Munich Jewish community president urges MPs to resign from BDS

The prominent president of Munich’s Jewish community Charlotte Knobloch said that three members of the Bundestag should resign from the allegedly antisemitic German-Palestinian Society (DPG) because the organization supports the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.

“All true democrats ought to follow in der Beek’s example and leave the DPG advisory board,” Knobloch said.

The Post exclusively reported that German politician Olaf in der Beek resigned from the German-Palestinian Society because the organization’s advisory board did not reject the boycott campaign against the Jewish state.

Knobloch survived the Holocaust in hiding in Germany, and she is president of the roughly 10,000 member Jewish community in Munich—the capital of the state of Bavaria.

She was previously president of the 105,000 member Central Council of Jews in Germany. Knobloch’s voice carries weight in Germany because of her longstanding efforts to combat modern antisemitism and neo-Nazism.

Neo-Nazi parties such as The Third Way, the NPD, and The Right support BDS.

Knobloch’s intervention suggests the urgency of the alleged MP pro-BDS scandal. The Post reported that Germany registered over 2000 antisemitic crimes in 2019, a 13% increase when compared with 2018.

In der Beek’s office told the Post  that the Free Democratic Party (FDP) MP announced to the FDP faction in the parliament that he resigned from the German-Palestinian Society because the advisory board refuses to distance itself from BDS.

“The BDS movement at its heart seeks the end of Israel as a Jewish state. To think otherwise is naive. Why is there no BDS campaign in Germany or elsewhere against any other nation on earth, not even the worst human rights abusers? Anyone sincere about combating all forms of antisemitism should separate from a group espousing BDS,” David Harris, CEO, American Jewish Committee, told the Post.

The Post learned from in der Beek’s office that members of the advisory board of the German-Palestinian Society showed no interest in distancing themselves from BDS.

Knobloch’s call for the German MPs to resign is directed at three German MPs on the board of the German-Palestinian Society, from the Social Democratic Party, the Green party and the Left party.

The members include Social Democratic MP Aydan Özogus and Green Party MP Omid Nouripour, the latter of whom co-sponsored a parliamentary initiative in 2013 to single out Jewish products from the West Bank with a labeling system. The Post has sent press queries to the Green Party and Social Democrats regarding their members’ roles in the society. Özogus and Nouripour have refused to comment.

The Green Party leaders Robert Habeck and  Annalena Baerbock have refused to comment about Nouripour ‘s pro-BDS activities since the Post first disclosed his membership in the DPG in February. Nouripour serves as the party’s foreign policy spokesman and has faced criticism from Iranian dissidents due to pro-Iranian regime leanings.

In February, in der Beek introduced an anti-BDS resolution to the German-Palestinian advisory board that was identical to the anti-BDS measure passed by the Bundestag in May 2019. The resolution declared the BDS campaign an antisemitic movement.

In der Beek’s FDP has taken the lead within the German parliament in combating contemporary antisemitism targeting Israel.

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