Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, US Special Envoy for Combatting Antisemitism and European Jewish Association chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin / (photo credit: YONI KREIGER)
BRUSSELS – Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan unveiled a new ministry report at the EU Parliament on Wednesday that details how the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement has intensified antisemitism for Jews around the world.
The 94-page report, titled “Behind the Mask: The Antisemitic Nature of BDS Exposed,” was published in English and calls on Western governments and leaders to “remain vigilant against antisemitism in all its forms, including that practiced by the BDS movement, and to take proactive steps to stem this hate.”
Erdan stressed that the aim of BDS “is to mainstream antisemitism.”
“We have exposed BDS and its connections to Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine,” he explained. “The blatant antisemitism that was used to single out the Jews is being used to attack the Jewish state.”
During the briefing, EJA chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin said that BDS “is responsible for vast majority of violent and online attacks in Europe.”
Margolin added that it shouldn’t be normal that Jews in “London, France and here in Brussels are prepared to be attacked.”
“If there is clear legislation, policy and education, antisemitism can’t grow but European governments allow and support BDS,” Margolin said.
Erdan also called on European governments to adopt the IHRA definition and to implement legislation to fight BDS “and end funding” to the movement.
US Special Envoy for Combating Antisemitism Elan Carr stressed that “antisemitism isn’t only about the Jews, and that the fight is not only just about protecting the Jewish people – it’s about the fight for our collective future,” stressing that the Holocaust was one of the lowest barometers in human history.
In the fight against antisemitism, Carr said that world leaders need to ask “what kind of world” they want for future generations.
“We have to fulfill our promise to the next generation, who is deserving of a better world,” he said. “If all governments stand together on this, we will see a better world.”
Carr reminded those present that the official policy of the US is that “anti-Zionism is antisemitism.” He also made it clear that he is positive “we will win this fight if we work together,” concluding that if he wasn’t optimistic about this, he “would never have taken this job.”
Polish EU Parliament member Anna Fotyga told the panel that although she is not Jewish, she lost family in World War II and identifies with the Jewish people deeply.
“Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East,” she stressed, adding that BDS is damaging to the ideals and values of EU countries because “you can’t separate sport, education, and economy… when it comes to boycotts.”
Greek EU Parliament member Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou said that “antisemitic acts and incidents are increasing all over the world,” highlighting that this is “very concerning.”
“The Greek government will continue to fight against antisemitism,” Asimakopoulou vowed.