Deputy Mayor of German city: “BDS is an antisemitic movement”
There is a growing recognition of the anti-Semitic nature of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Anti-Israel activists claim BDS was a spontaneous 2005 call from “Palestinian civil society” for an academic, cultural and economic boycott of Israel to end “the occupation.” (They are deliberately vague on what is occupied, and the leadership and activists make clear they consider all of Israel occupied.)
As I have demonstrated, the real history of BDS traces itself to the anti-Jewish boycotts in the British Mandate for Palestine prior to Israel’s existence, the Arab League Boycott of Jewish businesses and Israel, and the anti-Semitic Tehran and Durban conferences in 2001. For details, see my lecture, The REAL history of the BDS movement.
In Germany, the recognition of the antisemitic nature of BDS is growing. We recently wrote about a declaration at the University of Frankfurt, Anti-Israel BDS Following ‘Nazi Tradition’, Declares Student Gov’t at Germany’s Goethe University and also at Leipzig University, READ: German university student council resolution declaring BDS anti-Semitic.
Now the city council in Frankfurt has moved forward with a strong anti-BDS law that forbids municipal support for BDS or the use of municipal facilities by BDS. Benjamin Weinthal of the Jerusalem Post reports:
The city of Frankfurt passed a historic bill on Friday outlawing municipal funding and rooms for BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) activities targeting the Jewish state.
Uwe Becker, the deputy mayor and city treasurer for Frankfurt, who initiated and steered the bill 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 legitimation of the Jewish State and takes the detour via antizionism 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.”
The anti-BDS bill will now be sent to the city parliament for a vote. Becker said with today’s backing of the city government, the bill “has already gained the necessary support.” The city parliament is slated to vote on the bill in a few weeks….
He added that “not everybody who supports BDS is an anti-Semite him- or herself, but those who support BDS help to spread antisemitism, because BDS is an antisemitic movement.”
In this video interview, the Deputy Mayor explains the move, including how BDS is “deeply antisemitic”:
— Calev Ben-David (@calev_i24) August 25, 2017
It is not surprising that Frankfurt is among the cities most ready to recognize the tie between anti-Israelism and antisemitism. As we reported, in 2014 Frankfurt saw anti-Israel protests in which anti-Jewish slogans were openly displayed, such as “The Jews are Beasts”:Munich also has a similar law under consideration, and it too is expected to pass.
These German cities join an increasing number of States in the U.S. that are taking anti-BDS measures in various forms, with South Carolina recently becoming the 22nd state to do so.
While there are claims that these anti-BDS measures violate 1st Amendment protections, that is not the case, for reasons I explained in an interview recently regarding pending legislation in Massachusetts:
The legislation would not affect anyone’s right to boycott, proponents said at the hearing, but conditions doing business with the state on compliance with anti-discrimination laws.
William Jacobson, a Cornell University Law School clinical professor and expert on BDS, said such legislation is similar to the federal Solomon Amendment, which conditioned aid to universities on providing equal access to military recruiters, a requirement upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in Rumsfeld v. Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights, Inc.
In that case, Jacobson said, “the Supreme Court unanimously held that there was no violation of free speech and association rights from conditioning federal aid on non-discrimination.” Jacobson pointed to the Supreme Court’s finding that “law schools remain free under the statute to express whatever views they may …. [T]he Solomon Amendment regulates conduct, not speech. It affects what law schools must do—afford equal access to military recruiters—not what they may or may not say. ”
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