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Palestine FM condemns Germany's vote to define BDS as 'anti-Semitic'

May 23, 2019 at 4:30 pm

Palestinians in Gaza protest in support of BDS on 23 May 2019 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

In a move welcomed by Israel, a majority of German legislators in the Bundestag voted in favour of the resolution, entitled “Resisting the BDS movement decisively – fighting antisemitism,” to label BDS as an entity that uses anti-Semitic tactics to fulfil its political goals, Ma’an News reports.

The text of the resolution stated that “all-encompassing calls for boycotts in their radical nature lead to the stigmatisation of Israeli citizens and citizens of Jewish faith as a whole. This is unacceptable and worthy of the sharpest condemnation.”

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry commented on the voting in a statement, saying that “the decision came under the pretence that BDS aims to strip Israel of its right to self-defence, which reflects first that the role and action of the organisation is so influential that Israel and its supporters began to look for a pretext or justification for attacking the organisation and distorting its image.”

The statement continued, “Israel continues to impose its wishes on the representatives of the European peoples by blackmail them using the historical German stigmatisation of the Jews to achieve what it [Israel] wants.”

READ: Germany votes to define BDS as anti-Semitic

The ministry stressed that the decision “disregards the fact that Israel is a state of ethnic cleansing, a state of racial discrimination, an outlawed state that commits crimes against the Palestinian people and occupies the Palestinian land while going unpunished.”

The BDS movement posted on its Twitter, condemning the motion as anti-Palestinian, “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 German parliament’s equation of the nonviolent BDS movement for Palestinian rights with anti-Semitism is based on outright lies. It’s not only anti-Palestinian McCarthyism, it is a betrayal of international law, German democracy and the fight against real anti-Jewish racism.”

The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement is a global campaign promoting various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets what the campaign describes as “Israel’s obligations under international law,” which include its withdrawal from the occupied territories, removal of the separation wall in the occupied West Bank, full equality for Arab-Palestinian citizens in Israel, and promotion of the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their homelands, now known as Israel.