UN report says BDS movement based on anti-Semitic tropes must be condemned

The report finds that ”anti-Semitism is toxic to democracy and mutual respect of citizens and threatens all societies in which it goes unchallenged.”

By World Israel News Staff

A recent report submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Council has revealed an excessive amount of anti-Semitic tropes from all sides of the political spectrum and has called for action to be taken.

Ahmed Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, is an independent expert appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council. In his report, Shaheed said that he is “alarmed by the growing use of anti-Semitic tropes by white supremacists, including neo-Nazis, and members of radical Islamist groups in slogans, images, stereotypes, and conspiracy theories meant to incite and justify hostility, discrimination, and violence against Jews.”

Shaheed also addressed the anti-Israel BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement, by saying that legitimate forms of political expression are legal, but must be condemned if they are based on anti-Semitic tropes.

“International law recognizes boycotts as constituting legitimate forms of political expression and that non-violent expression of support for boycotts are, as a general matter, legitimate speech that should be protected,” he said. But, “expression which draws upon anti-Semitic tropes or stereotypes, rejects the right of Israel to exist, or advocates discrimination against Jewish individuals because of their religion should be condemned,” the special rapporteur added.

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He also warned that anti-Semitism, if left unchecked by governments, “poses risks not only to Jews but also to members of other minority communities. Anti-Semitism is toxic to democracy and mutual respect of citizens and threatens all societies in which it goes unchallenged,” he asserted.

Shaheed called on the U.N. to take action against this rising threat, by calling for investments in education and training to enhance literacy about the different ways in which anti-Semitism manifests itself.

In addition, he called on the U.N. to appoint someone who will monitor worldwide anti-Semitism, as well as actions which are taken to counter anti-Jewish behavior.

“The U.N. system has a vital role to play in engaging with Jewish communities to combat anti-Semitism,” said Shaheed.

“The secretary-general should consider appointing a senior-level focal point in the Office of the U.N. Secretary-General with responsibility for engaging with the Jewish communities worldwide, as well as monitoring anti-Semitism and the response of the U.N. there too,” he added.