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Germany’s anti-BDS resolution damages its relationship with Palestine


Jonathan Ofir writes: Last week, the German Bundestag passed a resolution condemning the campaign for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), meant to take Israel to task for its violations against Palestinians, as “anti-Semitic”. The resolution flatly conflated “Israel” with “Jews”, thus associating it with the Nazi boycott of Jews.

There was a competition of “Israel loving” between the far-right parties and the center-left parties. Jürgen Braun of the far-right AfD said that the AfD was the only party in the Bundestag that could claim to be “a friend of Israel”. AfD’s resolution proposal contained an outright ban on BDS, yet the other parties opted for a more ‘moderate’ version, ‘merely’ condemning BDS as anti-Semitic and suggesting it is Nazi-inspired. The resolution that passed was thus brought by all the centrist parties in the German Bundestag, including Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union, the Social Democrats (SPD), the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Greens. This was, naturally, to Israel’s great satisfaction. 

Palestinian civil society has responded yesterday in an elaborate letter, which deserves quoting in full:

Palestinian Civil Society Statement in Response to the German Bundestag: Anti-BDS Resolution Violates Principles of International Law, Stands against Palestinian Civil Society and Aspirations for Freedom, Justice, and Dignity

It is with great alarm and distress that we, the undersigned Palestinian civil society organisations, human rights groups, networks, and coalitions address this urgent statement to the German Bundestag and Government in light of its recent resolution against the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement,[1] dangerously conflating the movement and anti-Semitism, while more broadly targeting all civil society actors working towards the promotion and protection of fundamental rights and freedoms of the Palestinian people and in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. We call on the German Government to refrain from adopting this resolution into law considering its serious ramifications for Palestinian civil society and its violation of Germany’s obligations as a third State party to ensure respect for international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The undersigned are deeply concerned with the joint resolution, adopted on 17 May 2019, and co-signed by four German political parties; CDU/CSU, SPD, FDP, and the Alliance90/Greens. The resolution violates international human rights law, namely the rights to freedom of expression, opinion, and of association. It forms part of a systematic backlash and organised lobby efforts, primarily led by the Israeli Government, to undermine, delegitimize, and vilify the peaceful BDS movement. This is well exemplified in the mandate of the Israeli Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy “to act against the delegitimization and boycott campaigns against the state of Israel.”[2] In 2017, Israel passed Amendment No. 28 to the Entry into Israel Law, which prohibits granting a permit for entry to, and residence in Israel, to persons who have knowingly published a public call for or participated in boycott activities. This law has been used to restrict the entry[3] and work of human rights defenders, including the Human Rights Watch Israel and Palestine Director.[4] This systemic backlash continues to take place despite the fact that BDS has long been protected within the framework of the rights to freedom of expression and opinion, including by the German Government and courts,[5] along with other European Governments, the European Union (EU), and the United Nations (UN).

Notably, in February 2019, the German Government referred to the BDS movement as being covered by the right to freedom of expression and belief, as enshrined in the German Basic Law. In particular, Article 5 of the German Basic Law protects the right to freedom of expression and speech without censorship, whereas Article 9 protects the right to freedom of association.[6] The resolution further constitutes an infringement of the rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and of association, enshrined in Articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Meanwhile, the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ireland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Sweden’s Foreign Ministry previously stated and affirmed the protection of the rights to freedom of speech, expression, and of association in relation to BDS.[7]

The EU has explicitly affirmed the necessity to protect the rights to freedom of expression and of association, as enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, including with regards to BDS activities throughout EU Member States.[8] In addition, in July 2018, the EU warned against Israel’s “vague and unsubstantiated” claims in this regard, deeming them as part of its wider “disinformation campaigns.”[9] The EU then reaffirmed its position in favour of protecting the rights to freedom of expression and of association, highlighting that “any action that has the effect of closing the space in which civil society organisations operate by unduly restricting freedom of association should be avoided.”[10]

