Europe

German Intelligence Agency Calls Anti-Israel Boycotts “A New Variation on Anti-Semitism”

A German domestic intelligence agency has deemed the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) campaign against Israel as a “new variation of antisemitism” in a newly released report. This is believed to be the first instance of a German intelligence service classifying the BDS movement as anti-Semitic and a security threat, Ben Weinthal reported in The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

The State Office for the Protection of the Constitution in the German state of Baden-Württemberg said in its report, published on May 24, that propaganda by the neo-Nazi party Der Dritte Weg (The Third Way) to boycott Israeli products “roughly recalls similar measures against German Jews by the National Socialists, for example, on April 1, 1933 (the slogan: ‘Germans! Defend yourselves! Don’t buy from Jews!’).”

The agency is in charge of monitoring threats to Germany’s democratic, constitutional order and is the rough equivalent of Israel’s domestic intelligence service Shin Bet. The intelligence service observed that the list “deals with the new variation of antisemitism: anti-Zionist antisemitism.” The BDS-supporting neo-Nazi organization calls Israel a “terror state” and the “Zionist abscess.”

The intelligence agency released graphics from the Third Way’s website, including one that reads “Boycott products from Israel: 729=Made in Israel.” The number 792 is the product code to identify Israeli goods. The agency quoted a January 2017 text from The Third Way’s website stating that “the Israeli economy is very dependent on exports… and therefore, as active help for the Palestinian freedom struggle, one should avoid Israeli products when shopping in local supermarkets and all products manufactured by foreign companies that invest in Israel.”

The state office’s classification of BDS as a movement that is anti-Semitic in nature could have wide-reaching political consequences in Germany for individuals and entities that engage in the boycott against the Jewish State.

According to the Post, several German banks retain BDS-related accounts. The Bank for Social Economy holds four accounts enabling BDS — the highest number in Germany. German Jewish shareholders last week called for an investigation into the banks links to the BDS movement. The Central Welfare Board of Jews in Germany is a partial owner of the Bank for Social Economy and has demanded the bank closes BDS-related accounts immediately.

[Photo: AFP news agency / YouTube ]