Merkel’s party praised for labeling BDS anti-Semitic
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Merkel’s party praised for labeling BDS anti-Semitic

Statement from Christian Democratic Union equates Israel boycott movement with pre-WWII moves against German’s Jews

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left) shakes hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after arriving in Jerusalem on February 24, 2014. (Sebastian Scheiner/AFP)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left) shakes hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after arriving in Jerusalem on February 24, 2014. (Sebastian Scheiner/AFP)

The Anti-Defamation League on Thursday praised German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party for decrying the movement to boycott, divest and sanction Israel as “coarse anti-Semitism.”

“Who today under the flag of the BDS movement calls to boycott Israeli goods and services speaks the same language in which people were called to not buy from Jews,” the Christian Democratic Union party said, according to the ADL. “That is nothing other than coarse anti-Semitism.”

“It is highly significant that Germany’s largest party and the moral authority of modern Germany have made clear the fundamental linkage between BDS and anti-Semitism,” the ADL’s CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a press release.

“At a time when efforts to isolate and delegitimize Israel are on the rise, it’s critical for society’s leaders to take a stand and call it out,” he added.

Merkel, who faces increasing pressure to pursue more right-wing policies ahead of next year’s elections, ruffled feathers earlier this week when she set out a tough line on integration, including a ban on the Muslim veil.

“The full veil must be banned wherever it is legally possible,” she told the annual gathering of her center-right party on Tuesday.

Outlining her strategy to counter a wave of populism that has consumed key allies abroad, Merkel vowed there would not be a repeat of last year’s record refugee influx. She also stressed it was legitimate for Germany to expect newcomers to integrate.

Merkel, who has led Germany for 11 years, last month confirmed she would run for a fourth term but acknowledged that the election would be “more difficult” than any other she has contested.

Next year’s polls will “not be a walk in the park” as Germany is deeply polarized, noted the German leader, but urged the population to remain “skeptical about easy answers.”

AFP contributed to this report.

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