In this file picture, protesters voice support for the BDS movement. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai - UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Gargash has branded the German parliament’s recent resolution to designate the Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions movement (BDS) as ‘anti Semitic’ as “rather perplexing”. “Surely political action against occupation & illegal settlements [colonies] should not be rebuked in this manner,” Gargash tweeted.

The German parliament on Friday became the first in the European Union to pass a symbolic, non-binding resolution that designates the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, or BDS, movement against the Israeli regime as anti-Semitic.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee said in a statement Friday it “rejects all forms of racism, including anti-Semitism” and condemned what it called an “anti-Palestinian, McCarthyite and unconstitutional resolution passed by the German parliament”.

“We call on people of conscience in Germany and beyond to defend the sanctity of universal human rights and freedom of expression by protecting the right to BDS,” the statement read. “The academic and cultural boycott of Israel is strictly institutional and does not target individual Israelis.”

There were other critics, too. Some 60 academics signed an open letter, saying the motion formed part of a worrying trend of “labelling supporters of Palestinian human rights as anti-Semitic.”

It said the mixing of BDS and anti-Semitism was supported by “Israel’s most right-wing government in history” and formed part of a strategy to delegitimise any attempt at international solidarity with the Palestinian cause.