German parliament passes resolution calling boycott Israel movement anti-Semitic


(JTA) — The German parliament passed a resolution calling the boycott Israel movement anti-Semitic.

The Bundestag’s four mainstream parties — the Social Democratic Party, the Free Democratic Party, the Christian Democratic Union and the Greens — united on Friday to send a clear condemnation of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement through a nonbinding resolution that will bar BDS or other groups deemed anti-Semitic from receiving federal funds and using public space.

The joint motion demands clear condemnation of calls for Germany to boycott Israeli goods, describing the “patterns of argumentation and methods of the BDS movement” as anti-Semitic. It refers specifically to “Don’t Buy” stickers that BDS activists have pasted onto some products from the region. The resolution says the action is reminiscent of the Nazi-era slogan “don’t buy from Jews.”

Several German cities already have adopted similar resolutions. Promoting BDS is illegal in France and Spain, and in 2017, the Swiss parliament passed a bill prohibiting state financing for BDS, listing it with forms of racism. Ultimately, however, explicit references to BDS were withdrawn from the law’s final version.

The German Left Party has submitted its own motion, which specifies that only expressions of anti-Semitism within the BDS movement be singled out for criticism. The party does not criticize the BDS movement as such.

The far-right AfD party has proposed banning BDS entirely.

Germany’s mainstream parties do not cooperate with the AfD because of its hardline anti-immigrant politics and the tendency of some of its politicians to relativize the Holocaust.

The BDS movement accuses Israel of being an “apartheid” state.