Through BDS,thePalestinianshave actuallybeensuccessful
We live in a post-fascist Germany,
not in an anti-fascist Germany.
Europe has been undergoing massive changes in recent years.
As more EU countries see a rise in nationalism
and far-right movements, there have been increasing reports
of anti-Semitism in the media.
My name is Dan Glass and I'm an activist for social justice.
All four of my grandparents were Nazi Holocaust survivors
and I've learnt from day dot that Jews were massacred,
bludgeoned and forced from their homes.
But over the past few years, criticism of Israel and solidarity
with Palestine has also been labelled as anti-Semitism.
We won't tolerate anti-Zionism,
as it is the new face of anti-Semitism.
But is criticising the policies of Israel anti-Semitic?
And what lies behind the movement of the so-called
"new face of anti-Semitism"?
I'm here because I want to explore where the racism ends,
and the instrumentalisation begins.
I'm on my way to Munich to meet Nirit Sommerfeld,
a Jewish Israeli singer who criticised the politics
of her own state and found herself amongst accusations
Here's a song I wrote. Here, "Alles schein".
"Alles schein" means "what a scam".
So, I'm talking to Israel in this song as if it was my lover.
The beginning is "I need to go, I need to flee from this place
because everything I see, weapons and violence
and I can't stand it anymore".
Then in the bridge, I'm talking about
"you are torturing people, you are killing children,
even your own kids are suffering" and so on.
For this line, I was accused to serve anti-Semitic stereotypes.
Because of my very radical views on Israel and Palestine,
they won't let me perform.
And this really hurts.
It sounds radical that I say a Palestinian
should have the same right as an Israeli.
They have the power to give me a hard life, and that's not fair.
Nirit's experience is not an isolated case.
All around the world, solidarity with Palestine and support
of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement
or BDS, are commonly accused of being anti-Semitic,
and such allegations have caused people
to feel increasingly afraid to speak out against Israeli policies.
In 2019, the director of Berlin's Jewish Museum
was forced to resign from his occupation after tweeting
a recommendation to read an article on BDS.
A Human Rights Watch official was deported
by the Israeli authorities over his alleged support
of the boycott of Israel.
So what exactly is so wrong about BDS?
I'm about to speak to the European Legal Support Center's
coordinator, Giovanni Fassina, who is in Amsterdam
so we're going to have a chat on Skype.
civilsocietycallin2005 for Boycott,Divest andSanction
groupsorentitiesonthemerebasis of theirIsraeli
To understand the need for a movement like BDS,
one must understand thehistory of how Israel came to exist.
At the end of World War I, the British took over Palestine,
and as more Jews emigrated to flee persecution in Europe,
tensions increased between local Arabs and Zionists
who believed that the land belonged
to the Jewish people by birthright.
In 1947, after the horrors of the Holocaust in Nazi Germany,
the UN agreed on a proposal to divide the land
into aJewish State, Israel and a Palestinian state
with Jerusalem remaining a multi-faith international zone.
Even though Jews represented only a third of the population,
they were to receive 56% of the land.
The neighbouring countries didn't accept the plan
and declared war on Israel in 1948.
Israel won the war, in part thanks to a Zionist militia
that had received established training
from senior British Army officer Orde Wingate.
In the process, the newly proclaimed country
expanded way beyond the borders established by the UN,
and at least 700,000 Palestinians wereforced to flee from their homes.
When the Six Day War broke out
with the surrounding states in 1967,
Israel expanded their borders further,
with the West Bank and Gaza coming under Israeli occupation.
The occupation in the West Bank continues today,
and the Israeli government is deeply entrenched
in a process of building illegal Jewish settlements
in the region,while continuing to subject Palestinians
to military occupation, land dispossession andunequal rights.
This is the current situation today:
a growing vanishing of Palestinian land to Israelis.
we hadnofuture in Palestine.
Majed Abusalama is an award-winning human rights defender
who grew up in Gaza before moving to Germany in 2016.
Ourniece is... now hastogetusedandlearnwhat abomb means.
nowandshehadtogetused tolearn thatthereisawar,
that thereisanexplosion, thereisabomb.
From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.
tothePalestinianswhoare notspeakingthe Germandiscourse.
In 2019, Germany passed a motion
labelling the BDS movement as anti-Semitic.
A few months later, the motion was referenced
in the deportation document of Khaled Barakat,
a Palestinian activist who wasexpelled from Germany
for advocating against the Israeli occupation.
They say for example:
"you call for the right of return
for Palestinian refugees to their homes".
So? What's the crime?
In 2017, Israel's Ministry of Strategic Affairs
set aside a budget of 72 million U.S. dollars
to fight the global movement,
money that was partly used inlobbying activities
orpublic campaigns comparing BDS supporters to Nazis.
with the legitimate critics to the Israeli government.
In December 2019, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson
announced plansfor a new law criminalising the BDS movement.
Israel's Minister of Foreign Affairs even publicly praised
the Czech parliament's decision to condemn the movement.
Well, this is the European Parliament.
I guess this is where the magic happens, hey?
Tomas Sandellis the director of the
European Coalition for Israel, a Judeo-Christian lobby
that works to deepen relationsbetween Europe and Israel.
Thankyou, nice to meet you. I really appreciate your time.
Kauf nicht von Juden".
OrdoesitsayweboycottJewish people's products?
andthey havethe fundsandthey havethePRpeople to
Of course, Israel. Israel, Israel, Israel.
