06:54 GMT +319 August 2017
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    French BDS Activists

    EU Declares Israel Boycott Protected as Free Speech

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    Despite claims from Jerusalem that boycotting Israel amounts to anti-Semitic activity, which is banned, the European Union’s foreign policy chief has declared that it is protected free speech.

    While the EU opposes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement against Israeel, Federica Mogherini upheld the right of those who wish to participate.

    “The EU stands firm in protecting freedom of expression and freedom of association in line with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which is applicable on EU Member States’ territory, including with regard to BDS actions carried out on this territory,” Mogherini said in response to questions from an Irish member of the European Parliament last month, the Times of Israel reports.

    The member, Sinn Fein politician Martina Anderson, a supporter of the Palestinian cause, had asked the EU “commit to defending BDS activists’ right to exercise their democratic freedom of expression.”

    She stated that ideas that offend any portion of the population are still protected under the freedom of expression.

    “Freedom of expression, as underlined by the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, is also applicable to information or ideas ‘that offend, shock or disturb the State or any sector of the population,’” Mogherini said.

    The statement was appaluded and celebrated by those committed to BDS.

    “We welcome the EU’s belated defense of the right of European and other citizens to stand in solidarity with Palestinian rights, including through BDS tactics,” Riya Hassan, a senior member of the Palestinian BDS National Committee, said in a statement.

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    Tags:
    Free Speech, Boycott, BDS, European Union, Federica Mogherini, Palestine, Israel
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