German Bundestag to vote on anti-BDS motion on Friday

The motion says that Israel can be understood as Jewish collective, an attack against which therefore constitutes antisemitism.

May 17, 2019 02:26
2 minute read.

A view of the German Bundestag. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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The German Bundestag will vote on a motion condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement on Friday, calling on the government not to finance or support any organization that supports BDS or question Israel’s right to exist, the daily Bild reported.

The petition was initiated by the governing Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Green Party and the Free Democratic Party (FDP), the latter having first discussed the motion within the faction before joining forces with the other parties, BILD wrote.

The motion, termed “Resisting the BDS movement decisively – fighting antisemitism,” calls on the government to “not provide premises and facilities under the administration of the Bundestag to organizations that express themselves in antisemitic terms or question Israel’s right to exist.”

Accordingly the motion says that Israel can be understood as the Jewish collective, an attack against which therefore constitutes antisemitism.

“Antisemitism has proved itself to be the most devastating form of group-focused enmity in the history of our country... and is still a threat both to people of the Jewish faith and to our liberal-democratic constitution,” it reads.

Furthermore, the motion calls to “decisively resist the BDS campaign and condemn calls to boycott Israeli products and businesses as well as scientists, artists and athletes.”
No events organized by the BDS movement, or organizations and projects that follow similar objectives should be supported or funded by the government, and states, cities and communities should be called on to do the same.

“With this motion, the factions set a clear signal together against antisemitism and incitement,” FDP politician Bijan Djir-Sarai, who set the petition in motion, told Bild. “Israel’s right to exist is of central importance to German politics,” he added, claiming that almost the entire parliament supported the issue.

A spokesperson for the Left Party would not tell the German paper whether they would support the motion, but said that the party “agrees that it does not support BDS and rejects the boycott of Israeli products.”

On Tuesday, Reuters reported that antisemitic crimes rose by 20% in Germany in the course of last year.

The country recorded 1,080 incidents that included hate speech, antisemitic graffiti and the use of swastikas, which are banned in Germany.

Interior Minister Horst Seehofer claimed that 90% of the crimes were perpetrated by supporters of far-right groups, while the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD), who were not consulted for the motion to be voted on on Friday, blamed the incidents on the rising number of Muslim asylum seekers.

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