JERUSALEM, Israel – Austria’s parliament on Thursday unanimously passed a resolution condemning the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement as anti-Semitic.
“The National Council emphatically condemns all kinds of anti-Semitism, including Israel-related anti-Semitism, and calls on the federal government to confront these tendencies resolutely and consequently,” the resolution states.
The measure says the BDS movement’s refusal to “recognize the right of the Jewish people to self-determination” is anti-Semitic.
The parliament called on the government to not support “financially or in any other way” the BDS movement or any other groups that deny Israel’s right to exist.
A group called BDS Austria condemned the unanimous decision in a statement on its Facebook page, saying it is “anti-Palestinian” and “undermines the important fight against real anti-Jewish racism.”
Israel's Foreign Minister Israel Katz welcomed the resolution as a "decisive decision that could serve as an example for other European and world countries, and I urge countries and parliaments to follow Austria's lead and adopt similar decisions."
The Transatlantic Friends of Israel (TFI) group in Austria’s parliament celebrated the decision.
“Israel is Europe’s key partner in the Middle East for security, economic cooperation and job creation, and shares our fundamental values of the rule of law and democracy,” said MP Lukas Mandl, who chairs the TFI.
Austria’s decision comes nearly a year after Germany’s Bundestag passed a similar resolution condemning the BDS movement and comparing its actions to Nazi Germany’s policy of boycotting Jewish products.