Berlin, May 16, 2011

Open letter addressed to the Executive Board of the party DIE LINKE (The Left)

Dear members of the Executive Board of DIE LINKE, Your “Flash Bulletin”1 on the April 30 Executive Committee and the Mai 2 Executive Board meetings provides a résumé of the important consultations of these two party organs. According to the “Flash Bulletin,” a highly topical issue was discussed at the beginning of both consultations: the anti-Semitic leaflet that had appeared on the homepage of the Duisburg Chapter of DIE LINKE, obviously calling for the boycott of Israeli goods, to which the Executive Board of DIE LINKE declared: “(…) There is no room in our Party for rightwing extremism and anti-Semitism. We resolutely reject anti-Semitic thought and right wing extremist actions everywhere. This includes our unambiguous rejection of appeals to boycott Israeli goods. (…)” We applaud the fact that you resolutely reject anti-Semitic thought and right wing extremist actions everywhere. However, if you categorically reject calls to boycott Israeli goods as anti-Semitic and right wing extremist, you demonstrate an information deficit. With its July 9, 2005 call, Palestinian civil society was reacting to the international policy refusal to take action on the International Court of Justice's July 9, 2004 advisory opinion on the wall through the occupied West Bank, requested by the UN General Assembly. Palestinian civil society is calling for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, until it complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights.2 This is a means for demanding the implementation of the advisory opinion of the UN International Court of Justice, which declared inter alia: “All States are under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction; all States Parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 have in addition the obligation, while respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention."’3

http://www.die-linke.de/index.php?id=7884 http://bdsmovement.net/call, auf deutsch http://www.bdsmovement.net/call#German 3 siehe dazu die entsprechende Resolution der UN GV: http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/F3B95E613518A0AC85256EEB00683444
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Your defamation of the Palestinian civil society's appeal, by associating it with anti-Semitic thought and right-wing extremist activities, is intolerable. It is intolerable that you defame such personalities as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Stéphane Hessel, Nelson Mandela and many others on this issue. It is intolerable that you defame the global campaign in support of this appeal issued by the Palestinian civil society. Rather than contributing, so that more pressure can be applied to the Israeli government until it complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights, you, with your rejection of the global BDS campaign, are helping Israel to continue its occupation, colonization and apartheid with impunity. 4 Demanding respect for International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights does not permit double standards. Your otherwise vehement engagement for upholding international law and your partisan stand on behalf of the oppressed, along with your assertion that you and your party advocate a society in which the right of the mighty not become the political yardstick, loses its credibility with your rejection of BDS. We have great respect for the comrades of DIE LINKE, including members of parliament, who, in spite of the rebuke from within the ranks of their own party, are engaged with great personal commitment in the struggle for the implementation of Universal Principles of Human Rights and for a just peace in the Middle East. We would be very happy if you would reconsider your position and openly discuss this issue in your Party, as is the case in your regional chapter in Bremen. 5 We would happily accept the opportunity to discuss this issue with you. Sincerely BDS Group in Berlin Contact: bdsmovement-Berlin@web.de

(www.bds-kampagne.de / Translation: Doris and George Pumphrey)

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http://untreaty.un.org/cod/avl/ha/cspca/cspca.html http://www.adalah.org/upfiles/2011/Adalah_The_Inequality_Report_March_2011.pdf 5 http://www.dielinke-bremen.de/nc/politik/aktuell/detail/zurueck/bremennews/artikel/warum-wir-unsder-vorgeschlagenen-parteien-stellungnahme-keine-boykottaufrufe-gegen-israel-in-uns/