German Left Party slammed for supporting Iran, Syria

The Left Party politicians signed an anti-Israel and anti-US petition in support of the governments of Syria and Iran.

By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
January 22, 2012 02:46
2 minute read.
Leaders of the German Left Party.

Germany Left Party leaders 311 R. (photo credit: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters)

BERLIN – Bundestag deputies from mainstream political parties on Thursday accused the Left Party of aligning itself with the Islamic Republic and Syria.

A group of Left Party deputies called early this month for all sanctions applied against Iran and Syria to be lifted.

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The Left Party politicians signed an anti-Israel and anti-US petition in support of the governments of Syria and Iran. According to the online petition, “the USA together with other NATO states and Israel is keeping both countries in a state of permanent alert so as to wear them down.”

Annette Groth, a Left Party deputy who signed the petition, was aboard the Turkish vessel Mavi Marmara in 2010 during its attempt to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip. Left deputies Eva Bulling-Schröter, Sevim Dagdelen, Diether Dehm, Heike Hänsel and Ulla Jelpke also signed the document.

Politicians from the party have compared Israel to Nazi Germany and stoked hatred of the Jewish state at pro- Palestinian events across the Federal Republic over the years. Jelpke has defended anti-Zionism as a respectable political position.

According to the pro-Syrian and pro-Iranian petition’s website, 2,470 people have signed the call to remove sanctions against Tehran and Damascus.

The German media reported last week that Christian Democrat deputy Andreas Schockenhoff slammed the six Left Party deputies for agreeing with the orders to shoot at protesters in Syria and joining forces with dictators. Social Democratic deputy Günter Gloser said the Left Party ignores the facts that Syrian President Assad initiated the attacks on his people.

Free Democratic Party deputy Birgit Homburger termed the behavior of the Left Party politicians to be shameful.

Markus Löning, the human rights commissioner for the German government, told the Süddeutsche Zeitung paper in January that “members of the Left Party have placed themselves on the side of the murderer Assad.”

Löning , who is from the Free Democrats, called on the leaders of the Left Party to distance themselves from the six deputies.

Alexander Fischer, a spokesman for the Left Party, called the Springer media company’s criticism that “Left politicians support solidarity with dictator Assad to be defamation.”

He added, No Leftist is any way shows solidarity with a president who shoots at his own people.”

The BAK Shalom Working Group, a small group of pro-Israel activists within the Left Party’s young members federation, criticized the six deputies on its website. “Against Left Solidarity with the butchers from Syria and Iran!,” BAK wrote.

BAK Shalom rejected the appeal of the petition and said “it is not NATO, the USA or Israel that is creating a civil war in Syria, rather the Syrian and Iranian regimes.”

The pro-Israel leftist group wrote, “We, the members of BAK Shalom, look forward to every sleepless night from Assad and Ali Khamenei and his henchmen in Iran. We hope that the Iranian regime collapses as fast as possible.”


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