A Berlin court convicted on Monday a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions activist for assaulting people during a presentation by an Israeli survivor of the Holocaust at Humboldt University in the capital.
In a dramatic setback to the claim of the BDS campaign that it is a nonviolent initiative targeting the Jewish state, the Berlin court declared Stavit Sinai guilty for her violent conduct.
The Berlin daily B.Z. titled its article about the BDS activists at the trial: “It is so shameful. Disgusting hatred of Jews in and in front of the Berlin courtroom.”
Sinai’s conviction appears to be the first criminal penalty for violent BDS activity in Germany.
The paper reported about the anti-Israel extremist: “Lecturer Stavit S. is guilty. She hit the door of the hall ‘wildly’ from the outside, injuring two people… Either she pays €450, or sits in prison for 30 days.”
The Jerusalem Post reported in 2017 that three BDS activists – Sinai, Ronnie Barkan and Majed Abusalama – stormed the Humboldt University in Berlin to disrupt a talk titled “Life in Israel – Terror, Bias and the Chances for Peace” by Yesh Atid MK Aliza Lavie and Deborah Weinstein, an Israeli survivor of the Holocaust, now 85 years old.
The court dismissed the criminal trespass charges against the three. Abusalama said he is a Palestinian journalist from Gaza. He lives in the United Kingdom.
The B.Z. journalist, Anne Losensky, wrote that the trial was about “trespassing and assault,” adding that “all three seem to enjoy the trial so they can use it as propaganda against Israel.”
Losensky wrote that “they wear masks made of the Palestinian scarf [keffiyeh] – a symbol of the annihilation struggle against Israel.” She continued that they showed “raised fists – as if the criminal court were a tribunal against Israel.”
According to the newspaper, Sinai declared: “I regret nothing.” Her lawyer said Israel’s policy is “apartheid.”
Berlin’s domestic intelligence agency, which documents threats to the democratic order of the city-state, deemed the conduct of the BDS activists to be antisemitic in its 2018 report. Last year, the Bundestag declared BDS to be an antisemitic movement.
B.Z. reported that Barkan is a 43-year-old Slovak and Sinai is a 35-year-old Romanian, both having Israeli passports. Barkan previously disrupted a Holocaust film festival in Berlin.
BDS activists also protested outside of the courthouse.