Why is the BDS movement under fire in Germany? | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Why is the BDS movement under fire in Germany?

It is two months since the German Bundestag (parliament) passed a symbolic, non-binding resolution designating the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as “anti-Semitic”. The controversial motion has triggered a noisy debate in Germany and beyond which reads that the campaign to boycott Israeli goods, artists and athletes is “reminiscent of the most terrible chapter in German history” and triggers memories of the Nazi slogan “Don’t buy from Jews”. The resolution also imposed a ban on government support for organisations which back BDS.

The Bundestag completely ignored the loud critiques of the resolution, including those by many German and European intellectuals as well as Jewish and Israeli academics, among which are some prominent researchers into anti-Semitism. So, is the BDS movement anti-Semitic, and why has the German federal parliament adopted this resolution?

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) has produced a working definition of anti-Semitism and given a list of examples. The definition has been adopted for internal use by a number of governmental and political institutions as well as some states, including Germany. According to the IHRA definition, “Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.” While manifestations of anti-Semitism, according to this definition, might also include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity, the IHRA states explicitly that “criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.”

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