Confronting Germany’s mixed record on tackling BDS, August 1, 2018

Malca Goldstein-Wolf, a German Jew, made headlines last year when she convinced the German broadcasting network Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) to pull its sponsorship of Roger Waters’ German tour. She wrote a heartfelt letter to WDR’s director, Tom Buhrow, pleading with him to shun the former Pink Floyd frontman and vocal leader of the cultural wing of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, more commonly known as BDS.

Buhrow responded favorably, and Goldstein-Wolf became a heroine among pro-Israel activists and an object of hate among BDS-supporters, with Waters himself slamming her onstage.

To the casual observer, the incident might demonstrate a special willingness on the part of German institutions to distance themselves from BDS, which the German government itself has categorized as “anti-Semitic”—a modern permutation of the Nazi campaign to boycott Jewish businesses.

Goldstein-Wolf wishes this were the case. “I think the politicians are aware of the danger of BDS, but they do not act accordingly,” she said in a phone interview. “There is a big difference between words and action.”

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