German City Removes Ad by Group Promoting Anti-Israel Boycotts
The German city of Stuttgart, the capital of the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg, has removed the promotional page for a hardcore anti-Semitic boycotts group, after Benjamin Weinthal reported in The Jerusalem Post a week ago Sunday that the municipal promoted the entry for the pro-BDS organization Palestine Committee.
“BDS [Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions] propagates the goal of an Israel boycott. Therefore, we have removed the address entry of the association of Palestine Committee Stuttgart from the website stuttgart.de,” Sven Matis, a spokesman for the city’s Green Party Mayor Fritz Kuhn, told the Post, Weinthal reported Friday.
Matis explained that additional research led to new conclusions that Palestine Committee lists “boycott measures against Israel” on its website and draws a parallel between Israel and an “apartheid state.” In contrast to other German cities – such as Munich, Frankfurt and Berlin – Stuttgart does not have a law prohibiting the use of city funds and space for BDS activity.
Germany’s best-selling newspaper Bild on Wednesday cited the fact that Mayor Kuhn allowed a boycott-Israel entry on the city’s website, financed by the taxpayers, as an example of modern anti-Semitism in the German Green Party.
“We are committed to combat BDS as a top priority, in Germany and elsewhere. We will address the Stuttgart authorities on the issue,” said Emmanuel Nahshon, spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
The deletion of the entry from the city’s website is believed to be Stuttgart’s first anti-BDS action against the Palestine Committee. The German-Israel Friendship Society in Stuttgart (DIG) had earlier informed the Post about the pro-boycotts entry on the city’s website.
Volker Beck, a senior Green Party politician, reacted to the news on Thursday and told the Post: “It is good when the city comes to the insight to remove the entry. Better late than never.” Beck is a leading activist in the Green Party against the campaign boycotting the Jewish State.
In May, Baden-Württemberg’s intelligence agency referred to the boycott movement as a “new variation of antisemitism,” in Germany.