German Parliament to Vote on anti-BDS Resolution

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 18, 2019

The motion was brought by Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling Christian Democrat Union party and its coalition partners the Christian Social Union of Bavaria and the Social-Democratic Party.

The lower house in Berlin voted down two rival motions.

The other, from the Left Party, condemned "all anti-Semitism" in BDS calls for boycotts.

Germany's parliament has passed a motion defining the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as anti-Semitic.

The Bundestag's decision came amid heightened attention on Israel as it hosts the 2019 Eurovision song contest this weekend.

"In view of Germany's historical responsibility, it is of great value that a large majority of the German Bundestag, across faction boundaries, has repeatedly committed itself to security and the protection of Israel as well as to the fight against anti-Semitism", the Greens and SPD said in a statement released before the vote.

Securing Israel's survival has been a priority for Germany since the defeat of the Third Reich at the close of the Second World War, after which an estimated six million Jews were murdered at the hands of German authorities.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the decision in a statement on Twitter.

Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said on Twitter that the motion represents 'an important step which we hope will be adopted by other European legislative bodies'.

"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 global law", it said on Twitter.

BDS is an worldwide effort to use non-violence to pressure the state of Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories and give full equality to its Arab-Palestinian citizens.

Lawmakers from the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party abstained during the symbolic vote.

They had submitted their own motion calling for a total ban of the BDS in Germany. In its own motion, Die Linke called on the government to support efforts to find a peaceful two-state solution in the Middle East.

It comes after the group called for artists to boycott the Eurovision Song Contest held in Tel Aviv this week. That motion was defeated.

The German motion stated that 'the pattern of argument and methods of the BDS movement are anti-Semitic'.

As evidence of this, the motion argued that BDS" "don't buy" stickers - which aim to identify products of Israeli origin so consumers can refrain from purchasing them - "arouse associations [with] the Nazi slogan "Don't buy from Jews'" and are "reminiscent of the most horrific phase in German history".

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