Last month, a group of advocates for Israel toured the United States, making several stops in Central Texas. The delegation members, from Reservists on Duty, might have seemed unlikely though, because none are Jewish.
Nonprofit organization RoD was founded in 2015 by Israeli reserve combat soldiers and officers who felt it was their duty to expose and counter the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement and anti-Semitism on college campuses across America.
Palestinian-led BDS claims that Israel is occupying and colonizing Palestinian land, discriminating against Palestinian citizens of Israel and denying Palestinian refugees the right to return to their homes. The movement likens Israel to South African apartheid and calls for governments, corporations and institutions to put pressure on Israel.
RoD’s website states, “Organizations fueling contemporary anti-Semitism do so by spreading distortions of the truth that not only target the legitimacy of the Jewish state but the entire Jewish people…RoD adopts [an] assertive and proactive approach to directly confront BDS and organizations that defame Israel and the IDF.”
The organization brings Israeli reservists to campuses in the United States to assertively challenge BDS and trains Jewish students to advocate for Israel. In February, a diverse group of five RoD delegates visited Boston, Massachusetts; Houston, College Station and Austin, Texas; Las Vegas, Nevada; Chicago, Illinois; Baltimore, Maryland; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta, Georgia; and Boca Raton, Florida.