British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has thrown his support behind a landmark resolution passed in the German parliament on Friday, which deemed the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel “antisemitic.”
In a tweet, the foreign secretary and a front runner in the race to succeed Theresa May as prime minister, wrote: “Boycotting Israel — the world’s only Jewish state — is antisemitic. “
He added: “I salute Germany for taking stand.
“Tremors, turbulence & terror in Mid East remind us of urgent need for peace: two-state solution,” Hunt said in his tweet. But he noted that “the foundations for peace are respect & coexistence,” implying that the boycott of Israel is a major obstacle in achieving those goals.
The foreign secretary’s remarks show an evolution in his thinking on the boycott movement. Hunt had earlier said that, “I do not believe that imposing sanctions on Israel would be a constructive step (…) the best way to combat the BDS movement is through discussion rather than proscription.”
His post linked to an article on the BBC website which explained the significance of the German resolution. The passing marked the first time a European parliament officially labeled the boycott of Israel as anti-Semitic.
“The arguments and methods of the BDS movement are anti-Semitic” and reminiscent of Nazi Germany, the resolution stated. The resolution comes at a time when Europe is experiencing a rising tide of anti-Semitic incidents.
“With this motion, the factions set a clear signal together against antisemitism and incitement,” Iranian-German member of parliament, Bijan Dijir-Sarai, said. “Israel’s right to exist is of central importance to German politics,” he added, noting that nearly the entire parliament supported the resolution.
Israel hailed the move as a victory in the fight against anti-Semitism and urged other European governments to follow suit.
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