Press release – Two hundred and forty Israeli and Jewish Academics Urge German Government To Reject “BDS is antisemitism” Law
In an open letter published in English and German on BDS Germany’s website, the academics called on the German government “not to endorse” the law “which is based on the false allegation that BDS as such equals antisemitism.”
“We all reject the deceitful allegation that BDS as such is antisemitic and maintain that boycotts are a legitimate and non-violent tool of resistance,” read the letter.
“In addition, we call on the German government to maintain its direct and indirect funding of Israeli and Palestinian non-governmental organisations that peacefully challenge the Israeli occupation.”
In May, some sixty Israeli and Jewish academics signed a nearly identical letter calling on the Germany government not to pass the law. In the original version of the letter, the academics called explicitly “not to exclude NGOs that endorse BDS from German funding.”
Signatories of the new letter included academics from variety of publicly funded Israeli universities, including twenty four academics from Hebrew University, twenty four from Tel-Aviv University, eleven from Ben-Gurion University, nine from Haifa University, five from the Weizmann Institute of Science, and five from the Open University of Israel.
Several academics from Bar-Ilan University, the Technion, Sapir College, and Ruppin Academic Center were also among the signatories.
Matan Peleg, CEO of Im Tirtzu that revealed the letter, stressed the harm caused to Israel by these professors.
“There is no parallel in the world to this phenomenon of hypocrisy and ungratefulness, in which these professors earn their living at the expense of the Israeli taxpayer yet at the same time work to boycott and slander them,” said Peleg.
“While tremendous amounts of resources are invested in Israel and throughout the world to combat the international BDS movement,these radical professors are undermining these efforts by promoting BDS from within Israel.”
“Israeli academia must immediately work to root out this severe phenomenon. The writing is on the wall.”
Im Tirtzu is a Zionist non-governmental organization based in Israel. Its name is derived from an epigraph appended to the frontispiece of Theodor Herzl’s novel Altneuland, ‘if you wish it, it is no fairy-tale,’ rendered into modern Hebrew in Nahum Sokolow‘s translation in 1903, as Im tirtzu ein zo agadah. (“If you will it, it is no dream.”)