Topics: BDS, Eurovision

Germany Designates BDS Antisemitic

Government resolution likens defamation of and calls to boycott Israel to treatment of European Jews under Hitler and the Nazis

Tomer Neuberg/Flash90

A majority of Germany’s Bundestag legislators have voted for a motion to label the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as an entity that uses antisemitic tactics against Israel.

The decision comes after BDS’s recent unsuccessful attempt to harass artists and prevent them from attending the Eurovision Song Contest held in Tel Aviv this week. In the resolution, which was passed on the day of the Eurovision finale, the German parliament adopted a declaration determining that the strategies of the BDS against Israel are similar to the “terrifying Nazi campaign” against the Jewish people under Adolf Hitler.

“The ‘don’t buy Israel products’ campaign of the BDS movement is reminiscent of the Nazi call ‘don’t buy from Jews’ and other corresponding graffiti posted on walls and shop windows,” the resolution reads. “The argumentation patterns and methods used by the BDS movement are anti-Semitic,” continues the motion that was submitted by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party, as well as by the social-democrat SPD, the Green Party and the Free Democratic Party. 

The resolution entitled “Resisting the BDS movement decisively –fighting antisemitism,” calls on the German government to “cease providing premises and facilities under the administration of the Bundestag to organizations that use anti-Semitic terms or question Israel’s right to exist.” This marks the first time a major European parliament has defined the BDS movement as antisemitic.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the BDS movement opposes his nation’s very existence and welcomed the decision in a statement posted on Twitter.

“I hope that this decision will bring about concrete steps and I call upon other countries to adopt similar legislation,” Netanyahu’s wrote.

In recent years, the German government has pointed to the importance of taking a stand against antisemitism in light of reports that hate crimes against Jews have been on the rise in the country. According to German police intelligence, the number of antisemitic incidents rose by 19.6% last year. Chancellor Merkel has recently found it necessary to speak out about what she calls a “worrying resurgence of anti-Semitism” in Germany. 

BDS responded to the resolution with characteristic fake propaganda. “The German establishment is entrenching its complicity in Israel’s crimes of military occupation, ethnic cleansing, siege and apartheid, while desperately trying to shield it from accountability to international law,” the group claimed on Twitter.

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