BDS = Antisemitism: German parliament declares boycotting the Jewish State is antisemitic

The German parliament ruled on Friday that the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement is antisemitic, marking the first time a major European parliament recognizes the antisemitic boycott of the Jewish State, as such.

In light of the Bundestag’s recognition of the importance of combatting anti-Semitism, Germany must resolutely condemn calls to boycott the Jewish State. The German government is urged not to support projects calling for a boycott of Israel or that actively support the BDS movement.

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“In view of Germany’s historical responsibility, it is of great value that a large majority of the German Bundestag, across faction boundaries, has repeatedly committed itself to security and the protection of Israel as well as to the fight against anti-Semitism,” the statement read.

The motion said a BDS campaign calling for Israeli products to be labeled with “Don’t Buy” stickers was reminiscent of the Nazi-era boycott of Jewish businesses, known in German as “Judenboykott”, which used slogans such as: “Don’t buy from Jews.

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“The argumentation patterns and methods used by the BDS movement are anti-Semitic,” read the motion submitted by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, their Social Democrat coalition partners as well as the Greens and Free Democrats.

Securing Israel’s survival has been a priority for Germany since the defeat of the Nazi dictatorship that committed the Holocaust in which some six million Jews were murdered.

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Israel Katz, Israel’s acting foreign minister, welcomed the Bundestag decision, saying on Twitter: “The German parliament ruled that it is an anti-Semitic movement that promotes illegal boycotts against Israel. This is an important step, and we hope that other countries in Europe will go in the same direction.”

Israel’s ambassador to Germany, Jeremy Issacharoff, welcomed the Bundestag decision.

“It (the motion) has broader European significance given that BDS makes no attempt to build coexistence and peace between Israel and all of its neighbors,” he wrote on Twitter.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said:

“I congratulate the German Bundestag on the important decision branding the boycott movement (BDS) as an anti-semitic movement and announced that it is forbidden to fund it.
I especially appreciate the announcement by the Bundestag that Germany must cease funding organizations that are working against the existence of the State of Israel.
I hope that this decision will bring about concrete steps and I call upon other countries to adopt similar legislation”.