Headshot of Ronnie Olesker on a brown and red background

Laurentians Learn with Dr. Ronnie Olesker

General Event

In partnership with the Alumni Executive Council, the University presents "Laurentians Learn," a series of webinars aimed at expanding learning opportunities from faculty, staff, students, alumni, and parents on important and interesting topics.

Israel’s Securitization Dilemma: BDS and the Battle for the Legitimacy of the Jewish State
with Dr. Ronnie Olesker, Associate Professor of Government

In 2015, the Palestinian Soccer Association campaigned to ban Israel from FIFA (the international soccer federation) for its mistreatment of Palestinians. Israeli politicians referred to the move as “diplomatic terrorism” akin to the massacre of the 11 Israeli athletes in Munich Olympics in 1972, even when it was clear that the campaign would fail. This past summer, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream company decided to stop selling its ice cream in Israeli settlements in the Palestinian Occupied Territories. Israel’s president, a moderate, referred to the decision as “a new form of terrorism”. Arizona and New Jersey have already dumped their State bonds from Unilever—Ben and Jerry’s parent company—in response to the decision to stop selling Ice cream in Israeli settlements. Several states are considering similar measures.

These sorts of campaigns against Israel are part of a larger Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which emerged in the early 2000s. The movement directly challenges the legitimacy of Israel’s Jewish identity and its continued occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people. In this talk, Dr. Olesker will explain how Israel’s response to BDS, rather than enhance its legitimacy, has served to further undermine its international legitimacy, especially among American liberals and progressives.


Register by Monday, October 18 online or by calling the Office of Laurentian Engagement: 888-758-4438.
Registered attendees will receive Zoom login information approximately 24-hours prior to the webinar.

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