BERLIN - A widening anti-Semitism scandal involving the Protestant Church and a network of NGOs in the city of Bremen that call for a boycott of Israel prompted the Green Party to launch an investigation, at the same time saying the employment of a pastor who declared himself a Jew-hater appears to be untenable.
“As the Green faction, we are preparing a parliamentary inquiry that will deal with anti-Semitic tendencies in Bremen,” Kirsten Kappert-Gonther, the deputy head of the Green Party in the city government, wrote The Jerusalem Post by email last week.
After the Protestant Pastor Volker Keller boasted in an email to the Post that he is an anti-Semite – and the leadership of the Bremen Jewish community announced its refusal to work with Keller – Kappert-Gonther told the Post on Wednesday that “mutual trust, in the meantime, is so disturbed that I find it difficult to imagine that good cooperation in the Council for Integration is still possible.”
Keller serves on Bremen’s Council for Integration and plays a role in the absorption of migrants from Muslim-majority countries. He is the Church’s representative on the council for dialogue with religious communities, including the nearly 1,000-member Jewish community. Kappert-Gonther’s rebuke of Keller comes ahead of a Thursday meeting between the Church and the Jewish community leadership to discuss, according to the community’s letter of protest, Keller’s openly anti-Semitic behavior and language.