15:03 GMT +307 December 2019
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    German Commissioner Files Complaint Against BDS Chapter Following Assault on US Synagogue

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    A tweet by US philanthropist Adam Milstein sparked controversy on 11 September after his post about graffiti on an American synagogue was commented on by representatives of a German BDS group in a manner that some considered anti-Semitic.

    Uwe Becker, the commissioner of the Hessian Federal State Government for Jewish Life and the Fight Against Anti-Semitism, has filed a complaint against the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement’s chapter in the German city of Wiesbaden, following tweets by the group that allegedly incited anti-Jewish hatred.

    “Wiesbaden branch of the anti-Semitic BDS movement stoked incitement on social media that targeted an American synagogue with anti-Semitic insults”, Becker told to The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. “Wiesbaden termed the State of Israel, in its statements on social media, as a ‘Zionist colony’, and the flag of the Jewish state as a symbol of a genocidal, colonialist ideology".

    The scandal came after the BDS Wiesbaden group replied to American philanthropist Adam Milstein’s video post last Wednesday that showed how the Baba Sale Synagogue in Los Angeles had been vandalised with a written graffiti that read “Free Palestine”. Milstein commented on the video by saying that the synagogue had been damaged by BDS activists promoting “violence against Jews” and bore a resemblance to Nazi anti-Semitism.

    In a number of tweets that have since been deleted, the representatives of the BDS chapter, which was reportedly linked to the main website of the movement, replied to the post by branding the synagogue an “embassy of Zionist colony” and arguing that “everyone flying the Zionist rag has to be confronted with the crimes committed by the Zionist colony”.

    Becker argued that the messages coming from BDS Wiesbaden’s Twitter account, which has now been deactivated, were “deeply anti-Semitic” and were inciting hatred against Jews, while also denying the existence of the State of Israel by referring to it as a “colony”.

    “With this statement, BDS Wiesbaden refers to a photograph of the interior of the synagogue, in which, among others, the Israeli flag can be seen”, Becker explained, adding that the Wiesbaden chapter emphasised “that a house of prayer should not be decorated with the symbol of a genocidal, colonialist ideology”.

    “This is pure hatred of Israel, and the Wiesbaden BDS chapter has very clearly dropped its anti-Semitic mask”, said the commissioner, while defending his fight against anti-Semitism in Germany.  

    The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement presents itself as a “Palestinian-led movement for freedom, justice and equality” that promotes various forms of boycotting Israel on the basis of its alleged colonisation of Palestinian lands.

    antisemitism, synagogue, BDS, US, Germany, Israel
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