Sputnik discussed the significance of this with Dan Diker, fellow and project director of The program on BDS and Political Warfare.
Sputnik: What is the significance of the fact the German homeland security service has labeled the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement-linked party as anti-Semitic?
Dan Diker: It's the first time that any internal security service in the world has labeled BDS a national security challenge or problem, or threat. The security services are very right to identify that BDS and their associated political warfare strategy as a national threat to the Republic of Germany as well as to other Europeans, and the reason is that the German authorities have discovered a direct connection between very clear anti-Semitic statements by what they call the 'red-green alliance'.
The authorities have noticed this connection to what had been Nazi talk back in 1933 and I think this is the fright of the German authorities because it really reminds them of a very dark time in German history, where it began with ideological warfare and ended up with the Holocaust.
Sputnik: Is going to have far-reaching consequences for politicians, for entities that are dealing with BDS?
Dan Diker: Clearly there are economic implications, mostly what we're seeing in Germany is they are leading the rest of Europe, but seeing that they're not prepared to make available facilities for BDS activities, but let's remember the threat of BDS is not the economic impact, it's the political warfare characteristic of BDS, that means in short, when far-left German groups, for example, have known to be directly in contact with and supportive of the Lebanese based Hezbollah and the Hamas, this is what the real danger of terrorism is, that begins with BDS and ends up with terror and I think that is what many in the West are beginning to see right now.
The students at the University of Heidelberg took a recent decision to prohibit any type of BDS legislation and I think that the American universities would do very well to pay attention to the type of coordinated action and morally clear action that these universities in Germany have taken.
Sputnik: In other words from say a moral issue it becomes actually a direct security threat?
I think that is something that the European governments ought to pay attention to, and I think that's exactly to what the German internal security services are signaling with their outlawing of BDS.
Sputnik: Anti-Semitism, of course, is such a sensitive issue in Germany, why do this sentiment still exists in the country? What factors actually contribute to the fact that its lingering presence there?
Dan Diker: Anti-Semitism is one of the world's oldest hatreds and I think that there are a number of reasons for anti-Semitism, and anti-Semitism exists also for reasons that are not rational. There's a politically correct form of anti-Semitism that has been first identified by the German authorities. The German authorities have recognized something called anti-Zionism anti-Semitism as a singular expression and it means the convenient hiding behind the rejection of Israel as a politically correct form of anti-Semitism, the anti-Semitism which has traditionally been the rejection and that hatred of the Jewish people as individuals and the type of terrible tragedies, as we saw in Europe the 1930s, and the same thing can happen to Israel.
Clearly Israel is a strong nation-state with a very robust people that come from a hundred different countries, including Germany, and other European countries and from Asia, so Israel can defend itself, but one sees a tremendous amount of increase in this traditional anti-Semitic behavior were Israel is being held to a double standard that other countries are not held to, and that is one of the definitions of anti-Semitism.
The German people and the German government are among the best friends that Israel has, Israeli people have a deep appreciation for the German people at this time especially in guarding against the possibilities of a downward spiral into the type of terrible tragedy that overtook the world 70 years ago.
Sputnik: And yet there are countries within the European Union that do not denounce the BDS movement as anti-Semitic, why would the issue be so divisive?
Dan Diker: The Europeans as an EU collective are very sensitive about protecting freedom of expression and freedom of rights as long as it's not physical violence, and they become confused, manipulated and deceived by the BDS movement to believe that it is something that is a freedom of expression issue.
When you put all of these things together, you find a certain sensitivity in Germany that does not yet exist in some of the other countries, and I think that they ought to rethink or think clearly about the type of violent ideological expressions that they allow to take place in their cities.
*BDS — A Palestinian-led movement for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement works to end international support for Israel's oppression of Palestinians and pressure Israel to comply with international law.
The views and opinions expressed by the expert do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.