German Parliament Calls Anti-Israel Boycott Movement ‘Anti-Semitic’

Germany stands with Israel. German, EU flags in Square of the Republic in Berlin. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

The German Bundestag (parliament) condemned the anti-Israel “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” (BDS) movement in a non-binding resolution on Friday and called the “pattern of argument and methods” of the BDS movement “anti-Semitic”, according to a report by The New York Times. The article said the resolution—backed by multiple German political parties, including the ruling Christian Democratic Union party, compared the boycott of Israeli goods to Nazi boycotts against Jews.

A press release posted to the German parliament website further argued that organizations questioning Israel’s right to exist or projects backing the BDS movement should not be financially supported, according to a translation from German by Google Translate.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the German decision “important” in comments posted to Twitter by spokesman Ofir Gendelman. “I congratulate the German Bundestag on the important decision branding the boycott movement (BDS) as an anti-semitic movement and announcing that it is forbidden to fund it,” said a post to Gendelman’s Twitter feed. A follow-up tweet expressed the hope from Netanyahu that “this decision will bring about concrete steps and I call upon other countries to adopt similar legislation.”

Netanyahu wasn’t the only Israeli official pleased with the German move. The speaker for the Israeli Knesset (parliament), Yuli Edelstein, thanked his German counterparts for their decision, also on Twitter. Edelstein tweeted his thanks for “the courageous and important decision! BDS is a dangerous, antisemitic movement. You are the first, but many others will follow in your footsteps.”

The BDS movement has long sought to damage Israel economically. The primary motivation behind the activities is ostensibly disagreement with Israel on handling the conflict with the Palestinians. However, it takes a one-sided and antagonistic approach towards Israel. The movement has been opposed by the United States and some leaders in Europe, with the Germans now officially believing it to be anti-Semitic.

They aren’t alone. United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt praised the Germans on Twitter for their stance, even as he backed the position that Israel should surrender land to the Palestinians to achieve peace. He tweeted, “Tremors, turbulence & terror in Mid East remind us of urgent need for peace: two-state solution. But the foundations for peace are respect & coexistence. Boycotting Israel—the world’s only Jewish state—is antisemitic. I salute Germany for taking stand.”

Furthermore, research by the Israeli Ministry of Public Security and Strategic Affairs found more than 100 links connecting terror groups Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) with over a dozen organizations who promote the BDS movement against Israel.

That project—a report entitled “Terrorists in Suits” and highlighted in an Israeli press release in March—also noted that more than two-dozen members of the terrorist organizations—including 20 of whom have spent time in prison—have achieved senior positions within BDS-supporting groups.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, May 19, 2019)


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