Dieter Graumann 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
BERLIN – Dr. Dieter Graumann, the president of Germany’s Central Council of
Jews, on Monday slammed Aachen Mayor Hilde Scheidt for her defense of an
anti-Semitic, anti-Israel cartoon and her efforts to denigrate two prominent
German-Jewish writers because they criticized modern anti-Semitism and radical
In an exclusive statement to The Jerusalem Post, Graumann wrote in
connection with the Green Party’s Scheidt, “Accusing someone of right-wing
radical incitement because he criticizes a disgusting, anti-Semitic caricature
and denounces the fact that it is tolerated under the pretense of criticism of
Israel makes the accuser culpable of failing to act against anti-Semitism, of
inverting the facts, of unreliability in the struggle against hatred and
The cartoon depicts a man sporting a Star of David on his bib
as he devours a young Palestinian boy with a fork draped in an American flag and
a knife with the word “Gaza” written on it. A blood-filled glass sits next to
Scheidt defended the cartoon late last year. “It must also be
possible to criticize the policies of Israel — and a government that damages the
Israeli people,” she said.
Scheidt resigned from the German- Israeli
friendship society (DIG) last year, to protest against a DIG event scheduled for
late December to honor Jewish journalist Henryk M. Broder and against Holocaust
survivor and author Ralph Giordano’s scheduled speech at the event.
told the Aachner Zeitung
newspaper that Broder invoked “malicious agitation”
against critics of Israel, including Walter Herrmann, the initiator of the
Cologne “Wailing Wall.” The Cologne exhibit in the heart of the city’s bustling
pedestrian zone showed the anti-Semitic cartoon.
Scheidt mounted a
campaign in the local press to prevent Broder and Giordano from speaking in
Aachen, including leveling, according to critics, a classic expression of German
anti-Semitism against Broder, saying he sows discontent in the Federal
German observers of the local press told the Post that the
Aachen news outlets served to advance an anti-Jewish campaign against Broder and
Giordano, as well as one-sided attacks on Israel.
Scheidt said that
another reason she resigned from DIG was because Broder had said that in Aachen
there is an “alternative red pack peace movement that always demonizes
Broder was alluding to the Aachen Peace Prize group, which has
awarded prizes to haters of Israel, and of which Scheidt has long been a
Speaking from Aachen on Monday, Alex Drehmann, a representative
of the city’s Jewish community, told the Post that the Aachen Peace Prize
organization is filled with “anti-Semites and anti-Israeli” activists. The
Jewish community “regrets that Scheidt resigned from DIG but continues to be a
member of the Aachen Peace group,” he said.
Drehmann, who said he was
speaking for the head of community, Dr. Robert Neugröschel, termed Scheidt’s
efforts to label Broder and Giordano as rightwing as “ridiculous and
He continued that both authors are “famous personalities” and are
in no way to be described as right-wing.
Drehmann said Scheidt’s position
on Israel and the German Jewish authors was “not smart” and that she fails to
understand Israel’s security interests.
In an e-mails to the Post
Tuesday and Wednesday, Scheidt wrote, “I would like to sharply reject the
accusations leveled against me by Mr. Broder and others, because they are
without merit. I have publicly voiced my criticism of DIG many times and do not
wish to repeat it.”
Scheidt added that she had “sharply criticized the
cartoon” demonizing Jews and Israel and resigned from the board of directors of
the Aachen Peace Prize club.
Dr. Elvira Grözinger, a member of the German
branch of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East (SPME), which aims to present a
balanced view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, told the Post on Monday that
Scheidt’s approach is “anti-Semitism with a detour” because she blasts the
Israelis but really means Jews.
Broder told the Post
on Wednesday that
Scheidt is a “Green anti-Semite” and Aachen is contaminated because of her
Broder writes for the daily Die Welt
and is one of Germany’s
leading authorities on contemporary anti-Semitism in the country.
declined to answer Post
questions about allegations that she has failed to fight
the rising level on neo-Nazi activity in the Aachen area.
One member of
the Aachen Jewish community told the Post
that Scheidt is bashing Israel because
she wants to please the German Turkish population and secure votes for her