The close resemblance of a German Green Party bill that would label Israeli products from Yehudah and Shomron to a prior labeling bill proposed by the neo-Nazi NPD party has drawn allegations of an immoral alliance from both German and Israeli observers, The Jerusalem Post reported on Sunday.
The revelation that the bill advanced by the left-liberal Green Party in the Federal Bundestag mirrors, in key provisions, the language of the neo-Nazis provoked sharp criticism from Israeli and German experts on modern anti-Semitism.
“This alliance between the Greens and the far right to promote blatant double standards is a huge stain on Germany’s moral standing,” Prof. Gerald Steinberg, head of the Yerushalayim–based NGO Monitor, charged on Friday.
“Duplicitous product labeling is the thin wedge of the BDS [Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment] movement, and central to the Durban strategy of political warfare and demonization that targets Israel,” Steinberg, a political scientist at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, said.
The Greens deny any such connection.
Michael Schroeren, spokesman for the Green Party, responded to the Post by email last week, saying he “finds it absurd” that one could conclude that the “Greens were inspired by the neo-Nazis to come to their position” on labeling products from Yehudah and Shomron.
The Greens also deny they are advocating a boycott of Israeli goods, insisting that they are merely seeking to enable consumers to make an “informed purchasing decision.”
Udo Pastörs, head of the NPD in the eastern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, introduced a bill last November to label Israeli products.
Steinberg is not alone, however, in his view that the Greens and the neo-Nazis have something in common on the issue of Israel.
Henryk M. Broder, a European expert on contemporary anti-Semitism, wrote last week in a column titled “Two Souls, One Thought” in the Swiss weekly Die Weltwoche that the Green and Nazi parliamentary initiatives to label products are, “at their core, identical.”
Broder wrote that both initiatives use the historical model of the German Nazi regime boycotts of Jewish businesses starting on April 1, 1933, and invoking the mass slogan “Germans, defend yourselves. Do not buy from Jews!”