Berlin's Jewish Museum dragged into row over Bundestag BDS antisemitism motion

The museum provoked the ire of the Central Council of Jews in Germany by tweeting an article about 240 Jewish and Israeli academics who oppose defining BDS as antisemitic


The Jewish Museum of Berlin has been dragged into a row over a motion passed by the German Bundestag which defines the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS) as antisemitic.

The museum sparked controversy by tweeting a link to an article in left-leaning news site Die Tageszeitung, commonly known as taz, on a petition by 240 Jewish and Israeli scholars who criticised the motion.

The Central Council of Jews in Germany interpreted it as a tacit endorsement of the view that BDS is not necessarily antisemitic.

Josef Schuster, the president of the Central Council, said: “The Jewish Museum Berlin seems to be completely out of control. Under these circumstances, one has to think about whether the term ‘Jewish’ is still appropriate.”

Richard Grenell, the US ambassador to Germany, tweeted: "I stand with my friends at the Central Council. Their leadership is crucial in Germany."

The non-binding Bundestag resolution bars BDS from receiving any funds from the country's federal, and from using public space, JTA reports.

It also declared the movement’s “patterns of argumentation and methods” are antisemitic.

This week 240 Jewish and Israeli academics signed an open letter urging the German government to reject the motion, calling the move to define BDS as antisemitic a “deceitful allegation”.

It argued that boycotts are “a legitimate and non-violent tool of resistance”.

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