A ruling by a German administrative court on the rental of municipal premises for BDS events has been met with incomprehension by the Central Council of Jews in Germany.
The court ruled that a ban in the city Munich to rent public rooms for events that deal with the content and goals of the BDS movement, was contrary to the fundamental right to freedom of expression if municipal institutions refused to make their rooms available on the basis of content-related positions.
For the Central Council, the fact that the anti-Israel boycott initiative BDS has antisemitic features and incites to antisemitism was given too little consideration by the court in the ruling.
“Freedom of opinion is a great public good. But antisemitism is not an opinion. The decision of the city of Munich not to lend public spaces to such events in the literal sense of the word was therefore very welcome,” said Central Council of Jews President Dr. Josef Schuster
“People who spread antisemitism with their hostility towards Israel should not be given a platform. The ruling is a setback in the fight against antisemitism and for the cohesion of society,” he added.
In order to lend municipalities a hand against such events, the federal government and the states should quickly establish regulations, the Central Council demanded.
This would also implement the political will expressed in the Bundestag resolution on BDS of 2019. Consequently, there should be a regulation in place to refuse to rent pblic spaces to any source of right-wing extremism and antisemitism.