The European Parliament has issued a letter to the European Union (EU) that calls on the EU to completely ostracize the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
According to European Jewish Press, 60 members of Parliament from multiple parties signed a letter to EU Foreign Affairs Chief Federica Mogherini stating that “no public funds go to organizations calling for a boycott of the State of Israel, and to instruct agencies not to engage with companies, organizations or other entities involved with the BDS movement.”
The letter added that the BDS movement is “discriminatory” and that the EU needs to take an active role in fighting against efforts to undermine the nation of Israel.
MEP Cristian Dan Preda, who is one of the key figures behind the letter, said that it would it be terrible idea to acquiesce to calls of rescinding bilateral agreements with Israel.
“It’s in the interest of this House, and of our citizens, to see an upgrade in the partnership agreement with Israel,” said Preda. “We should not allow the current stalemate in the peace process to dictate the terms of our relationship with Israel.”
Europe Israel Public Affairs Founder Rabbi Menachim Margolin praised the letter.
“The European Parliament takes pride in its diversity, and we are glad to see such a wide support for investment, rather than divestment from something that has been for more than 3 decades a mutually advantageous bilateral relation,” said Margolin.
In November 2016, Mogherini stated that while the EU opposes the BDS movement, they have the right to promote their tactics.
“The EU stands firm in protecting freedom of expression and freedom of association in line with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which is applicable on EU Member States’ territory, including with regard to BDS actions carried out on this territory,” Mogherini wrote to an MEP.
However, Moghernini noted that “the EU rejects the BDS campaign’s attempts to isolate Israel and is opposed to any boycott of Israel.”
In April, the EU put forward a stronger rejection of the BDS movement in their commercial competition report, which called on the European Commission “to fight against unfair collective boycotts, defined as a situation in which a group of competitors agree to exclude an actual or potential competitor, as restrictions of competition by object.” While Israel is not specifically mentioned in the aforementioned section the report, the language was included in the report as a rebuke against BDS.