German parliament to vote on anti-BDS motion

The German Bundestag was to vote on a motion condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, calling on the government not to finance or support any organisation that supports BDS or questions Israel’s right to exist.

The petition was initiated by the governing Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Green Party and the Free Democratic Party (FDP), the latter having first discussed the motion within the faction before joining forces with the other parties.

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 antisemitic terms or question Israel’s right to exist.”

Accordingly the motion says that Israel can be understood as the Jewish collective, an attack against which therefore constitutes antisemitism.

“Antisemitism has proved itself to be the most devastating form of group-focused enmity in the history of our country… and is still a threat both to people of the Jewish faith and to our liberal-democratic constitution,” it reads.

Furthermore, the motion calls to “decisively resist the BDS campaign and condemn calls to boycott Israeli products and businesses as well as scientists, artists and athletes.”

No events organized by the BDS movement, or organisations and projects that follow similar objectives should be supported or funded by the government, and states, cities and communities should be called on to do the same.

“With this motion, the factions set a clear signal together against antisemitism and incitement,” FDP politician Bijan Djir-Sarai, who set the petition in motion. “Israel’s right to exist is of central importance to German politics,” he added, claiming that almost the entire parliament supported the issue.

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