A shocking new art exhibit that urged the complete dissolution of the Jewish state was designed by the vice president of the German-Palestinian Society in which three members of the federal parliament have posts on the advisory board of the pro-BDS organization.
The latest alleged antisemitic scandal engulfing the German-Palestinian Society (DPG) unfolded in June in the university town of Jena in the east German state of Thuringia. The DPG vice president Ursula Mindermann showed her exhibit titled The Wall – Photographs from Palestine at the Café Immergrün.
The group “Falcons Jena Socialist Youth” slammed the exhibit because it said the work promoted antisemitism by displaying the slogan, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”
According to a statement on the website of the Jena Socialist Youth: “The current exhibition was designed by the vice president of the German-Palestinian Society Ursula Mindermann, who was refused entry to Israel last year. A fact that is not surprising when you look at the message of the pictures: slogans like, ‘from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,’ bluntly question Israel’s right to exist.
Statements like this are a common formula in the so-called ‘Israel-critical’ spectrum. ‘River’ means the Jordan and by ‘sea’ the Mediterranean. In between, Israel should no longer exist, only Palestine.”
“This wording therefore contains the antisemitic demand for the annihilation of Israel,” the pro-Israel socialist group added. “The fact that this picture should at the same time be minimized with an anti-war rhetoric fits the typical approach of the anti-Zionist ‘peace movement.’”
The three German members of the Bundestag on the advisory board of the DPG – Omid Nouripour (Green Party), Aydan Özoguz (Social Democratic Party), Christine Buchholz (The Left Party) – refused to answer questions about whether they approved the allegedly antisemitic exhibit and whether they plan to resign from the DPG.
The Jerusalem Post reported in May that the Free Democratic Party MP Olaf in der Beek resigned from the DPG due to the organization’s advocacy of the antisemitic Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting Israel, as well as the DPG’s hate-packed language attacking Israel.
The Bundestag declared the BDS to be an antisemitic movement in May 2019. The three MPs are in a politically awkward position because they are apparently violating the Bundestag’s anti-BDS resolution.
After the Socialist Youth group protest, the Ostthüringer newspaper reported on July 2 that the café took down the exhibit.
Sonja Giese, a spokeswoman for the Left Party, told the Post that the party’s co-leader, Katja Kipping, is on vacation and not available for press comments. The party’s foreign policy spokesman in the Bundestag, Gregor Gysi, declined to comment on Buchholz’s anti-Israel activity and her support for the “resistance” of Hamas and Hezbollah against Israel. The US and Germany designated Hamas and Hezbollah to be terrorist entities. The second co-chairperson of the Left Party, Bernd Riexinger, refused to answer numerous Post queries.
The presidents of the German Jewish communities of Frankfurt, Bonn and Munich (and the German Jewish organization Values Initiative) have urged the Green Party’s Nouripour to swiftly resign from the BDS group.
Charlotte Knobloch, the former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany and a Holocaust survivor, told the Post in June, “All true democrats ought to follow in der Beek’s example and leave the DPG advisory board.” Knobloch is the president of the Munich Jewish community.
“If the DPG does not officially distance itself from BDS and declare that it rejects BDS, Mr. Nouripour should also resign from his position on the advisory board,” Uwe Becker, the commissioner of the Hessian federal state government for Jewish life and the fight against antisemitism, told the Post last week by email.
The DPG continues to defend its support for the BDS and the exhibit that hurled elimination antisemitic rhetoric at Israel.
When the Post asked two Green Party politicians – the former MP Volker Beck and current member of the European Parliament Sergey Lagodinsky – who normally fight antisemitism, if they agree with the German Jewish representatives and Becker, they went silent.
The Green Party leaders Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck declined to answer numerous Post emails about racism and antisemitism allegations leveled against Nouripour. German Iranian dissidents told the Post that Nouripour is supporting a racist and antisemitic BDS group.
The Social Democratic Party did not respond to Post press queries.