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October 23, 2019

Czech lawmakers pass resolution condemning BDS movement

Source: timesofisrael
The lower house of the Czech parliament on Tuesday passed a resolution condemning all forms of antisemitism as well as calls for boycotts of Israel.
The non-binding resolution, which passed the Chamber of Deputies with an overwhelming majority, strongly condemns “all manifestations of antisemitism directed against individuals, religious institutions, organizations as well as the State of Israel, including the denial of the Holocaust.”
It further rejects “any questioning of the State of Israel’s right of existence and defense” and “condemns all activities and statements by groups calling for a boycott of the State of Israel, its goods, services or citizens.”
The resolution calls on the government in Prague not to offer any financial support to groups that promote a boycott of Israel and to intensify efforts to prevent antisemitism. It also urges the government to provide “greater security” to people and institutions that could become the target of antisemitic attacks.
During a brief discussion before the vote, lawmakers stressed the historically close relations between Israel and the Czech Republic.
Jan Bartošek, the head of the Christian Democrats faction in the chamber, who introduced the resolution, said the Czech Foreign Ministry helped formulate the wording of the resolution.
“I am convinced that Israel is our strategic partner and ally in the Middle East,” he said.
Citing an “increasing waves of antisemitism in Europe,” including the Yom Kippur attack on a synagogue in Halle, Germany, he added that it was “necessary to clearly define ourselves” against this trend.
“We regard Israel as our true ally in the fight against Islamic terrorism,” far-right MP Tomio Okamura said, saying the Jewish state “should be a role model” for his country.
With 58 members out of a total of 200 lawmakers, the “Friends of Israel” caucus is the chamber’s largest friend group.