New publication: Activities, forms of action and actors of the BDS campaign in Germany since 2011 in an international context [in German]

A guest article by Kim Robin Stoller in the new publication “Antisemitism in BDS” by the Federal Association RIAS e.V.

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Since the beginning of the 2010s, calls for a boycott of Israel and (Jewish) Israelis under the BDS campaign label have been on the rise in Germany. However, there have also been antisemitic calls for boycotts independently of the BDS campaign – both before and since then. The International Institute for Education and Research on Antisemitism (IIBSA) has analyzed relevant BDS activities in Germany (such as demonstrations, conferences, information stands, disruptive actions and campaigns) and the actors involved. This chapter presents a quantitative analysis of BDS activities and forms of action by these actors in Germany since 2011. In this context, the chapter also highlights the thematic focuses and political strategies of the actors and how these have changed since the Bundestag resolution against the BDS campaign in 2019.

The analysis shows that different references to BDS in Germany should be distinguished from one another. Above all, BDS as a label for activities or campaigns should be distinguished from BDS as an organizational structure. Some actors use the BDS label in their activities or sign the BDS call, while other groups use the acronym BDS in their name or make the BDS campaign itself the main objective of their activities. It is striking that sometimes the same people appear under different names in the activities of different groups or campaigns. There are also organizations that organize BDS-related activities on a local or international level without identifying themselves by name as part of the BDS network.

A website in Germany promotes BDS activities nationwide and acts as a kind of umbrella for these activities. The spokesperson of the group “BDS Berlin” is responsible for this website under press law. The website also lists a number of organizations in Germany that support BDS calls.