Frankfurt becomes first German city to ban 'antisemitic' BDS movement

Deputy Mayor of Frankfurt Uwe Becker told the Jerusalem Post his city enjoys a 37-year strong partnership with Israel and those who attack the Jewish state also attack the people of Frankfurt.

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August 25, 2017 13:52
2 minute read.
anti-Semitism

Protesters attend a rally against anti-Semitism in Frankfurt August 31, 2014. . (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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Frankfurt City Council approved a bill on Friday that would prohibit the use of municipal funds and facilities for Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions activities targeting the Jewish state.

The measure will now be sent to the city parliament for a vote, slated to take place in a few weeks.

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Uwe Becker, the deputy mayor and city treasurer for Frankfurt, who initiated and is steering the legislation to passage, told The Jerusalem Post: “The BDS movement does not only strongly resemble the ‘Don’t Buy from Jews’ argumentation of former times of the National Socialists, but the movement is built on the same toxic ground and it is poisoning the social climate in the same dangerous way.

“BDS strongly attacks the fundamental basis of the legitimacy of the Jewish state and takes a detour via anti-Zionism to spread antisemitism,” Beck added. “That’s why we decided to ban any municipal funding or the renting of rooms for any activities of groups or individuals who support the antisemitic BDS movement. We also instructed our city-owned companies and called upon private landlords to act in the same way.”

Becker said with Friday’s backing by the city government, the bill “has already gained the necessary support.”

Frankfurt has a population of 730,000 and is Germany’s main financial center.

The Bavarian capital Munich is expected to pass a similar anti-BDS measure after the summer break.


Becker announced in early August that he would seek to stop city funds and support going to the “antisemitic BDS movement.” Antisemitism under the flag of BDS has no place in Frankfurt, he said.

“The main aim of the BDS movement is the delegitimization of the State of Israel, for which reason they proclaim boycott and spread defamation. BDS activities are not a contribution to a democratic discussion, but they try to intimidate companies, artists, politicians etc,” Becker said.

He added that “not everybody who supports BDS is an antisemite him- or herself, but those who support BDS help to spread antisemitism, because BDS is an antisemitic movement.”

“Frankfurt is a city with strong Jewish traditions, Jewish life is part of the identity of our city, part of the history of the development as an economic powerhouse, as a city of culture and education – and we are proud of that. And we have a strong and vivid partnership with Israel, that has grown over the past 37 years with a strong friendship, that we have with our sister-city Tel Aviv,” he said.

“For our city, threats to Israel are being felt as threats to the people over here, too,” said Becker.

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