Friday, September 4, 2015

Germany: Politician says Israel’s security fence is worse than communist Berlin Wall

The Jerusalem Post reports:

Israeli organizations slammed Uwe Kekeritz, a German Green Party MP, on Thursday for claiming that Israel’s security fence and border system to stop Palestinian terrorism is worse than the Berlin Wall.

In comparison with Israel’s security borders, “the Berlin Wall is a toy” said the Bavarian politician in a nearly four minute video posted on YouTube in August. He spoke at a reportedly anti-Israel June event sponsored by the German Protestant Church.

Efraim Zuroff, the chief Nazi hunter of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the director of its Jerusalem office, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday, “It is obvious that Green MP Uwe Kekeritz learned nothing about the larger picture about Middle East politics and history during his visit to Israel.”

"To the best of my knowledge, the Berlin Wall was not built to stop terrorists from committing suicide attacks against West Berlin civilians, (it was) rather to prevent East Germans from fleeing to freedom in the West. And the number of people shot by communist authorities far outnumbers any casualties at Israel’s security fence," said Zuroff.

He questioned whether Kekeritz made the comparison “out of genuine ignorance or anti-Semitism.”

Kekeritz said “it must be made clear to the Israelis that they cannot continue with their policies without consequences.“ He added that it is “taboo” to criticize Israel in Germany. Zuroff added, "There is no shortage of criticism of Israel in Germany today and no one is preventing him from voicing criticism of Israel, justified or unjustified.”

The German funded NGOs Miseror and Brot für die Welt organized Kekeritz’s trip to Israel and the disputed Palestinian territories last year. He based his criticism of Israel on the trip.

Prof. Gerald Steinberg, the head of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, told the Post, ”This case highlights the damage done by irresponsible NGOs, particularly in Germany, who promote vicious anti-Israel propaganda campaigns. In their activities, Misereor and Brot für die Welt, both of which are funded by the German government, present entirely biased and immoral distortions of the conflict." [...]

In 2013, a number of prominent Green Party MPs, including the current head of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Tel Aviv, Kerstin Müller, submitted an initiative to demarcate Israeli products from the disputed territories in the West Bank as a form of punishment. Germany’s neo-Nazi NPD party filed a similar measure in 2012 in a state parliament to label Israeli products from settlements.  Read more.

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