In April 2019, three UN Special Rapporteurs publicly stated that supporting or opposing BDS is protected by the universally recognised rights to freedom of opinion, expression, and of association. The Special Rapporteurs further highlighted that “[t]he ability of human rights organisations and defenders to actively engage in civil society work to defend and advance the principles guaranteed in the International Bill of Human Rights is a litmus test for measuring the respect for democratic liberties in any society […] Stifling these liberties undermines any government’s claim to respect fundamental freedoms and values.”[11]

Regrettably, the resolution in question adopted by the German Bundestag penalises civil society working towards ensuring fundamental rights, freedom, justice, and dignity for the Palestinian people, whose rights have been systematically denied since the Nakba of 1948 and throughout Israel’s prolonged military occupation of the Palestinian territory. Such resolution further restrains the already existing shrinking space for civil society organisations, and effectively silences Palestinian civil society, which, for decades now, has worked at the forefront to advocate for the realisation of Palestinians’ inalienable rights and to promote respect for international law, as the foundation for freedom, justice, and equality.

Against this backdrop, the lack of political will amongst third States to take serious measures to effectively cooperate to bring to an end Israel’s prolonged occupation has emboldened Israel, the Occupying Power, to pursue its widespread and systematic human rights violations and grave breaches of international humanitarian law, while entrenching its colonisation and occupation of the Palestinian territory and dispossession of indigenous Palestinians. Yet civil society organisations continue to peacefully and publicly counter the ongoing and escalating attacks against the Palestinian people, including as a result of land appropriation, pillage of natural resources, forcible transfer, and the systematic erasure of Palestinian presence, identity, heritage, and narrative.

In 2005, the call for BDS was launched by Palestinians to offer an alternative, peaceful, and non-violent means for civil society to oppose Israel’s pervasive violations and crimes committed against Palestinians. Rooted in civil society initiatives, boycott movements have historically contributed to the global defense of human rights and social justice. Boycotts for social justice have included the Montgomery bus boycott in the United States, the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa, and efforts to end the slave trade in 18th century England. The Palestinian BDS movement is grounded in a consensus amongst 170 Palestinian civil society organizations, including unions, academic institutions, political parties, and cultural groups, and follows the tradition of global movements that have sought to bring to an end and call for accountability for widespread and systematic human rights abuses.

Critically, the BDS movement is a Palestinian-led, global movement for freedom, justice and equality, anchored in the principles of international law that “opposes as a matter of principle all forms of racism, including Islamophobia and ant-Semitism.”[12] It must be emphasised that the BDS movement does not call for the boycott of individuals, groups, and entities on the mere basis of their Israeli identity or Jewish faith, as incorrectly stated by the Bundestag resolution. It rather addresses individuals and institutions that are specifically affiliated with and/or complicit in Israel’s violations and grave breaches of international law.[13] The undersigned recall that criticism of the State of Israel, as a political entity, comprising its Government, military forces and agents, is protected by the rights to freedom of expression, opinion, and media freedoms, amongst others.

In addition, in an alarming trend, the resolution at hand fails to distinguish in its reference between the territory of the State of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, with the latter comprising the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, and in which over 250 Israeli settlements and outposts have been constructed, with more than 600,000 Israeli settlers residing therein, in violation of international law. As such, the resolution fails to recognise Germany and the EU’s longstanding position on the illegality of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory under international law and third States’ obligations in this regard. In doing so, the resolution feeds into Israel’s creeping annexation and entrenched colonisation of the Palestinian territory, in complete disregard for UN Security Council Resolution 2334 (2016), which calls on third States to distinguish in their relevant dealings between the territory of the State of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Finally, the undersigned warn Germany that, should it proceed to pass this resolution into a legally binding instrument, this would further threaten the relationship between Palestinian and German civil society. In turn, this would directly and negatively impact the provision of basic social services, including in the health and education sectors, the promotion of human rights and international law, and legal aid, amongst other work carried out by Palestinian civil society with the support of German and other international organisations. Critically, the German Bundestag must translate Germany’s commitment to a two-state solution by supporting organisations and movements that peacefully seek to end the occupation and associated human rights abuses.

