Top Israeli Officials Welcome German Bundestag’s Branding of BDS Movement as ‘Antisemitic’
Top Israeli officials welcomed the German parliament’s condemnation on Friday of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement as “antisemitic.”
The non-binding motion — submitted by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, their Social Democrat coalition partners, as well as the Greens and Free Democrats — read, “The argumentation patterns and methods used by the BDS movement are antisemitic.”
“The campaign’s calls to boycott Israeli artists, as well as stickers on Israeli goods that are meant to deter people from buying them, also recall the most terrible phase in German history,” it continued. “The BDS movement’s ‘Don’t Buy’ stickers on Israeli products inevitably arouse associations with the Nazi slogan, ‘Don’t Buy from Jews!’ and similar graffiti on facades and shop windows.”
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.
“I congratulate the German Bundestag on the important decision branding the boycott movement (BDS) as an antisemitic movement and announcing that it is forbidden to fund it,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday. “I hope that this decision will bring about concrete steps and I call upon other countries to adopt similar legislation.”
Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan — who has been in charge of the Jewish state’s anti-BDS efforts in recent years — called Friday a “historic day in the fight against the antisemitic BDS campaign.”
“The true face of BDS is being exposed!” he exclaimed.
Israel’s UN envoy, Danny Danon, stated, “This is a crushing victory for the truth and a great achievement in the struggle against Israel’s detractors.”
Danon went on to urge world leaders to “join Germany, and work towards shaping a future without hatred against Jews and against Israel.”
Israeli Ambassador to Germany Jeremy Issacharoff tweeted, “We welcome this initiative by its sponsors. It has broader European significance given that BDS makes no attempt to build coexistence and peace between Israel and all of its neighbors.”
The BDS movement slammed the motion.
“The German establishment is entrenching its complicity in Israel‘s crimes of military occupation, ethnic cleansing, siege and apartheid, while desperately trying to shield it from accountability to international law,” it said on Twitter.
Lawmakers from the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party abstained during the vote. They had submitted their own motion calling for a total ban of the BDS in Germany. That motion was defeated.
A majority of the far-left Die Linke party had voted against the motion. The party also submitted its own proposal, which called to oppose the BDS and commit the German government to work toward a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on UN Security Council resolutions. The motion was also defeated.