Saturday, September 24, 2016

Germany: City of Munich cancels BDS event due to antisemitism

From the Jerusalem Post (Benjamin Weinthal):
Munich’s cultural affairs department pulled the plug on an ­anti-Israel lecture slated for Friday in a city-subsidized building because the talk crossed the line into antisemitism. 

Stefan Hauf, a spokesman for the Mayor of Munich, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday by email that the cultural commissioner intervened to stop the lecture titled “Antisemitism Today” organized by the association Salam Shalom Working Circle Palestine-Israel.

It is probable that ”during the event the line between criticism of Israel and antisemitism will be crossed,wrote Munich’s cultural commissioner, Hans-Georg Küppers, to the  Eine-Welt-Haus—the location of the lecture—according to the Merkur news outlet.

Salam Shalom — a hardcore anti-Israel group — promotes the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) campaign on its website targeting the Jewish state.

”Salam Shalom has no right to be in city rooms. Salam Shalom would be better located in the NPD headquarters,“ said the Green Party city councilman Dominik Krause to the Merkur.  The NPD is the main neo-Nazi party in Germany.

A kind of whack a mole approach to shut down the anti-Israel event unfolded in Munich on Thursday and Friday. After the Eine-Welt-Haus cancellation, Salam Sh­­alom relocated the lecture to the GOROD cultural center. GOROD — an organization created for the integration of Russian migrants — then walked back its invitation.

Salam Shalom then announced that the catholic institution KKV Hansa as the lecture space.

Christoph Kappes, a spokesman for Reinhard Marx, the Archbishop of Munich and Freising, wrote The Post by email on Friday stating that the “event will not, according to information of the KKV Hansa München, take place at KKV.”

He added that Cardinal Marx, who is also the chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, “rejects every forms of antisemitism, racism and defamation and does not give these positions any platform.”

In a letter obtained by The Post from Richard Quaas, a Munich city councilman from the Christian Social Union party, to the mayor, he wrote that if the talk took place "it would be grist for the mill of antisimites in our country — from the left and the right— and with support from the city."
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