(JNS.org) Berlin’s Mayor Michael Muller, who had come under fire from Jewish organizations for not publicly condemning the BDS movement, has pledged his commitment to working against organizations that promote boycotts of Israel.
Muller said that the Berlin Municipality would continue to use all legal means necessary to fight the spread of anti-Semitic incitement in demonstrations held across the city, and to combat anti-Semitism in schools.
“BDS activists stand with anti-Semitic signs in front of Berlin businesses [that sell Israeli products],” Muller said Thursday. “These are unacceptable practices from the Nazi era. We will do everything in our power to prevent BDS from obtaining halls and funds for its anti-Israel incitement.”
Muller’s statement was applauded by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, which had threatened to include the mayor’s actions on its list of this year’s 10 most anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incidents around the world. In June, Muller permitted nearly 600 Hezbollah supporters and members to march in the German capital as part of a rally calling for Israel’s destruction. Jewish groups have noted the high incidence of BDS and anti-Semitism in Berlin this summer, including the disruption of a program at Humboldt University featuring an Israeli Knesset member and a Holocaust survivor.
“The mayor showed true leadership in denouncing BDS for what it is: an anti-Semitic, anti-peace campaign,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean. “He has emphatically added his important voice to the global efforts to defeat extremists dedicated to the demise of the Jewish state.”