Monday, January 20, 2020

Germany: Anti-war activists disinvite Jewish councilor, sparking antisemitism row (update)

Update: the conference has been cancelled 

Via The Jerusalem Post:
“Peace activists are boycotting not only Israel, but also Jews in Germany,” a Jewish member of Munich City Council has told German media website Taz after he was disinvited from addressing an anti-war event.

Marian Offman was due to give the opening greeting at the annual Munich Peace Conference at the city's Old Town Hall in February in his capacity as a representative of the city, but just before Christmas the SDP council member received an email from organizers telling him that he was not welcome.

The reason? Event organizer Thomas Rödl accused Offman of having "aggressively and polarizingly dealt with political groups and events that critically assess the policies of the government of Israel" in the past, according to Süddeutsche Zeitung.

"I was completely perplexed," Offman told Taz. "As far as I know there has never been anything like this."

Rödl was referring to Offman's opposition to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, which has been labelled antisemitic by a resolution in the Bundestag that was passed by members of parties from across the political spectrum. In a letter sent to Munich city officials last month, Rödl said that if Offman were allowed to speak, the topic of BDS “would dominate the event in the Old City Hall, which is not the subject of our program.”
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