Berlin cancels Palestinian terror concert

The Palestinian rappers, Shadi Al-Bourini and Qassem Al-Najjar, have sung for military action against Tel Aviv and urged the destruction of Israel.

September 25, 2019 20:13
3 minute read.
Berlin cancels Palestinian terror concert

A protester holds a placard reading ‘I boycott Israel, but not the Jews,’ during a demonstration marking al-Quds Day (Jerusalem Day), in Berlin on June 1. (photo credit: FABRIZIO BENSCH / REUTERS)

After Israel’s ambassador to Germany Jeremy Issacharoff and his counterpart US ambassador Richard Grenell urged Berlin authorities to ban a slated Wednesday event with two Palestinian rappers who glorify terrorism against the Jewish state, the government of the German capital city relented at the 11th hour on Wednesday.

Martin Pallgen, a spokesman for the city’s interior ministry senator, wrote on Twitter: ”A decision with a ban on political activity is ready and will be sent to the musicians.” However, the pro-Palestinian rally was not banned.

Issacharoff tweeted on Tuesday: “I appeal to the #Berlin authorities to prevent this disturbing event at the Brandenburg Gate featuring antisemitic rhetoric and glorification of violence against Israel. Berlin should unite, not divide!”

Grenell said that he agrees with Issacharoff’s appeal and that the “rappers sing about the annihilation of Jews.”

Berlin’s mayor Michael Müller, who is reeling from hosting an antisemitic Iranian mayor of Tehran just weeks ago, faced another crisis moment. Müller has been accused over the years of being soft toward rising Jew-hatred in Germany’s capital.

The Palestinian rappers, Shadi Al-Bourini and Qassem Al-Najjar, have sung for military action against Tel Aviv and urged the destruction of Israel.

In 2012, a video featuring a song by the duo circulated Palestinian websites threatened Israel and promised to attack Tel Aviv, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
Their music was “accompanied by still images of rockets being fired, a plane being shot out of the sky, and Israelis injured and bracing for imminent landing of rockets, among others,” MEMRI said.
The rappers sung: “Strike a blow at Tel Aviv. Strike a blow at Tel Aviv. Strike a blow at Tel Aviv and frighten the Zionists. The more you build it the more we will destroy it.”

“We are appalled that artists who glorify terror against the citizens of Israel as an act of heroism, describe terrorists as martyrs and deny Israel’s right to exist, are offered a stage in the heart of Berlin,” said Dr. Remko Leemhuis, acting director of the American Jewish Committee (AJC) office in Berlin. “It is unacceptable that from this historical place, the murder of Jews is called for and the worst antisemitic stereotypes are spread. The permission for such a hate event cannot be reconciled with the raison d’être and the commitment to the security of Israel. Likewise, the appearance of the antisemitic rappers sends a fatal signal to Berlin Jews and jeopardizes their security.”

Leemhuis appealed to the Berlin authorities to cancel the event slated to take place near Berlin’s Holocaust memorial. He added that if the concert cannot be terminated, the authorities should impose strict conditions to avoid criminal acts.

The event – called “Rally to the Palestinian Question” – will attract an estimated 400 people and will take place near the government district at the Brandenburg Gate.
Green Party politician and religion expert Volker Beck wrote on Twitter that he requested that Berlin’s interior minister Andreas Geisel take residency and assembly measures against the Palestinian rappers.

“This event should not take place,” said Beck, adding that the stay of the two rappers should immediately be terminated.

The mayor has repeatedly allowed – amid rising antisemitism in Berlin – the Iranian regime-backed Quds Day march to call for the destruction of Israel. There are 250 active members of the Lebanese terrorist organization Hezbollah in Berlin.

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