As I write this first blog on our “new and improved” webpage, we are in the days immediately prior to a national BDS conference at the University of Pennsylvania. BDS, as you may know, stands for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions; it is the latest attempt by the Palestinians to pressure Israel to secure their demands for an independent state of Palestine. According to press reports, approximately 300 leaders of the BDS movement from across America will meet at Penn this week, here to discuss ways to employ boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel in an attempt to achieve what they have not achieved through warfare, terrorism or diplomacy. You may know I am a strong supporter of a two-state solution to the impasse in the Middle East – a strong, independent, democratic Israel beside a strong, independent, democratic Palestine. I believe the continued impasse between Israel and the Palestinians is harmful to both peoples. It is time for both parties to sit down at the negotiation table without precondition, with a firm commitment not to cease deliberations until success has been achieved. There is one thing for certain: the Palestinians will never achieve their goals through this BDS strategy. It is unfair by its very essence, singling out Israel in ways no other nation is singled out. To me, it carries a strong whiff of anti-Semitism. And it will most assuredly not succeed in bringing Mr. Netanyahu to the ‘table.’ Peace will only come when both sides sit down together in a spirit of compromise and mutual respect. BDS will never lead to a Palestinian state; it will most assuredly never lead to peace.