The US has declared as against Semitic a prominent global development that requires a total blacklist of Israel over its treatment of the Palestinians.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) was “cancer”, adding the US would stop funding groups linked to it.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the move “wonderful”.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the move “magnificent”.
BDS however rejected the charge, saying it opposed “all forms of racism, including anti-Jewish racism”.
“The BDS movement for Palestinian freedom, justice, and equality, stands with all those struggling for a more dignified, just and beautiful world,” it said.
“With our many partners, we shall resist these McCarthyite attempts to intimidate and bully Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights defenders into accepting Israeli apartheid and settler-colonialism as fate.”
Formed in 2005, BDS has become prominent in many countries around the world. It calls for a total boycott of Israel, including cultural, economic, and academic, over what it considers Israeli repression of Palestinian rights.
Israel has long claimed BDS opposes the country’s very existence and is motivated by anti-Semitism. It vehemently rejects any comparison with the apartheid – the state-sanctioned racial discrimination of black people during white-minority rule in South Africa – as a smear tactic.
Mr. Pompeo declared the move on a visit to Jerusalem.
“We will immediately take steps to identify organizations that engage in hateful BDS conduct and withdraw US government support for such groups,” he said, standing alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“We want to stand with all other nations that recognize the BDS movement for cancer that it is.”
In 2017, Israel passed a law refusing entry to people with links to BDS, and last year expelled a senior employee of the campaign group Human Rights Watch (HRW), accusing him of supporting a boycott.
HRW condemned the US’ latest move as “undermining the common fight against the scourge of anti-Semitism”.
“Americans have a long history of supporting tranquil blacklists to advance social equity and basic liberties… The Trump organization should not be attempting to tar bunches since they back boycotts.”
A year ago, Germany’s parliament said the activities of the BDS, for example, the placing of “don’t buy” stickers on Israeli items, were suggestive of the “terrifying” Nazi mission against Jewish individuals under Adolf Hitler.
This news is picked up from BBC