Israeli and U.S. officials warned in a meeting with European lawmakers on Wednesday of a rise in hate crimes against Jews in Western Europe, and urged the European Union to cut funding to organizations supporting the international boycott of Israel, providing a report detailing the ties between the BDS movement and anti-Semitism.
The event was organized by the European Jewish Association and attended by Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan and U.S. Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism Elan Carr, as well as E.U. anti-Semitism czar Katharina von Schnurbein, members of European Parliament and leading Jewish organizations.
The report, released in Brussels under the title, “Behind The Mask: The Anti-Semitic Nature of BDS Exposed,” catalogues 80 examples of BDS organizations and activists using anti-Semitic content in their boycott efforts.
“BDS leaders who use anti-Semitic language and images that also prove their principles of boycotting ‘the Jew among the nations,’ Israel, are anti-Semitic,” said Erdan.
Some of the examples in the report include British parliamentarian Jenny Tonge posting to Facebook a question as to whether the wounding of 27 Palestinians in clashes with Israeli troops was “all to celebrate Passover,” Dutch BDS promoter Robert-Willem van Norren holding up a picture of an Israeli flag with the Star of David replaced by a cockroach, and a caricature of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holding a butcher knife, accompanied by Orthodox Jews and facing off against Palestinian stone-throwers.
In February, Erdan’s office released a related report, titled “Terrorists in Suits,” which detailed the intricate relationship between the BDS movement and terrorist organizations.
“We have proven beyond a doubt that BDS is an anti-Semitic campaign led by supporters of terror with one purpose: the elimination of the Jewish state,” said Erdan.
Carr said the United States stood “unequivocally” with Israel to combat BDS.
“I am here to express the United States’ position that this is anti-Semitism, and we stand unequivocally with the State of Israel in combating this scourge,” said Carr.
Israel has called on the European Union to stop funding over a dozen European and Palestinian BDS-related organizations, some of which Israel claims have ties to terrorist groups.
While the European Union opposes the BDS movement, it has also defended the movement’s right to free speech.
Erdan expressed his hope that departing E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini would cut the European Union’s ties to BDS organizations before leaving her post.
In a statement released Wednesday, the European Union said it has not changed its position regarding the BDS.
“While it upholds its policy of clearly distinguishing between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied by it since 1967, the EU rejects any attempts to isolate Israel and does not support calls for a boycott,” said the statement.
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