Israeli and Arab BDS activists gather in EU Parliament

BDS activists hold anti-Israel gathering at the same time as the anti-BDS conference is taking place in the same building

Yoni Kempinski ,

BDS conference in Brussels
BDS conference in Brussels
Yoni Kempinski

At the same time that an anti-BDS conference was being held at the EU Parliament in Brussels, Israeli BDS activists held a parallel gathering, led by radical Israeli activist Dror Feiler.

Feiler, who heads the radical leftist organization Jews for a Just Peace, said that "together with BDS activists we are looking for alternatives to conflict. Tzipi Livni does not dare come here, because she knows she will be detained for questioning. Israel feels the pressure of the larger BDS movement. It is hurting the economy and the investments of [Israeli] banks, and she is trying to fight it. But it will not help her."

Feiler compared Israel's response to the BDS movement to the response of the former Apartheid regime of South Africa. South Africa tried to fight against the boycott during the Apartheid regime, and it didn't help. Neither will it help Israel, he said. The struggle is not about Israel or about Jews, but against the policy of the Israeli government, which is the enemy of the Jewish people and the greatest enemy of the world. "Jews have always fought for equal rights, and it is time to return to that great Jewish tradition of fighting for equal rights."

MK Yoav Kish (Likud), who participated in the anti-BDS conference in Brussels, said: "We have to give them as little exposure as possible. The legal forum is the correct way to fight them. They do this in Britain, in Germany, and in other countries in Europe. And they will continue to do so. They are trying for fight us, sometimes through wars, often through terrorism. They haven't succeeded, so BDS is their new method [of fighting against Israel]."

MK Hilik Bar (Zionist Union) added: "I am saddened to hear that it was Israelis and Jews who lent a hand to the ugly anti-Semitic phenomenon called BDS. Those Israeli Jews should know that the BDS movement is not fighting for Palestinian human rights or for the sake of the two state [solution], but seeks the destruction of Israel."

"You have to realize that the founders of the BDS movement belong to terrorist organizations, and that human rights issues have nothing to do with it. Not with missiles but with boycotts do they want to defeat Israel." MK Bar said.

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the director of the European Jewish Association, said: "Both events, which were held simultaneously in the European Parliament, constitute an accurate reflection of the two movements. At the conference of the pro-Israel organization AIPAC, all guests were received with honor, including a man who introduced himself as a representative of the Palestinian Authority. He received permission to speak and received responses from MKs Bar and Kish."

"However, when BDS organizations, which, to our sorrow, are headed by Israelis who claim to be 'peace-makers,' discovered the presence of Israeli journalists in the room of the BDS conference they removed them with physical violence. They will continue with their lies and we will adhere to reality." Rabbi Margolin said.