In light of the above, the undersigned Palestinian civil society organisations, human rights groups, networks, and coalitions call on:

The German Bundestag to immediately withdraw the resolution adopted on 17 May 2019, which incorrectly conflates BDS and anti-Semitism;

The German Government to refrain from adopting this resolution and passing it into law, considering its violation of international human rights law, namely the rights to freedom of expression, opinion, and of association, as well as its serious ramifications for civil society organisations, primarily Palestinian civil society;

The German Government to cooperate to bring to an end Israel’s prolonged military occupation of the Palestinian territory, and realise the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including permanent sovereignty over natural wealth and resources and the right of return of Palestinian refugees, in line with its obligations as a third State party under international law;

The German Government to take concrete measures to bring to an end Israel’s impunity for widespread and systematic violations of international law committed against the Palestinian people, including by imposing a military embargo, banning settlement products, and fully supporting the work of the International Criminal Court and international justice mechanisms;

The German Government and Bundestag to carry out an independent fact-finding mission to investigate the serious and detrimental implications of Israel’s prolonged military occupation, including its settlement enterprise, on the Palestinian right to self-determination, including permanent sovereignty;

The international community, including German, European and international civil society organisations, third States, and UN bodies and experts, to firmly denounce and publicly reject the Bundestag resolution, and to prevent it from passing into law, considering its violation of international law and grave implications for the work of Palestinian civil society and aspirations for freedom, justice, and dignity for the Palestinian people.


Palestinian Human Rights Organisations Council (PHROC), which includes 10 Palestinian human rights organisations;

Palestinian Non-Governmental Organisations Network (PNGO), which includes 142 non-governmental organisations;

Palestinian National Institute for NGO (PNIN), which includes 70 non-governmental organisations;

The Palestinian General Union Charitable Societies, which includes 400 non-governmental and charitable associations;

Palestinian Disability Coalition;

Palestinian Non-Governmental Organization Against Domestic Violence Against Women (Al-Muntada);

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association;


Al-Haq, Law in the Service of Man;

BADIL – Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights;

Center for Defense of Liberties and Civil Rights “Hurryyat”;

Community Action Center (Al-Quds University);

Defense for Children International – Palestine;

Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC);

The Civic Coalition for Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem;

General Federation of Independent Trade Unions – Palestine;

Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate;

[1] German Bundestag (19th parliamentary term), “Resisting the BDS Movement with Determination – Combating Anti-Semitism”, 15 May 2019, proposal by the political groups of CDU/CSU, SPD, FDP, and Alliance 90/the Greens.

[2] See The Government Services and Information Website, Prime Minister’s Office – Ministry of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy, available at:

[3] See for example SOMO, ‘Two SOMO Researchers Denied Entry into Israel on Arbitrary Grounds’, 21 July 2018, available at:

[4] Human Rights Watch, ‘Israel: Human Rights Watch Official’s Deportation Reinstated’, 16 April 2019, available at:

[5] See for example Christoph Kiefer, ‘Stadt Oldenburg unterliegt im Striet mit BDS-Kampagne’ (NWZonline, 29 March 2019), available at:,4,1334257964.html

[6] Deutscher Bundestag, Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany, available in English at:

[7] Houses of the Oireachtas, Dáil Éireann debate, Thursday, 26 May 2016, available at:; Ali Abunimah, ‘Sweden Denies Israeli Claim that it Opposes BDS’, (The Electronic Intifada, 16 March 2016), available at:; Haaretz, ‘Dutch Foreign Minister: Calls to Boycott Israel Protected Free Speech by the Constitution’ (27 March 2016), available at:

[8] European Parliament, Parliamentary Questions, 15 September 2016, Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini on behalf of the Commission, available at:

[9] Noa Landau, ‘EU Blasts Israeli Minister: You Feed Disinformation and Mix BDS, Terror’, (Haaretz, 17 July 2018), available at:

[10] Ibid.

[11] UN Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner, ‘UN Experts Call on Israel to Overtrurn Deportation of Human Rights Watch Director’, 25 April 2019, available at:

[12] BDS, ‘FAQs’, available at:

[13] “BDS does not target artists. It targets institutions based on their complicity in Israel’s violations of international law.” See

[14] Endorsements ongoing.

