Palestinians are engaging a concrete and extremely well-funded effort to take their campaign to the next level," he warned, citing the recent attempt to oust Israel from world football (soccer) association FIFA, the general breakdown of EU-Israel relations, and the recent public spat between Orange Telecom and Israeli franchisee Partner Communications.
"This is not about policies, or about the settlements, or about the peace process," he maintained. "This is classic anti-Semitism in a modern disguise."
Lapid urged world Jewry to "move from Defense to Offense" and to remind the global community that the same funding "is behind the 9/11 [attacks], the terror attacks in Madrid and London, and for the 250,000 people killed in Syria."
"In order to make this case, we need our American friends," he urged. "We need the Jewish community."
Lapid further urged American Jews to set aside their differences with Israel's policies and stand up for the Jewish homeland.
"They say American politics ends at the water's edge," he added. "This is our water's edge."