The German Parliament on Friday became the first European country to pass a landmark resolution that designates the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel as anti-Semitic and cuts off funding to any organizations that “actively support” the movement.
“The pattern of argument and methods of the BDS movement are anti-Semitic,” the Bundestag resolution stated, adding that their attempts to single out the Jewish State for discrimination “recall the most terrible phase of German history.”
“‘Don’t buy’ stickers of the BDS movement on Israeli products remind one of inevitable associations with the Nazi call ‘Don’t buy from Jews’, and other corresponding graffiti on facades and shop windows,” said the resolution.
The resolution was introduced by Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union, the Social Democrats (SPD), the Free Democratic Party (FDP), and the Greens. It passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.
During Friday’s debate, the Green party’s Omid Nouripour, an Iranian-born Hessian who says his background gives him a special appreciation for democracy, was among several MPs to condemn the BDS movement for trying to boycott the Eurovision Song Contest, which took place in Tel Aviv on Sunday.
“The ESC is one of the most successful formats of international understanding and cultural exchange in Europe of the last few decades,” Nouripour said. “The fact that BDS is trying to organize a boycott against this form of international understanding speaks volumes about the character of this movement.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the decision as a win in the global fight against anti-Semitism and urged other country to follow the German example.
“I congratulate the German Bundestag on the important decision branding the boycott movement as an antisemitic movement and announcing that it is forbidden to fund it,” Netanyahu stated. “I hope that this decision will bring about concrete steps and I call upon other countries to adopt similar legislation.”
The BDS movement condemned the move and accused the Bundestag of “anti-Palestinian McCarthyism.”
[Photo: Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung / Flickr]