“We will do everything in our power to prevent BDS from obtaining halls and funds for its anti-Israel incitement,” says Berlin Mayor Michael Muller.
Berlin Mayor Michael Muller, who had come under fire from Jewish organizations for not publicly condemning the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, has pledged his commitment to working against organizations that promote boycotts of Israel.
Muller said that the Berlin Municipality will continue to use all legal means necessary to fight the spread of anti-Semitic incitement in demonstrations held across the city and to combat anti-Semitism in schools.
“BDS activists stand with anti-Semitic signs in front of Berlin businesses [that sell Israeli products],” Muller said Thursday. “These are unacceptable practices from the Nazi era. We will do everything in our power to prevent BDS from obtaining halls and funds for its anti-Israel incitement.”
Muller’s statement was applauded by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which had threatened to include the mayor’s previous stand on its list of this year’s 10 most anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incidents around the world.
In June, Muller permitted nearly 600 Hezbollah supporters and members to march in the German capital as part of a rally calling for Israel’s destruction. Jewish groups have noted the high incidence of BDS and anti-Semitism in Berlin this summer, including the disruption of a program at Humboldt University featuring an Israeli Knesset member and a Holocaust survivor.
“The mayor showed true leadership in denouncing BDS for what it is: an anti-Semitic, anti-peace campaign,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean. “He has emphatically added his important voice to the global efforts to defeat extremists dedicated to the demise of the Jewish state.”
Mounting Anti-BDS Wave in Germany
Last month, Frankfurt became the first German city to pass a bill outlawing municipal funding for BDS activities.
“The BDS movement does not only strongly resemble the ‘Don’t buy from Jews’ argumentation of former times of the National Socialists[Nazis], but the movement is built on the same toxic ground and it is poisoning the social climate in the same dangerous way,” Uwe Becker, Frankfurt’s deputy mayor and city treasurer, told The Jerusalem Post.
In May, Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) passed a resolution in support of Israel, condemning BDS as anti-Semitic.
In December 2016, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party announced the passing of a resolution declaring BDS anti-Semitic.
The BDS movement promotes financial, academic and cultural boycotts against Israel, ostensibly as a nonviolent struggle against the so-called “Israeli occupation.” Critics say its activities are a modern form of anti-Semitism and that its true objective is to destroy the State of Israel.
By: JNS.org and United with Israel Staff