Germany federal domestic intelligence agency labels pro-Palestine movement as ‘suspected extremist group’ News
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Germany federal domestic intelligence agency labels pro-Palestine movement as ‘suspected extremist group’

The German Federal Ministry of Interior published a report on Tuesday by the country’s federal domestic intelligence agency, designating the Palestinian civil society Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) a “suspected extremist case.”

According to the report, BDS was founded in 2005 with the support of over 170 Palestinian-affiliated organizations, including the Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine, which contains Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) as two of its 15 members. Containing demands of an economic boycott and the imposition of sanctions against the State of Israel, the group’s ideological basis, in particular, the “Palestinian Civil Society Call for BDS,” aims for an end to the occupation of all Arab lands. This has been understood as a demand to end Israel’s existence as a state, which constitutes sufficient evidence, among other things, of a violation of the idea of “Völkerverständigung” (international understanding).

According to Article 9(2) of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany, “associations whose purposes or activities … are directed against the constitutional order or against the idea of international understanding are prohibited.”

Additionally, Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser named Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and the Hamas attacks in October 2023, along with their consequences, as two of the sources of instability for German security in its foreword. The 408-page report further identified and outlined several topics including politically motivated crimes, right-wing and left-wing extremism, Islamic terrorism, foreign-related extremism, espionage and cyberwarfare and other issues.

In 2019, the German Bundestag—the federal parliament—adopted a motion entitled “resolutely countering the BDS movement – combating antisemitism.” The motion strongly opposed any form of antisemitism, condemned the BDS campaign and called for a boycott of the movement. It also urged the federal government to prohibit any events organized by the BDS group or any other formations that actively pursue similar goals.