Tuesday, April 26, 2016

German Pastor declares himself an anti-Semite

Benjamin Weinthal writes @ Jerusalem Post: 
A pastor for the Lutheran Church in Bremen, Germany who boasted that he is an anti-Semite has prompted the Simon Wiesenthal Center to call for his dismissal.

The pastor, Volker Keller, who is a member of the Bremen city government council responsible for the integration of Muslims for the northern German city, sent an email to this Jerusalem Post correspondent, announcing his embrace of anti-Semitism.

He wrote: “Yesterday evening the anti-Semite Arn Strohmeyer delivered a lecture to me…Best wishes to Israel, Yours truly, Volker Keller, Antisemite.”

The trigger for Keller’s email appears to be a series of Jerusalem Post exposes on Strohmeyer’s alleged modern anti-Semitic views and the city of Bremen’s public funding for, according to critics, hate-mongering events in the Citizens’ House Weserterrassen targeting the Jewish state.

Volker Keller refused to answer multiple Post queries. Renke Brahms, a spokesman for the Bremen Protestant Church, wrote to the Post by email that the church ”distances itself from every form of anti-Semitism and clearly supports the existence of Israel… Pastor Keller sent a ‘sarcastic email’ and wanted to express that he is not an anti-Semite and feels wrongly defamed. The choice of this form was an extraordinary misunderstanding and is from our perspective, as well as Mr. Keller’s, a completely inappropriate reaction. We have made this clear to Mr. Keller that in his function he is not allowed to write such emails.

It is unclear why Keller feels defamed. Keller,who used his business church email to send his embrace of Jew-hatred note, co-founded an NGO called “Nord-Bremer Citizens against War.”   [...]

Because of Keller’s role in the city administration, the anti-Semitism row has also raised eyebrows. Bremen is a main hub for anti-Israel hatred in Germany and a leader in boycott actions against Jewish products. Andre Städler, a spokesman for Bremen’s Mayor Carsten Sieling, did not immediately respond to a Post query.

Last year, Schneider and the German Protestant establishment grappled with the classic religious "anti-Semitism of the church’ founder Martin Luther."  The 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation will take place in 2017.
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