Mondoweiss Editors

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20 Responses

  1. Citizen on May 24, 2019, 2:14 pm

    Germans, always at your feet or at your throat, eh?

    • DaBakr on May 26, 2019, 1:57 am


      Pretty racist, but unintended, surely.

      • Citizen on May 26, 2019, 11:09 am

        Quoting Churchill

    • just on May 26, 2019, 11:30 am

      Churchill supposedly did say “Huns”, not “Germans”, and ‘Dabakr’s’ vast wasteland of knowledge is duly noted.

      • DaBakr on May 30, 2019, 12:18 am


        No need for the snark just. I am certain I could quote any number of notable persons without any context or attribution and offend your delicate sensibilities bringing on your wasteland of prosaic outrage

  2. Kay24 on May 24, 2019, 4:46 pm

    Crooked Bibi on phone: Hey Angela, you know what to do, after all you owe us plenty….(once again playing the victim card, guilt trip, reference to the past).

    Angela Merkel: Ja, we are still trying hard to make up for what we have done…we shall once again do what you demand, even at the expense of the Palestinians.

    The poor Palestinians. it looks like no one in the world feels guilty about their plight and suffering, not even their brothers in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, and others.

  3. Tom Suarez on May 25, 2019, 4:10 am

    It needs to be publicly expressed more that Germany’s acquiescing to Israel to shield Israel’s ethnic-nationalist crimes from scrutiny — these anti-BDS decrees being but one example — is not Germany paying historial debts, as we are supposed to think, but directly betraying those moral obligations.
    This (excellent) letter from Palestinian civil society was perhaps not the vehicle to do so, and realistically it needs to begin from outside Germany, as Israeli extortion within Germany is simply too severe. But it is long overdue that pro-justice voices challenge this obscene abuse of Germany’s history directly, rather then “just” defending themselves.
    The cry of course will be that you are insinuating a comparison of Israel to Nazi Germany — but this is a straw issue, a calculated distraction. You need make no such comparison. Crimes being committed today are being empowered through the cynical exploitation of crimes committed in the past.

    • Citizen on May 26, 2019, 11:49 am

      Anybody know a single German author, politician, or media adept German who is arguing that Germany’s total support of Israel’s policies and conduct shows that Germany has not learned the lesson of Never Again as a universal principle?

  4. Steve Grover on May 25, 2019, 9:50 pm

    “Germany’s anti-BDS resolution damages its relationship with Palestine”
    Haj Amin al-Husseini and his buddy Heinrich Himmler must be rolling over in their graves.

    • oldgeezer on May 26, 2019, 12:08 am


      Nah I would imagine they’re nonplussed. They still have netanyahu and the entire Israeli cabinet. And a new generation in yair.

      Israel loves right wing fascists and neonazis. They’re their best allies.

    • Tuyzentfloot on May 27, 2019, 4:24 am

      Haj Amin al-Husseini…

      The eternal Palestinian.

  5. just on May 26, 2019, 10:29 am

    An amazing piece by Ilana Hammerman appeared in Haaretz this morning!

    “Bundestag Members, Am I anti-Semitic?

    I want nothing from you, whether bad or good, Germany! That’s what I have to say, as a Jewish Israeli woman, to Germany, whose politicians have determined – under cover of opposition to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement – that I and my colleagues in the battle against Israeli policy deserve to be called anti-Semites.

    The fact that you murdered my mother’s family and millions of other members of my people doesn’t give you the right to determine who is anti-Semitic, Germany. Yet you asserted this right in the sanctimonious resolution passed by a majority of the Bundestag on May 17, 2019.

    It wasn’t the issue of BDS (whose rejection wasn’t even properly explained) that stood at the heart of the resolution, not at all. The vast majority of the long text defines anti-Semitism. In so doing, German legislators produced a tortuous, garbled and confused text whose true core is the equation of anti-Semitism with criticism of Israel’s policy.

    The resolution doesn’t contain even a hint of the processes Israel and Israeli society have undergone in recent years. Yet these processes have brought Israel to the brink of its own ruin and that of all its inhabitants, Jewish and non-Jewish alike – to the point that Israel has become the most dangerous place in the world for Jews, and quite a few people are fleeing it.

