BDS threat to academic freedom, German students
See more below story
A talk hosted by Leipzig University in Germany recently at which a University of London lecturer promoted her book in favour of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, struck such ire among the Leipzig’s student government that they passed an anti-BDS resolution in response.
Student leaders – including the Young Socialists and Liberal groups at Leipzig – voted “to condemn the anti-Semitic BDS campaign”, saying it promotes “anti-Semitic measures such as disinviting Israeli academics”.
Their resolution, thought to be the first such denouncement of the US-based anti-Semitic organisation in Germany, states: “Israel’s right to exist and to self-defence is for us non-negotiable.” The student council resolution also voted “to condemn the anti-Semitic BDS campaign,” and is “against anti-Semitic measures such as disinviting Israeli academics”.
Leipzig’s student council also objected to the fact that the BDS measures resemble the Nazi-era slogan “Don’t Buy from Jews!” BDS’s goal is the “abolition of the State of Israel”, the resolution said.
The Leipzig student resolution is the first known detailed academic document rejecting BDS in Germany. Leipzig University is the second largest university in Saxony, with more than 28 000 students, and was founded in 1409. It counts Chancellor Angela Merkel, philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, and author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe among its alumni.
The famously Jew-hating composer Richard Wagner also attended Leipzig.
Of course, many of BDS’ home-based (US) campuses and even the federal one, some State and City legislators in the US have banned the organisation – SEE LINKS BELOW.
An upwelling of BDS opponents in Germany accuse the anti-Israel organisation of “state capture” in that they encourage the use of taxpayer money to promote their anti-Israel agenda, including the cities of Bremen and Munich which are giving “space in public offices and city institutions” to BDS to use in the furtherance of their efforts.
The civil society group “Alliance against anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism Leipzig” is also very active in their support of the students.
Refusal to recognise anti-Semitism
The HAWK University of Applied Sciences and Arts, in Hildesheim, Lower Saxony, taught its 10th and last anti-Israel seminar. The curriculum taught that Israel harvests Palestinian organs and depicts Israel as a “dehumanised” society in its reading material.
Israeli DFA spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said in Jerusalem that the HAWK seminar is “an ugly and outrageous demonstration of Jew-hatred”. He said: “This is not a university – it is a hatred factory. One would think that in Germany of all places people would understand the pernicious nature of hatred and racism under a pseudo-academic guise.”
However, the president of HAWK, Christiane Dienel, told De Welt in defence of the course, that “she gave her children Jewish names”. She repeatedly denied the “completely baseless accusations of anti-Semitism”. Last month, however, after continued pressure, the university reluctantly announced the seminar would be replaced with a more general module on Middle East conflicts in future.
Related reads on JR Online
CALIFORNIA BAN BDS FROM CAMPUSES – The US pro-Israel definition of anti-Semitism was adopted on the University of California’s (UC) ten campuses and community of 400 000.
LEFT: UC head and ex-Secretary of Homeland Affairs Janet Napolitano
This move was the cause of a major setback for BDS which could even have been banned on the campuses. Anti-Semitism watchdog, Amcha, says there is a direct correlation between BDS activity and anti-Semitism on US campuses.
ANTI-ZIONISM INCITES ANTI-SEMITISM NEW STUDY SHOWS – A new survey released in the US this year offered data backing up the argument that anti-Israel activity contributes directly to incidents of anti-Semitism on university campuses – particularly noticeable during Israel Apartheid Week.
RIGHT: BDS is losing ground, fast
The report cited entities such as student groups, academics, and the US-based Israel hating NGO, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, for the racism and anti-Semitism on US campuses.
On June 8, 2010 the US State Department’s then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, pictured, decided to write its own definition of anti-Semitism after the EU published what the US felt was too narrow a guideline. STATE’S DEFINITION includes the modern pro-Israeli “Three-Ds” principle widely espoused by Jewish Agency for Israel (JA) head Natan Sharansky and Canada’s renowned Irwin Cotler.
The 3D principle of modern anti-Semitism links anti-Zionism to Jew-hatred when the State of Israel is subject to Demonisation, Delegitimisation or the application of Double-standards to the country.