Debate on Der Spiegel: Where to start anti-Semitism? | Politics and Economy -

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Der Spiegel's latest article, which included accusations of two pro-Jewish associations, of "hard-line tactics" on members of the German parliament to consider the anti-Semitic "boycott of Israel" as an outcry. "The SPIEGEL article is very problematic," said German government commissioner for anti-Semitism, Felix Klein in an interview with -. "The book, intentionally or unintentionally, is chanting anti-Semitic clichés of the world's great Jewish conspiracy," Klein said.

On the other hand, the German journalist and blogger Alex Fuerhart wrote on the MenaWatch website, commenting on Der Spiegel's article: "The author of the article does not have a single proof of their sensational hypothesis that the Bundestag's decision against the boycott of Israel's BDS, (BDS) could not have been achieved without the movement of a small Jewish lobby, but influential and has the methods of evasion at the same time.

Antisemitismusbeauftragter Felix Klein (Imago Images / epd / C. Ditsch)

German government commissioner for anti-Semitism, Felix Klein

After the controversy, SPIEGEL published an article on July 13 entitled "Targeted Campaign." In the article, which spoke about "two associations that want to influence the German Middle East policy," it was suggested that the overwhelming approval of a resolution against the boycott of Israel's BDS by Bundestag on 17 May 2019 was due to intense pressure.

The controversial ban
On May 17, 2019, the Bundestag condemned the pro-Palestinian boycott movement, which wanted to put pressure on Israel through boycott, as an anti-Semitic movement. The vote was approved by the Green Alliance and the Free Democratic Party.

BDS, an abbreviation for "boycotting, divestment and sanctions," calls for an end to occupation in the West Bank, the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, and full equality of rights for Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel and for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to return. It calls for boycotting Israel economically, culturally and even academically, and in particular calls for the boycott of goods produced in settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The authors of the SPIEGEL article drew their evidence of the activities of the NAFO and the WerteInitiative Association and said that they had launched an "active campaign to classify the BDS movement, As anti-Semitic prior to the vote on the resolution.

Acceptance of Arab immigrants

Social Democratic Party member in parliament, Helge Linde, considers it exaggerated. He believes that the joint parliamentary resolution that banned the boycott movement has a long history. Linde said in an interview with -: "The German government commissioner for the fight against anti-Semitism, Klein has repeatedly warned of a more critical consideration of the boycott, and the movement is acceptable to Arab immigrants in Germany." "If this political context did not exist, we would not have come up with this decision, but simply talking about the influence of these two associations is exaggerated," Linde concluded.

SPIEGEL's response

At the same time, SPIEGEL has taken a stand against the accusations against it. "We do not hold political associations too much for themselves," the July 15 article said.

The German magazine also rejected the accusation that the text of the article uses anti-Semitic clichés: "The article does not include the image of the Jewish lobby or the conspiracy of the Jewish world, because the religious affiliation of people or other affiliations does not concern our media coverage, And his methods. "

Helge Lindh, MdB (Christoph Busse)

Member of the Social Democratic Party in Parliament, Helga Lindh

The German government commissioner for anti-Semitism, Felix Klein, who was rescued in the article "Spiegel", could not understand the argument of the magazine. "The two organizations (the Middle East Peace Forum and the Values ​​Initiative) are legitimate defense groups with clear positions, not as the report suggests, as Israel's long arm, the global Jewish conspiracy or even the Mossad."

"Balloon Test"

For the local SPD politician, Helge Linde, the debate spawned by SPIEGEL is a "test balloon" to overcome stereotypes of anti-Semitism. "For me, I think that Netanyahu's policy is the reason for the absence of non-anti-Semitic thinking, but criticizing Prime Minister Netanyahu's policy does not mean criticizing the entire State of Israel."

This is precisely what 240 Jewish and Israeli experts and 16 German experts in the Middle East criticize. They were accused after the decision against the boycott of Israel's BDS. As stated in a joint statement issued on 4 June in the ZEIT newspaper entitled "Decision does not help in the face of anti-Semitism."
Even ecclesiastical relief organizations such as Brot für die Welt and Misereor, which is implementing social projects in the region, are looking at the decision to ban the boycott of Israel's BDS, with skepticism, for fear that this decision will jeopardize their work.

For his part, MP Linda expressed his understanding and said: "If it turns out that this decision will hinder the important and necessary work in Palestine, one must consider what can be done to prevent it from faltering." "Not everyone who has a good BDS movement is anti-Semitic," Linde said.
Astrid Brange / EM

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