Representatives of the Executive Committee of the Jüdische Stimme [Jewish Voice] and the Bank für Sozialwirtschaft exchanged their views on the Jüdische Stimme’s support of the Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign during a personal conversation which took place in Berlin on 2 March 2017.
During the meeting, the BFS once again made it clear that as a bank, one of whose founding members is the Spitzenverband der jüdischen Wohlfahrtspflege in Deutschland [Central Association of Jewish Welfare in Germany], it feels a special commitment to German-Jewish reconciliation and Israel's right to exist. From the point of view of the BFS, boycotts that aim to destabilise the State of Israel are therefore incompatible with the corporate principles of the BFS.
For its part, Jüdische Stimme has emphasised that its support for the BDS movement is based on its non-violent and political orientation. In accordance with the resolutions of the United Nations, the Jüdische Stimme only supports actions that seek to put an end to Israel’s occupation policy, but not any that oppose the existence of the State of Israel. Actions that challenge the existence of Israel, regardless of which group, organisation or movement has initiated them, are firmly rejected. In addition, Jüdische Stimme made it very clear to the BFS Executive Board that its support for the BDS campaign in form and content is aimed at achieving equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians.
From the Bank’s point of view, this clarification was crucial in order to pave the way for a resumption of business.
Following their meeting with representatives of the BFS's Executive Board, the representatives of the Jüdische Stimme carried out an in-house vote with its entire Board of Management and declared their commitment to the BDS in support of the BDS campaign. On this basis, the Bank für Sozialwirtschaft‘s Board decided to offer the Jüdische Stimme a resumption of the business relationship. This offer has been accepted by the Jüdische Stimme. All participants expressly welcomed the fact that they came to a constructive solution in this way.