Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Germany: Peace event excludes Jewish politician for his anti-BDS stance

Via The Jerusalem Post:
The Munich Peace Conference has rejected the Jewish city councilman Marian Offman as a speaker at the event allegedly because of his opposition to the Boycott, Sanctions, Divestment movement targeting Israel, sparking accusations of antisemitism against the conference organizers.

According to a Monday report in the Munich-based broadsheet Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ), the organizer of the conference Thomas Rödl confirmed Offman’s stance on Israel is one of the reasons for his exclusion, stating that the Social Democratic politician, who is also a member of Munich’s Jewish community, “dealt aggressively and in a polarizing way with political groups and events that critically assess the policies of the government of Israel.”

Offman told SZ that the fact that the organizers of the event “aggressively disinvite” the only Jewish city council member when it comes to peace issues has something to do with antisemitism, adding that, “For me, Israel is a guarantee of [Jewish] survival, especially today.”

The Peace Conference is slated to take place in February. Munich city council politicians from the Green Party and the Social Democrats, who reject BDS, were not disinvited, raising additional questions about bias against Offman.

In 2017, Munich’s mainstream political parties, including the Christian Democratic Union, the Social Democratic Party and the Green Party passed a law that banned public funds and space for BDS. […]

The conference is slated to feature the controversial Islamic studies professor Katajun Amirpur, a German-Iranian writer who argued in an SZ article that former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did not say he plans “to wipe Israel off the map.” Critics of the Iranian regime in Germany such as the German-Iranian public intellectual Nasrin Amirsedghi say that Amirpur downplays the Iranian threat toward Israel and the West.
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