August 29, 2018 | The Jerusalem Post

Berlin Intelligence Agency Declares BDS Antisemitic

The city-state of Berlin’s new intelligence report on Tuesday classified the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign targeting the Jewish state as part of the outbreak of antisemitism in the German capital.

The Jerusalem Post examined the 248-page report which says under the chapter headline “Special Topic: Antisemitism” that “campaigns, which targeted Israel with a boycott, also made headlines” during 2017.

The intelligence document cited examples of BDS that were widely condemned as antisemitic by German politicians and experts in the field of antisemitism. One of the outbreaks of BDS-animated antisemitism outlined was the storming of an Israel event at Humboldt University. At least three highly aggressive pro-BDS activists lashed out at Israeli survivor of the Holocaust Deborah Weinstein and MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) who participated at the event titled: Life in Israel – Terror, Bias and the Chances for Peace.

Ronnie Barkan and Majed Abusalama, two of the activists who disrupted the Humboldt event, were barred from speaking at BDS events in the city of Oldenburg prior to the Berlin event due to antisemitism.

Stavit Sinai, a third BDS activist at the Humboldt event, was removed from the lecture hall as she “swung [her fists] wildly around her and [at the] attendees,” according to a statement from the pro-Israel German-Israel Friendship Society. She “continuously attempted to reenter the lecture hall and pounded on the door,” said the group.

A second example was the call to boycott a music festival in Berlin because the Israeli government was listed as a sponsor. The intelligence agency wrote that “parts of BDS place Israel’s existence in question with its demands of an unconditional return of Palestinians and the comparison of Israel with the South African Apartheid regime.”

Klaus Lederer, the cultural senator of Berlin’s Left Party, has termed BDS “structural antisemitism.”

After the Post reported on widespread BDS activity in Berlin in 2017, the city’s mayor Michael Müller said that the BDS tactic of “standing with antisemitic signs in front of Berlin shops” is the functional equivalent of “the intolerable methods used in the Nazi era.”

He added that “We will do everything in our power to prevent the use of our venues and funds for BDS’s anti-Israel incitements.”

The Berlin intelligence agency, which is the rough equivalent of Shin Bet, wrote that antisemitism is ubiquitous among Islamists, and right-wing and left-wing extremists, and has gained traction in mainstream society THE STATE Office for the Protection of the Constitution is the formal name for the Berlin intelligence agency. The agency’s goal is to shield the city’s democratic system from anti-democratic threats.

The report’s section titled “Left extremist antisemitism” revealed a picture of a Palestinian flag with the words “F**k Israel and the USA” with a hammer-and-sickle emblem of the former Soviet Union in the corner.

Under the rubric “Right extremists antisemitism” is a picture showing a package delivery that states: “Never Again Israel.”

The pro-Iranian regime Al-Quds Day rally in Berlin is the main stronghold demonstration for Islamic-animated antisemites and pro-BDS activists. Berlin’s mayor pledged to take action against the rally but declined to outlaw it and punted the legal dispute to the federal government.

The event calls for the destruction of Israel.

The Berlin report listed 250 active Hezbollah operatives in the city and 70 Hamas members.

It is unclear why the Berlin authorities have not arrested the Hamas members. Both the US and EU classify Hamas’s entire organization as a terrorist entity as opposed to Hezbollah’s military wing, which is merely proscribed a terrorist body by the EU.

The intelligence report’s section on “Antisemitism within Islamism” shows a picture from a rally stating “IS means Israel Security and Nazi means Nationalistic and Zionistic and they are fascists and terrorists.”

Equating the Islamic State (IS) and Nazi Germany are considered by experts to be forms of antisemitism. The intelligence report noted that the “increasingly popular denunciation of Israel as an apartheid regime or comparisons of Israel to National Socialist Germany are only two examples of antisemitic positions that appear widely in societal and political discourse.”

The Berlin report’s finding that BDS is a manifestation of antisemitism follows two other state intelligence reports.

In June, an intelligence report from the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate wrote: “The Third Way’s slogan ‘Boycott Products from Israel’… betrays significant parallels to the anti-Jewish agitation of the National Socialists.” The Third Way (Der Dritte Weg) is a German neo-Nazi party.

In May, the intelligence officials of the German state of Baden Württemberg wrote that propaganda from The Third Way calling to boycott Israeli products “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!’” The German Bank for Social Economy is a main financial enabler of BDS in Germany.

United Israel Appeal Germany on Thursday pulled the plug on its account with the bank because the financial institution refuses to sever ties with the pro-BDS extremist group Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East.

Benjamin Weinthal is a fellow for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow Benjamin on Twitter @BenWeinthal

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