    The loathsome resolution passed by the German parliament contains no mention that Israel’s parliament and cabinet include men and women who advocate fascist ideologies – a national Jewish dictatorship and the oppression of other peoples, above all the Palestinian people, in all the territory Israel controls, from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. There is no mention that these ideologies have for years orchestrated new laws with a gradualism and deceptiveness that recall the processes Germany itself underwent in the years before World War II.

    According to the Bundestag’s decision, a radical struggle against Israeli policy – in which enlightened Jews in Israel and worldwide are participating – is like denying Israel’s right to exist as a “Jewish and democratic state.” As if today’s Israel – whose legislators are working with frightening efficiency to reduce the justice system’s power, civil-society organizations’ freedom of action and non-Jewish citizens’ right to live in equality – were still a democratic country.

    This country has been ruling millions of people deprived of any rights for more than 50 years, steals their land, demolishes their homes, denies them freedom of movement and the ability to earn a living and, under the aegis of its enormous military power, grants all the rights of a dignified life solely to Jews who have settled on the land belonging to those millions of people. As if an apartheid state like that could still be considered a democratic country. …

    … Anti-Semitism is denying Israel’s right to “defend its security,” you say. But your resolution doesn’t mention that Israel’s wars – which for four decades have been destroying the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, from Lebanon to the Gaza Strip, with bombs and shells from land, sea and air – have for a long time not been aimed at protecting Israelis’ security.

    Everything has already been written and said about these wars by the pens and mouths of both professionals and people with morals, most of them Jewish. Yet precisely at this dark moment in our country’s history, the Bundestag saw an urgent need to put Germany on Israel’s side politically, economically and militarily in the guise of a battle against anti-Semitism.

    In your resolution, not one clause addresses the battle we’re waging – we who face permanent defeat, more than a little because of you – to realize our desire to live here as human beings rather than die in the bloody conflict. This is a conflict that Israeli governments have perpetuated in recent generations, and today they no longer bother to hide their belief that we will always live here by the sword.

    Military power, say our statesmen and legislators, will always determine Israel’s geographic, political and moral map – military power, not the conventions signed by the international community, most of which were born in response to the death and destruction sowed by your country. It will always be military power, not the UN resolutions that Israel has scorned, denied and violated without let or hindrance.

    No, you don’t mention any of this, you over there in the German Bundestag. Instead of recognizing your true and weighty responsibility for our fate here, you’ve chosen to cling, with poetic convenience, to your feelings of guilt. That’s the nature of your resolution, and that’s the meaning embodied by its paragraphs and clauses. …

    … And this is my reply: Yes to gradual sanctions on Israel, both economic and cultural. Yes to a total boycott of everything produced in the settlements – that lunatic enterprise that has sent its tentacles throughout the West Bank under the auspices of your policy and with your support.

    You don’t have the right to define me as anti-Semitic because I believe that under the current circumstances, sanctions and boycotts are the only effective, nonviolent tool remaining to force Israel to let go of the occupied territories and its civilian control over them. A political boycott of this sort has absolutely nothing to do with the brutal, racist boycott the Nazis in your country imposed on Jewish businesses in April 1933.

    You don’t have the right to define me as anti-Semitic because in this newspaper I keep urging my colleagues, Israeli intellectuals and creative artists, to issue our own call, which will open with the following words: “We, creative artists, intellectuals and academics, citizens and residents of Israel, urge the international community to pressure Israel to the point of diplomatic, economic and political sanctions to force it to remove its citizens from the territories occupied in 1967. We have chosen this painful step of turning to outsiders out of love for our country and a growing fear not just for its democratic character but also for its future and even its very existence – and our existence.

    “Let us tell civil society in the West: Stop this self-righteous embrace of your guilt feelings. Instead, atone for the terrible guilt of your parents and your countries by doing the only right thing at this moment – opposing the Israeli government’s policy.”

    From Jerusalem, my city, which is divided by walls of stone, steel and hate, I also used these words, which I wrote in Haaretz’s Hebrew edition on February 1, to support the Jewish Voice movement in Germany that is already suffering serious harassment. The Bundestag’s resolution clearly encourages the measures taken against it as well.