Ok, that's very different. And it's good to get that clarity.
Dr. Shir Hever is a Jewish political economist whose study
widely focused on the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian land.
andtheysay "ohwellwecan getbetterrelationship
andifwedothe opposite, ifwespeakinfavorofBDS,
Today I'm investigating this really interesting organisation
Foranti-Israelactivism,RIAS Berlinincludes, forexample
If we deducted the 101 incidents related to anti-Israel activism,
the total number of anti-Semitic incidents in Berlin
would come to 982 in 2018.
Whilst this is still a 4% increase from the previous year,
it's far from thefigures reported by RIAS.
We contacted RIAS, numerous times,
but they refused and seemed anxious to talk to us
so I decided to call them up directly.
Yes, you are talking to RIAS.
andI heard...overheardpeopleat thetablenexttometalking
Weconsider the public call for boycotting Israel
as an anti-Semitic statement.
that wehavetoconsiderto bepublictalk.
Report it to us, it'sdefinitelysomethingwewill consider
tothemselvesinacafe, that could be anti-Semitic.
Aside from conflating the boycott of Israel
with anti-Semitism, post-war Germany has a long history
oflinking support for Jewish people
directly with the State of Israel.
overits collaborationwiththeNazisintheSecond World War.
Some evangelical Christians believe that the modern State
of Israel is in accordance with a 4000-year-old biblical prophecy.
The land would be predestined to all Jews
who will rule it until the return of the messiah,
when Jesus returns to Jerusalem.
This perspective gave birth to a growing number of
Christian-Zionist lobby groups around the world
and while these lobby groups are most powerful in the U.S.,
they also reach the heart of Europeanpolitics.
Imeanyourwebsite, you know, I'm glad you brought that up
because it says thatECIbelieves
ofWestern democratic societiesand remainscentral
It'sfascinating, I mean...butwhere'severyone else?
You know, wheredotheycomefrom?
The argument of the exclusive influence of Judeo-Christians
in the shaping of Western Europe denies
and even contradicts the influence of Muslims in the region.
Today, the term is adopted by right-wing populists like
Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders
who alsopromote Islamophobic ideas.
In fact, the majority of contemporary anti-Semitism
is attributed to the white, nationalist far-right.
Germany's Federal Government found that the number
of anti-Semitic hate crimes recorded skyrocketed
between 2015 and 2018, and over 89% of these crimes
were perpetrated by right-wing extremists.
Simultaneously, the latest Global Terrorism Index
reported that between 2013 and 2018, Western Europe,
North America and Oceania have seen an increase of 320%
in attacks committed by far-right terrorists
the same ideology responsible for the staggering rise
of Islamophobia around Europe.
Thereisa hugesceneof, like,mediaandartandcultures
beinganti-Semites,you know, andbeingdifferent
And it'sso orientalist how they look at... andsoracist.
I feellikeaJewishpolarbear, which is always interesting.
But whoknowswhatmay be around the corner?
Can I ask you a question?
Yeah, I agree with that.
You're my cousin.
Oh, thank you. Thankyouverymuch.
I'm from Palestine.
Oh, good on you.Good on you.
Of course, I'm not denyingthatanti-Semitic
The media plays an ongoing role in singling out
the Muslim community.
An American study found that between 2011 and 2015,
terror attacks committed by Muslims receive five times
as much media coverage as those carried out by non-Muslims.
And this Islamophobic discourse is no different in Germany,
where the Muslim population has become
a convenient scapegoat that has been utilised
for the far-right's gains.
Hi, Dan. Nice to meet you. How are you doing?
We should not forget that we live in a post-fascist Germany,
not in an anti-fascist Germany.
Susann Witt-Stahl is a journalist and author
whose research has focused on Germany's relationship
with Israel since the 1950s.
We are systematically witnessing Palestinians represented
as an uncivilised collective,
a collective that must be civilised, that must be colonised.
What is also interesting
is what I call "the waste removal of the German past",
where all the features of German fascism
are being projected onto the Palestinians.
Therewereatrocitiesandmassacresat the Holocaust
againsttheJewishpeople in Germany.
arenotthePalestinians, nottheArabsand nottheMuslims.
in Germany,look at PalestiniansandArabs".
And this is naturally very practical and very fitting
for the extreme right in Germany.
The sole purpose of the extreme right since 1945
is to blame the crimes of Germany on others.
We have to go back to the 50s, to the so-called
"reparation agreement" with Israel.
Germany wanted to be a player in Western imperialism.
The chief protagonist of this politic was Konrad Adenauer,
an archconservative reactionary politician
who justified the "reparation agreement"
with anti-Semitic arguments.
Adenauer was the first chancellor of West Germany
after the war.
His cabinet and ministries notably employed
a considerable number of ex-Nazis,
along with one of his closest confidants, Hans Globke,
the responsible ministry official for Hitler's
anti-Jewish racial legislation.
Adenauer justified Germany's financial compensations
to Israel with arguments implying the Jewish community
might want revenge from the Holocaust.
Konrad Adenauer said...usedhisrelationshipwithIsrael
The criticism of theStateofIsraelis acriticism...
not of theJewishpeople.
an entity thatisviolating warcrimes.
Theywantusto accept surrender
arresting tensofthousandsofPalestinians everyyear,
oftheState of Israel.Imean,givemeabreak.
Nostate... no stateinthiswholeworldhasarighttoexist.