German Chancellor Merkel's party labels BDS antisemitic
The anti-BDS motion is a setback for BDS activists.
By BENJAMIN WEINTHALUpdated: DECEMBER 8, 2016 21:15
Germany’s Christian Democratic Union party on Wednesday passed a resolution opposing the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement because the anti-Israel action is antisemitic.“Who today under the flag of the BDS movement calls to boycott Israeli goods and services speaks the same language in which people were called to not buy from Jews. That is nothing other than coarse antisemitism,” the CDU said.The CDU likened BDS to the National Socialists who boycotted Jews in the 1930s. BDS dresses up antisemitism in the “new clothes of the 21st century” as anti-Zionism, the party said.“The German CDU declares with this motion its disapproval and rejection of every form of BDS activity and condemns these activities as antisemitic. The CDU will decisively oppose every hostile action that Israel faces. The CDU professes its deep friendship toward Israel and continues to work toward a peaceful solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians,” the resolution read.Uwe Becker, the chairman of the CDU branch in Frankfurt, which formulated the resolution and submitted it at the CDU conference, said he was pleased with the result.Chancellor Angela Merkel was nominated at the convention to run as the party’s candidate in next year’s federal election. The CDU’s resolution appears to be the first German party motion to reject BDS and classify the anti-Israel movement as antisemitic.Last week, Israel’s ambassador to Germany criticized BDS activities in the state of Lower Saxony.Writing in the Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung daily, Yakov Hadas-Handelsman said: “In Oldenburg a teacher agitates against Israel in an official way; in a magazine of the GEW labor union [the Education and Science Workers Union]. This teacher publicly spreads the proposal to relocate Israel to Baden-Württemberg” in southeastern Germany, wrote Hadas-Handelsman.The ambassador cited additional outbreaks of contemporary antisemitism in Lower Saxony and asked: “What is wrong in Lower Saxony?”The administration of the Social Democratic Gov. Stephan Weil in Lower Saxony has been embroiled in state-wide antisemitism scandals since July. Critics say Weil and his government fail to understand new forms of Jew-hatred.Weil refused to meet with the Berlin office of the American Jewish Committee to find ways to blunt the activities of modern antisemitism in his state.