    “Kudos!” I wrote that group. “Those who call you anti-Semitic are misled, and above all, misleading. The distortion of this term is the newest danger, even more deceptive than its predecessors. It must be pulled up by its roots, which are digging even deeper at this very moment. This should be done sensitively and wisely, but also with determination, because time is not on our side.””

    FYI and wrt to the author:

    … “As a political activist, Hammerman has fought the occupation for decades, individually and as a board member of the human rights organization B’Tselem and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. In 2010, she founded a women’s civil disobedience group.

    Hammerman has been awarded the Ministry of Education Prize for Translation (1990), an Andersen Honor Citation for Translation (1994), the Tchernichovsky Translation Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2006) and the Yeshayahu Leibowitz Prize (2015) for her public activity against the occupation.”

    more @

  6. Steve Grover on May 28, 2019, 4:23 pm

    I am an American Jew and a Zionist. I live in the Chicago area. I had the pleasure of meeting German Consul General Herbert Quelle at a Yom HaShoah event at the Illinois Holocaust Museum in Skokie. I thanked him for delivering the Dolphin Class Submarines to Israel and I told him I hope he continues such friendly relations with our Jewish Community and with Israel. So @klm90046, feel free to blame me for “blackmailing” Germany. It is my honor to do this.

    • James North on May 28, 2019, 4:40 pm

      Mooser: You have revived your sock puppet! Congratulations! I love how you have the puppet talking to the German diplomat. I take back my earlier comment — where I implied you have fallen down on the job. Grover lives and thrives!

  7. Nathan on May 28, 2019, 7:58 pm

    Jonathan Ofir – The BDS campaign is one of the expressions of the propaganda war being waged against Israel. I’m quite certain that you understand this obvious truth. In a propaganda campaign, one presents arguments that are meant to convince the listeners; therefore, there is an emphasis on “human rights” and on “occupation”. The real agenda of BDS is never presented, simply because it is liable to be seen as unreasonable by the public for whom the propaganda is meant. In short, the real agenda of BDS is that the State of Israel shouldn’t exist, period.

    Now comes the big surprise: The public is not entirely stupid. There are some people out there who understand what BDS (or Mondoweiss for that matter) is trying to say. In the Bundestag, obviously, there are lawmakers who caught onto the hidden message of BDS, and they don’t agree. They think that the message (the goal) is unreasonable and illegitimate. The resolution passed by the Bundestag is a little hint to you that there are those who know how to read between the lines.

    Finally, I should add that in the realm of propaganda warfare, sometimes you get the bear, but sometimes the bear gets you. Once in a while, an artist cancels a performance in Israel, and BDS can declare “victory”. However, all the efforts to prevent Israel’s hosting of the Eurovision song contest failed, and so a big BDS “defeat” was registered. The resolution of the Bundestag is another example of a BDS failure. That’s life.

    • RoHa on May 29, 2019, 12:49 am

      Since the real agenda of the BDS movement is hidden, can I ask how you have detected it?

      • DaBakr on May 30, 2019, 12:25 am


        He said he read between the lines which is a universally understood concept of detecting disingenuous/illusive agendas by omission. And,I think,he said “it cuts both ways.”

      • RoHa on May 30, 2019, 9:19 pm

        The trouble with reading between the lines is that it is easy to imagine something that isn’t there.

        That is why I would like to see what specific evidence Nathan has used to arrive at his conclusion.

  8. Ossinev on May 29, 2019, 9:31 am

    “hidden message of BDS”. Tell me about this hidden message. What is it? Where is it stated?How did you find out about it?Have you special connections to “people in the know” ? Have you judicial standard proof?

    All I can find is:

    Am on tenterhooks – please do not keep me waiting too long.

    • RoHa on May 29, 2019, 10:07 pm

      You can’t expect the BDS people to put their real agenda on the website. That would belie their well-earned reputation for fiendish cunning.

      But Nathan has been able to crack the coded language, the cryptic symbols, and the secret hand signs. He will, shortly, tell us how he did it.

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