German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s political party, the Christian Democratic Union, adopted a resolution on Wednesday that condemned the anti-Israel Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, calling the movement anti-Semitic.
“The German CDU declares with this motion its disapproval and rejection of every form of BDS activity and condemns these activities as anti-Semitic,” the statement read. “The CDU will decisively oppose every hostile action that Israel faces. The CDU professes its deep friendship toward Israel and continues to work toward a peaceful solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.”
Frankfurt mayor Uwe Becker, who submitted the resolution at the party’s conference, expressed satisfaction with the result. “[Those] who today call for the boycott of Israeli goods and services under the banner of the BDS movement speak in the same language in which people were once called upon to not buy from Jews,” he said. “This is nothing more than coarse anti-Semitism, as the National Socialists [Nazis] have already instrumentalized.”
The CDU is the first German political party to reject BDS and condemn it as anti-Semitic, Benjamin Weinthal of The Jerusalem Post reported.
The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement praising the CDU resolution. “It is highly significant that Germany’s largest party and the moral authority of modern Germany have made clear the fundamental linkage between BDS and anti-Semitism,” said ADL national director and CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. “At a time when efforts to isolate and delegitimize Israel are on the rise, it’s critical for society’s leaders to take a stand and call it out.”
France’s highest court ruled in October 2015 that BDS is an illegal form of hate speech and its campaigners can be prosecuted for “inciting hate or discrimination.”
Many BDS leaders have publicly opposed the two-state solution and affirmed that the movement seeks Israel’s destruction. Omar Barghouti, the co-founder of the movement, said in 2014 that Palestinians have a right to “resistance by any means, including armed resistance.” Leading activist As’ad Abu Khalil wrote in 2012 that “Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the state of Israel.”
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