The activities of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement are mentioned in the first-ever comprehensive UN report on antisemitism, reports the Embassy of Israel in South Africa in a press release yesterday.
The recent report notes a rise in antisemitism around the world and an increase of use of anti-Semitic narratives while “expressing anger at the policies and practices of the Government of Israel”.
The report says that while international law recognises boycotts are legitimate forms of political expression, “expression which draws upon antisemitic tropes or stereotypes, rejects the right of Israel to exist, or advocates discrimination against Jewish individuals because of their religion, should be condemned.”
The report notes: “In some cases, individuals expressing such views have engaged in Holocaust denial in others, they have conflated Zionism, the self-determination movement of the Jewish people, with racism, claimed that Israel does not have a right to exist…”1
The UN report is not the only development regarding this issue says yesterday’s press release, noting that governments around the world have already passed motions against BDS. The German Parliament passed a resolution declaring the BDS movement as antisemitic in Ma , 27 states in the US have passed anti-BDS laws, as did Canada and the Czech Republic. France applies hate-speech laws against BDS activities, upholding the notion that the actions are discriminatory.
The EU reiterated this week: “The EU does not support any form of boycott or sanctions against Israel. The EU rejects attempts by the campaigns of the so-called ‘Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions’ (BDS) movement to isolate Israel”2
Meanwhile, Ynet News reports that the Dutch parliament yesterday approved a resolution opposing the European Court of Justice’s ruling to force all EU countries to label Israeli products imported from West Bank settlement communities. The initiative was led by Christian groups in the parliament and is largely symbolic because it was passed without the backing of the government coalition. However, diplomatic officials said that the strong support among parliament members suggests it could guide government policy in some way. The labelling ruling is seen by Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor as a “stepping stone for full-fledged BDS against Israel”.
The UN report on Antisemitism follows a dramatic rise in violent anti-Semitic incidences including the recent shooting attacks on Synagogues in the United States of America and Germany. Addressing the issue, Pope Francis publicly condemned Antisemitism this week exclaiming: “Here and there, there is a new rebirth oof persecuting Jews. Brothers and sisters, this isn’t human or Christian. Jews are our brothers”3