03:13 GMT +322 September 2019
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    A Palestinian woman walks past a mural calling people to boycott Israeli goods in the al-Azzeh refugee camp near the West Bank city of Bethlehem on September 17, 2014

    BDS Movement Linked to Right-Wing Extremists, Faces New Controversy in Germany

    © AFP 2019 / AHMAD GHARABLI
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    German intelligence has red-flagged a local organization, which advocates for the boycott of Israeli goods to punish the state of Israel, for neo-Nazi slander, anti-Semitism and threatening national security. Angela Merkel’s party has already turned against the activities of the BDS movement, branded by some officials as "anti-Semitic."

    The German homeland security service has labeled the right-wing extremist "Der Dritte Weg" ("The Third Path") party, which supported the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement against Israel, “blatantly” anti-Semitic. It defined their calls to boycott Israeli goods “definitely right-wing extremist and neo-Nazi.”

    In its 2017 report, released this May, the branch of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution in the southern state of Baden-Württemberg detected a brand-new type of anti-Semitism, which it described as anti-Zionist. The agency warned that this type of anti-Zionist anti-Semitism lures supporters beyond the right-wing extremist scene in Germany, who sympathize with the BDS movement.

    The report also states that the party’s boycott appeal "roughly recalls similar measures against German Jews by the National Socialists, for example, on April 1 1933 (the slogan: 'Germans! Defend yourselves! Don't buy from Jews!')." According to the intelligence, it demonizes and delegitimizes Israel and condemns the Jewish state. The party describes Israel, its politicians and military using such words as “murderers and terrorists.”

    Over the past year, several German cities have turned against BDS activities, branded by officials as "anti-Semitic." According to the German outlet Deutshe Welle, after Frankfurt banned official municipal support to such groups, Munich and Berlin have considered the option. Before that, in 2016, Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union party supported a petition stating that the CDU would condemn BDS activities.

    The global BDS campaign, calling for the boycott of Israeli goods and companies and sanctions against the Jewish state, was started in the 2000s to show solidarity with the Palestinians, primarily in response to Tel-Aviv’s violent policy in the Middle East. It proclaims nonviolent pressure as a way to force the country to comply with international law and end the occupation of Arab lands. According to The Electronic Intifada, among the supporters of the movement there are three EU states (Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden).

    In other states, the authorities, on the contrary, try to curb the movement.

    READ MORE:US Congress Looks to Combat BDS Movement Against Israel

    In March 2017, the Jewish state passed an amendment to its legislation, allowing it to sue, and seek damages from, people who call for boycotts against Israel and its settlements. Following the move, 20 organizations, including two run by Jews were banned from the country.

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    Israel ‘Barred’ Dublin Mayor for BDS Support, Then Mayor Tweets from West Bank
    Dutch Anti-Zionist Activists Accused of Shouting Slurs at BDS Rally
    Tags:
    Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, right-wing extremist, extremism, BDS, Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Germany, Israel, Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin
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