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Sunday, December 26, 2010

German mayor calls on removal of anti-semitic exhibit

From JPost:
Mayor of Cologne Jürgen Roters (Social Democratic) and its sister city partnerships, Cologne-Tel Aviv and Cologne-Bethlehem, issued a joint statement last week blasting the long-standing anti- Israel exhibit in his community’s bustling Cathedral Square pedestrian-only zone.

According to the resolution, “The anti-Semitic and anti- Israel presentation of the socalled ‘Cologne Wailing Wall’ spreads hatred against humans and feeds anti-Israel resentments.”

Roters and the Cologne authorities called on Walter Hermann, the organizer of the “Cologne Wailing Wall,” to “immediately remove the installation that shows contempt for humanity” and said the city of Cologne would no longer accept Hermann’s exhibit and approach.

The resolution said that Hermann has displayed his hatefest against Israel since 2004.

Hermann’s display of an anti-Semitic cartoon in January triggered a legal complaint and a grassroots campaign from the non-Jewish theater director Gerd Buurmann. The cartoon showed a man sporting a Star of David on his bib as he devoured a young Palestinian boy with a fork while draped in an American flag and a knife with the word “Gaza.” A glass filled with blood stood next to to his dinner plate.

Buurmann filed a legal protest earlier this year, asserting a violation of Germany’s anti-hate law, which prohibits incitement against minority groups. In April, the Cologne public prosecutor dismissed Buurmann’s grievance, saying the cartoon represented criticism of Israel’s policies in Gaza and not hostility toward Jews.

The Israeli Embassy then said: “If one shows a figure with an Israeli flag devouring a Palestinian child, this reminds us of the most scurrilous accusations of ritual murder in European anti-Semitism... We don’t interfere in the decisions of German judicial authorities.

But at the same time, we are convinced that the cartoon was of a clearly anti-Semitic nature and that it incites hatred and violence.

“The claim that one must distinguish between hatred of the Jewish people and hatred of the State of Israel is absolutely inappropriate and leaves a bad taste.”
(h/t Philosemitism Blog)