German city removes antisemitic BDS event notice from its website
After outrage on social media and from anti-BDS activists, the city of Bonn in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia deleted on Thursday an advertisement for a pro-BDS event.
The Ruhrbarone news outlet first reported that “On [the] website of the city of Bonn, an event with the activist Shir Hever is advertised with classic antisemitic statements, which is scheduled to take place in late January in the German-Kurdish cultural house.”
Bonn wrote in response that: “We regret the entry very much and apologize for that. The event calendar is not filled by us. Organizers can independently enter appointments in the calendar.”
Ruhbarone’s journalist Stefan Laurin, who is recognized as being an expert in new forms of German antisemitism, listed some of the alleged antisemitic statements from the advertisement.
“Israel has systematically violated international law for more than 70 years, with more or less open support from the US and Europe. Israel’s apartheid and colonial policies [have support from] strong Jewish lobby organizations in the USA.”
Another alleged antisemitic statement says: “Up until now, the most effective weapon of the ‘Israel lobby’ was ‘antisemitism.”’
Hever, who posted a link to the advertisement on his website, is a member of the organization Jewish Voice for a Just Peace in the Middle East, which is a sponsor of the event. Jewish Voice supports the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting Israel.
Anti-BDS activist Malca Goldstein-Wolf, who stopped a German TV airing of pro-BDS singer Roger Waters, has announced a rally on January 24 in front of the German-Kurdish cultural center.
“There will be a rendezvous of various haters of the Jews, supported by the BDS organization ‘Jewish Voice’ whose accounts are held by the Cologne Bank für Sozialwirtschaft… The Bank for Social Economy, a German Bank [that] supports anti-Semites.”
The Bank for Social Economy has repeatedly said it does not endorse BDS and has hired an academic to determine if Jewish Voice promotes antisemitism.
Prominent German journalist Henryk Broder, a leading expert of modern antisemitism in Germany, recently called the members of Jewish Voice a “bunch of antisemites.”
The Simon Wiesenthal Center human rights organization included the German Bank for Social Economy on its list of the top ten worst outbreaks of antisemitism in 2018 because the bank provides an account to the pro-BDS group. It is unclear how much money, if any, was raised by the Jewish Voice with that account to fund the slated anti-Israel and pro-BDS event.
The other sponsors of the event are the Bonner Youth movement, BDS Group Bonn, Institute for Palestinian Education, German-Palestinian Society in NRW and Women’s Paths Middle East.