Panic over BDS reaches fever pitch

A protester holds a placard reading ‘I boycott Israel but not Jews’ during a Palestine solidarity event in Berlin. (photo: Fabrizio BenschReuters)
Painting BDS as anti-Semitic is primarily a tactic to legitimize the occupation.

By Barry Trachtenberg  |  The Electronic Intifada |  Oct 30, 2019

In the United States, anxiety over BDS is just as palpable and extends to any perceived slight against the Jewish people.

The Czech parliament’s decision to pass a resolution condemning the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions movement as anti-Semitic last week is only the most recent example of how the panic over BDS has reached a fever pitch.

This latest round of attempts to stop public criticism of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians began in Britain in May. Jeremy Hunt, at the time foreign secretary and running for the leadership of the Conservative Party, attacked supporters of BDS by declaring that “boycotting Israel – the world’s only Jewish state – is anti-Semitic.”

Far more unnerving, Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, passed a resolution that same month that condemned BDS as inherently anti-Semitic.

Several days later, Germany’s commissioner on anti-Semitism Felix Klein warned that “I cannot advise Jews to wear the kippah everywhere, all the time, in Germany,” in a statement made just days before the annual al-Quds march – a Palestine solidarity event – in Berlin.

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