Dozens of Palestinians representing political factions and nationalist forces as well as the National Boycott Committee, civil society organizations, labor and trade s and representatives of popular committees demonstrated today outside the German representative office in Ramallah in protest against the adoption of the German parliament, the Bundestag, of a bill considering the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) as an anti-Semitic movement.
The participants handed the German representative a letter intended to the German government asking it to rescind the decision of the Bundestag.
Member of Fatah Central Committee, Jamal Muheisen, told WAFA that the letter delivered to the German representative was written by the political forces and civil society organizations in order to respond to the decision of the German parliament criminalizing BDS.
"Germany is trying to punish the victim and not the executioner by talking about anti-Semitism even though the Palestinian people and the entire Arab nation are Semitic people,” he said.
"Today we live under a racist apartheid regime in the form of the Israeli occupation. Germany and the whole world are required to confront the Israeli government, which is going against all international resolutions, and not to play along with it, especially at this time when the US administration is plotting against the Palestinian national struggle and the future of peace sought by all the world and which is based on the two-state solution," added Muheisen,
Mustafa Barghouti, secretary-general of the Palestinian National Initiative, said that the decision of the German Bundestag was "unfair" and "undemocratic", pointing out that the decision itself is anti-Semitic "because it equates between Jews and the practices of Israel's apartheid rulers and system, which is why we demand its abolition."
BDS co-founder, Omar Barghouti, said the German decision is a desperate attempt to criminalize the boycott movement, which he said “enjoys the support of the Palestine Liberation Organization and all the political forces and popular committees, which are struggling for the right of our people to freedom and the right of return of refugees.”
He pointed out that the decision will not affect negatively the BDS, “but rather it will show the hypocrisy of the German parliament, which succumbs to the pressure of the Zionist lobby and the rising fascism in Germany, which tries to criminalize BDS by claiming it is anti-Jewish.”
"This if far from the truth,” he added. “We are against the Israeli colonial and racist regime and the Apartheid system, and we have never been anti-Jewish. We reject racism in all its forms, including anti-Semitism. This is a shame for the parliament."
Al-Haq Director Shaawan Jabarin said that what the German parliament did was not a binding law until this moment, pointing out the importance of sending a message to the German government not to turn it into a binding law and not to implement it because it violates the German constitution and violates the Human Rights Charter, particularly with regard to freedom of expression, and contradicts with the European Union's own position expressed by the EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini who said that the boycott movement falls within the framework of freedom of expression.
"The boycott movement is not based on belief or ethnicity, and it is not directed against the Jews, but against the practices of the state and the political entity represented by the State of Israel that commits world crimes," Jabarin told WAFA.
The German Bundestag passed a non-binding bill on Friday considering the BDS an "anti-Semitic" movement and calling on its government not to fund or support any institution that denies Israel's right to exist and to defend itself. The decision is expected to lead the German government to reconsider funding projects involving supporters of the boycott movement.