Austrian lawmakers urge gov’t “not to support financially or in any other way” any groups affiliated to BDS.
Austria’s parliament passed a unanimous resolution on Thursday condemning the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement (BDS) as antisemitic. The resolution, tabled by the ruling People’s Party, was supported by all political groups represented in Austria’s National Council.
The lawmakers urged the government “not to support financially or in any other way” any groups affiliated to the BDS Movement. They stressed the need to fight growing antisemitism in all its forms.
A draft of the resolution circulated before the parliament’s vote criticizing the BDS Movement, saying it “demonizes and measures Israel by double standards” and “questions the right of existence of the Jewish state.”
“The National Council emphatically condemns all kinds of anti-Semitism, including Israel-related anti-Semitism, and calls on the federal government to confront these tendencies resolutely and consequently,” the resolution said.
By condemning the BDS Movement as antisemitic, the Austrian parliament has joined the German Bundestag, which passed a similar resolution last year. The German resolution compared the anti-Israel boycott campaign to the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses.
Israeli news website The Times of Israel reported the details:
The Austrian parliament on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution that calls on the government to condemn the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
All five parties represented in Austria’s National Council — including the Greens and the far-right Freedom Party — supported the text of the “Israel-related anti-Semitism” resolution, which urges the government to “strongly condemn the BDS movement and its goals, especially the call for a boycott of Israeli products, businesses, artists, scientists or athletes.”
“The National Council emphatically condemns all kinds of anti-Semitism, including Israel-related anti-Semitism, and calls on the federal government to confront these tendencies resolutely and consequently,” the resolution states.
Vienna should not provide any infrastructure to organizations that make anti-Semitic statements or question Israel’s right to exist, according to the resolution. Furthermore, the government is called upon “not to support financially or in any other way” events organized by the BDS movement or groups that further its goals.
Israel welcomed the move, with the country’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz urging other European nations “to follow in the footsteps of Austria and adopt similar resolutions.”
“Israel welcomes the unanimous adoption of the clear-cut resolution against antisemitism and BDS by all parties in the Austrian Parliament,” Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. “This determined decision by Austria sends a very strong signal and serves as an example for other countries in Europe and the world.”
Just now sharply condemned BDS movement (boycott against Israel) in the Austrian Parliament UNANIMOUSLY and stated that BDS in Austria should not be supported in any way. A strong and symbolic statement by the Austrian Parliament against anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.
— Martin Engelberg (@mengel999) February 27, 2020
While these resolutions condemning the antisemitic BDS are the right move, the European Union and other European governments remain the most significant financial backers of anti-Israel activist groups, according to watchdog group NGO Monitor.
“The European Union (EU) is the largest governmental funder for NGOs active in the Arab-Israeli conflict, including some of the most radical and politicized groups,” the NGO Monitor‘s found. The German government is a significant patron of BDS-supporting and terror-linked activist groups. “The German federal government provides millions of euros to political advocacy NGOs in Israel and the Palestinian Authority, through a variety of frameworks,” NGO Monitor’s November 2019 study says.
The European Union’s open borders immigration has been the single most significant contributing factor to the growing antisemitism in Europe, and the surge in violence against the European Jews. The anti-Israel activism carried out by the BDS and other groups have led to a spike in antisemitic violence on European streets. A 2019 study commissioned by the Austrian parliament found that 70 percent of Arab and Turkish migrants to the country held antisemitic views.
Ben Shapiro: ‘BDS is Antisemitism’
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