SA Zionist Federation Press Release

20th February 2017

The SAZF strongly applauds the ruling party in Germany The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and in particular the German politicians from the CDU in Hamburg who submitted a resolution in early February calling on the Hamburg state senate to take decisive action against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, deeming it as antisemitic.

The CDU has compared BDS to the National Socialists who boycotted Jews in the 1930s. BDS dresses up antisemitism in the “new clothes of the 21st century” as anti-Zionism, the party said.

The anti-BDS resolution was in response to the University of Hamburg’s appointment of Farid Esack, a pro-BDS Professor of Theology from the University of Johannesburg in South Africa.

The advisory board of the Academy of World Religions at Hamburg University, where Esack served as a guest professor from October to mid-February, distanced itself from Esack.

Esack is the chairman of BDS South Africa. In 2015, he welcomed his “comrade” plane hijacker Leila Khaled, of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, in South Africa for a national BDS fund-raiser. The EU and US classify the PFLP as a terrorist organization.

The German newspaper "Die Welt" further reported on Saturday that the academy said Esack has not demonstrated clear statements affirming Israel’s right to exist. The advisory panel said that “under consideration of the now known facts, a decision to appoint Prof. Dr. Esack as guest professor would have certainly been decided differently.”

The anti-BDS motion in Hamburg is a further setback for BDS activists, after German financial institutions terminated three BDS bank accounts in 2016.

The SAZF further applauds Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union Party on having recently passed an anti-BDS resolution at its party congress.

Issued by:

Ben Swartz
National Chairman of the SAZF