A new study shows that a fifth of German academics want the right to reject Israel’s existence on college and university campuses as part of free speech.
According to the study, which was reported in German media on Tuesday, more than a fourth (27%) of professors and lecturers also want to be allowed to reject Islam as part of academic freedom.
The Kondrad Adenauer Foundation, the Christian Democratic Union party’s think tank, commissioned the Instituts für Demoskopie Allensbach to survey 1,106 academics about free speech within the university and college setting.
Sigmount Königsberg, the representative to combat antisemitism for Germany’s largest Jewish community in Berlin, tweeted in connection with the study: “And then you wonder that at Humboldt an antisemitic event takes place under the guise of ‘freedom of science.’”
The release of the Adenauer study comes amid an alleged antisemitism scandal at Berlin-based Humboldt University. The president of the university, Dr. Sabine Kunst, permitted an alleged antisemitic professor to deliver a talk on Wednesday. Anti-Israel academic Georg Meggle promotes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel. Last year, the Bundestag classified BDS as antisemitic.
Humboldt students urged the university not to allow the event to take place, calling it antisemitic.
Kunst declined to issue a statement to The Jerusalem Post. Meggle did not respond to a Post press query.
In 2017, a German government study revealed that nearly 33 million Germans, or 40% of the population of 82 million, were infected with “contemporary antisemitism,” meaning hatred of the Jewish state.
In a section titled “Agreement to Israel-related antisemitism,” the report said 40% of Germans who were polled showed approval for the following statement: “Based on Israel’s policies, I can understand people having something against the Jews.”