Israeli Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Minister Gilad Erdan called on Germany during his delivery of the keynote address Sunday at Frankfurt’s Deutscher Israelkongress — Europe’s largest pro-Israel conference — to use its position to help Europe fight anti-Semitism.
“Israel and Germany have a common commitment to fight anti-Semitism and discrimination. Germany is doing it, and Chancellor [Angela] Merkel and her party have called [the Boycott, Divest & Sanctions campaign against Israel] BDS, the ‘New Anti-Semitism,'” Erdan said.
“I call on Germany to use its position to help in this fight. Europe needs to fight BDS just as it should be fighting classic anti-Semitism.”
The Minister said that while anti-Semitism demonized the Jews and blamed them for all of Germany’s troubles, this new form of anti-Semitism demonizes the Jewish State and blames it for all the problems in the Middle East.
“In the past anti-Semites boycotted Jewish businesses and threatened those who refused to do so. Today, this new manifestation of anti-Semitism calls for the boycott of the Jewish state and threatens those who refuse to capitulate.
“The European Union would never finance organizations that promote racism; so too it should cease funding organizations that promote boycotts against the State of Israel. Germany can lead the way in halting the flow of funds to these organizations,” he said.
German states and cities have taken steps to ensure that public funds are not transferred to BDS initiatives, German banks have closed BDS accounts, and German broadcasters have refused to broadcast Roger Waters’ performances.
“Every time I now hear his songs on the radio, I turn the station. Anti-Semitism will never be part of our playlist,” Erdan said.