RAMALLAH, Sunday, May 19, 2019 (WAFA) – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemned today the voting by the German parliament on Friday which labelled the Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions Movement (BDS) as anti-Semitic.
In a move welcomed by Israel, a majority of legislators in the Bundestag voted on in favor of a motion to label the international BDS movement as an entity that uses anti-Semitic tactics to fulfil its political goals.
The motion, termed "Resisting the BDS movement decisively – fighting antisemitism," calls on the government to "not provide premises and facilities under the administration of the Bundestag to organizations that express themselves in anti-Semitic terms or question Israel‘s right to exist."
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry commented on the voting, saying that “the decision came under the pretense that BDS aims to strip Israel of its right to self-defense, which reflects first that the role and action of the organization is so influential that Israel and its supporters began to look for a pretext or justification for attacking the organization and distorting its image.”
It continued, “Israel continues to impose its wishes on the representatives of the European peoples by blackmail them using the historical German stigmatization of the Jews to achieve what it [Israel] wants.”
The ministry said the decision “disregards the fact that Israel is a state of ethnic cleansing, a state of racial discrimination, an outlawed state that commits crimes against the Palestinian people and occupies the Palestinian land while going unpunished.”
The BDS movement also condemned the motion as anti-Palestinian. "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 international law," it said on Twitter.
“The German parliament’s equation of the nonviolent BDS movement for Palestinian rights with anti-Semitism is based on outright lies. It’s not only anti-Palestinian McCarthyism, it is a betrayal of international law, German democracy and the fight against real anti-Jewish racism.”
The latest battle between the BDS and the Israeli government has been over the Eurovision Song Contest final, which took place in Tel Aviv on Saturday.
In the run-up to the event, the BDS has called on artists, music fans and broadcasters to boycott the event, arguing it amounts to "whitewashing" Israel‘s policies towards Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip.