German court allows labeling Jewish anti-Zionist activist as antisemite
A Munich court ruled in favor of the Bavarian capital’s Jewish community president Charlotte Knobloch on Friday, stating she can term an anti-Zionist Jew’s activity as antisemitic because he encouraged violence toward the Jewish people.
The stunning legal defeat for one of Germany’s leading anti-Zionists and boycott activists, Abraham Melzer, reverses a November decision from a lower Munich court that barred Knobloch, a Holocaust survivor, from repeating her statement that Melzer is “notorious for his antisemitic remarks.”
Knobloch’s said that “It belongs to our free democratic system to be allowed to call phenomenons like Melzer what they are: Antisemites.”
The Munich court wrote in a statement that Melzer’s talk at a Hamas-affiliated event in 2015 titled “Palestinians in Europe Conference” in Berlin “justified the call to death, or damage, of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist religious view and expressed an extreme hostile conviction toward Jews and the Jewish people.”
The court said Melzer’s “behavior can and may, without question [by Knobloch], be judged as antisemitic.”
Melzer, who spent time in Israel as a young man, defended at the pro-Palestinian conference the anti-Jewish slogans voiced at demonstrations in Germany against Israel’s 2014 Operation Protective Edge to stop Hamas rocket fire into Israel.
The anti-Israel activist claimed at the conference that the following slogan chanted at a Berlin rally against Israel was not anti-Jewish: “Jew, Jew,cowardly pig, come on out and fight on your own.”
Melzer, an activist for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, further defended the slogans “Fucking Jews! We’ll get you!” and “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas!”