First German city set to pass anti-BDS bill

Munich lawmakers declare boycott movement antisemitic.

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August 1, 2017 20:58
2 minute read.
BDS

BDS. (photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)

 
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City Council members from the two largest parties in Munich – the capital of the German state of Bavaria – submitted a bill banning municipal funding and support for BDS activities in July.

“The bill will pass because the CSU [Christian Social Union] and the SPD [Social Democratic Party] jointly govern and have the majority in the city council,” a spokesperson for the Jewish community told The Jerusalem Post.

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The legislation, titled “Against every form of antisemitism – No cooperation with the antisemitic BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement,” is expected to be enacted after the summer break.

According to the bill, the municipality will “not provide city premises for BDS campaigns, events, exhibits or demonstrations that pursue the goals of BDS.”

In addition, the legislation states it will “not support events in the form of grants to groups” that advocate BDS.

The lawmakers from the CDU and SPD said the bill is justified because of widespread modern antisemitism in Germany targeting the Jewish state.

The council members noted that a recent federal government expert report on antisemitism said 40% of Germans hold Israel-related antisemitic views.



“Neither the objective of the BDS campaign nor the antisemitic propaganda that it brings with it is compatible with a democratic, respectful city society,” wrote the nine city council representatives.

The bill took to task the anti-Israel NGO “Jewish-Palestinian Dialogue Group Munich” for antisemitism related to its support of the international BDS movement. The pro-BDS petition signed by the JPDG accused Israel of “ethnic cleansing.”

The JPDG did not immediately respond to a Post press query.

Charlotte Knobloch, the president of Munich’s Jewish community, praised the city council members for “an enormously important initiative” that was “urgently needed.”

Knobloch, a Holocaust survivor, said “BDS is antisemitic” and deceptive because it is “disguised as consumer protection, or human and women’s rights protections.”

A Munich-funded cultural center – Eine Welt Haus – faces a loss of funding because of its support for the allegedly antisemitic BDS group “Salam Shalom.” The city provides 372,000 euro to the Eine Welt Haus.

Dominik Krause, a Green Party city councilman, along with CSU councilman Marian Offman, resigned from the Eine Welt Haus board of advisers in late July because of Jew-hatred at the cultural institution.

Offman said the reason he dropped out was “intolerable antisemitism,” according to an article in the Abendzeitung. He added that speakers during the Palestinian Day events at the Eine Welt Haus quoted Hamas saying that a new Palestine would be built on the ruins of Israel.

Krause told the paper last week that there are numerous occurrences of antisemitism at the Eine Welt Haus. “From the ranks of ‘Salam Shalom’ and invited speakers, they time and again issue antisemitic statements under the disguise of criticizing Israel’s policies,” said Krause.

Eine Welt Haus did not immediately answer a Post press query.

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