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Arms industry lobby likely among the forces behind the unthinkable BDS banning in Germany

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Recently, the German parliament passed an unprecedented legislation through which the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS) is now considered illegal!

As Sharmini Peries of the Real News reported:

The German parliament (Bundestag), has just passed an unprecedented piece of legislation condemning the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement, known as BDS. They deemed BDS as anti-Semitic and illegal. This makes Germany the first and only country in the world to criminalize the BDS movement.

The legislation was passed at lightning speed in Germany. The bill itself was well kept secret until only two days before the vote. It was initially promoted by the far-right pro Israeli parties, both the neoliberal Party FDP and the racist anti-immigrant party AFD. But members of all German parties ended up supporting it, even from the far left.

Peries spoke with the Real News correspondent, Shir Hever, who gave impressive details about the peculiar circumstances under which this legislation finally passed. As Hever explained:

A few days ago there was the German-Israeli Congress, which is an annual congress where Israel sends delegations to meet with German politicians and discuss a cooperation between the two countries. And they dedicated this meeting to fighting BDS.

This meeting of the Congress was very confused. People kept contradicting themselves and contradicting each other, because they couldn’t really agree if a boycott is an allowed thing in the name of democracy and free speech, or should it be completely banned. They kept insisting that Israel is a democracy, but never finding any arguments to say how, in what way Israel is a democracy, actually, and in what way they critique that Israel is an apartheid state fails to meet the truth, or in what way it is anti-Semitic. So, I think the result of that Congress was that they have to pass the legislation very fast.

And indeed, as the legislation was proposed to the German parliament - the Bundestag - there was an immediate counterpetition by Jewish and Israeli scientists and scholars, especially scholars of anti-Semitism, scholars of hatred against Jews, who said that this proposal is wrong, that the BDS movement is not anti-Semitic, and calling BDS an anti-Semitic movement weakens the real fight for equal rights for Jews and the protection of Jews against racism.

Apparently the left, parts of the left, have also expressed some desire to rid themselves of their guilt over the Holocaust by equating the BDS movement, which is a Palestinian call, with anti-Semitism. Of course, it’s not anti-Semitic. But by doing that they’re saying, 'oh, we’re fighting anti-Semitism' by choosing to support the state of Israel, rather than by being responsible for the protection of Jewish people.

German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer established diplomatic relations with the state of Israel and decided that Holocaust survivors who live in Israel will not receive compensation from Germany. And instead, the German government will give the money to the Israeli government to decide how to use that money. And whether parts of that money will go to Holocaust survivors or not, remains and a decision with the Israeli government.

One can say in Konrad Adenauer’s defense that he could not get into the internal politics of Israel, and he could not force the Israeli government to distribute the compensation to the actual Holocaust survivors. But of course, there were also a lot of economic interests involved. The Israeli government said, 'Why don’t you give us weapons instead of money?' And that fits, of course, the German industrial interests very well.

Today was the second time that the German political system has failed to meet up to its moral obligations, and instead of supporting and protecting Jews from racism it chose and to protect the state of Israel from legitimate critique, and calls that kind of legitimate critique anti-Semitism even though it is clearly not.



Hever's reference to the Konrad Adenauer era, right after WWII is quite interesting. It shows that big economic interests - and arms industry in particular as it seems - were behind the approach of the then German government with the state of Israel, rather than with the Holocaust survivors and the Jewish people in general.

There are indications that today is happening something similar. It seems that there are also some big economic interests who, in coordination with the Apartheid state of Israel, pushed for the banning of the BDS movement. An action condemned by many Jewish and Israeli scientists and scholars, as Hever said because it will probably have a negative impact on the fight against real anti-Semitism.

Apparently, those big economic interests have bought a part of the political spectrum in Germany, but also exploit the fear of many German politicians - and especially those of the left - that they could be stigmatized as anti-Semites.

Perhaps another interesting detail in the whole story is that today, those big economic interests are also related with the arms industry. As we wrote in previous report:

S. Arabia and Israel have a common characteristic: they are transformed progressively into the key buyers of the German weapons systems. Berlin is aligned with the official Western-Israeli position of the "right for self-defence", not only because Germany tries to get rid of the WWII heritage, but also because it wants to "refresh" its arms industry.

Germany does not care to whom is selling weapons, whether these weapons will be used against population inside countries, like in the case of Bahrain or S. Arabia and knows very well that these countries do have enough money to buy weapons. It's worth to remember that Germany sold 6 nuclear submarines to Israel, tanks and many more.

Israel can play a critical role in this case by blocking Germany to sell weapons in other countries and the most characteristic example until now was S. Arabia. During the latest months we see the reverse of this situation as S. Arabia ordered 200 tanks from Germany with special equipment to be used in urban centers against its population in case of serious riots. This has been done with the approval of Israel and this is an economic parameter of the situation in the Middle East for Angela Merkel.

Comments

  1. “Only the US empire would have reasons to do it in order to force one of its key allies to cut ties with Iran.”

    Look higher. Which lobby has a stranglehold on Congress? And why is Trump Netanyahu’s lap dog?

    ReplyDelete

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