"Israel is dealing with a prejudiced, systematic attack against its existence. The BDS movement, which claims that it is working against apartheid, in retrospect is using methods of apartheid in that it calls for the shunning of Jewish academics, the boycott of Jewish goods, the de-legitimization of Jewish commerce. It is up to us to show solidarity with the Jews and with their right to national sovereignty," Gove said at an international conference on anti-Semitism in Berlin
Gove told former justice minister Tzipi Livni that the British Foreign Office, Ministry of Justice, and Home Office are working to limit the ability to submit claims against high ranking Israeli officials who arrive in the UK as "war criminals" or for "crimes against humanity"under universal law.
Former minister Livni also joined in the discussion.
"Anti-Semitism wears the costume of criticism of Israeli policy," she said. "BDS succeeds because people don't understand that the organization doesn't exist to help the Palestinians, nor does it protest against specific Israeli policy, rather it is in complete opposition to the existence of the State of Israel. Instead of giving BDS the opportunity to isolate Israel, we should isolate BDS."
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who opened the convention, expressed shock at the wave of anti-Semitism which washed over Germany during Operation Protective Edge two years ago.
"Not even dramatic military violence in Gaza justifies the explosion of anti-Semitism like what was seen then. Those who live with us short or long term must understand that anti-Semitism is against our constitution, against our civilization — against everything we believe in and everything we have learned. Coming to live in Germany means recognizing the need to fight against anti-Semitism. It's unacceptable to give anti-Semitism a voice," he said.
He added that “there is and can be no place for anti-Semitism in our understanding of a free, democratic and tolerant Germany.”