A well known German Green Party politician urged Berlin’s mayor to stop a travel trade fair because Malaysia is the partner country and stokes antisemitism against Israel.
Volker Beck, who is also a lecturer at the Center for Studies in Religious Sciences (CERES) at the Ruhr University in Bochum, sent a Tweet to his nearly 89,000 followers stating: “When will @RegBerlin, @SawsanChebli, @RamonaPop stop this lack of principles at @ITB_Berlin?” The Tweet was sent on Wednesday and addressed to the Mayor Michael Müller, Berlin’s Sawsan Chebli , the city’s state secretary for civic engagement and international affairs, and the Green Party’s Ramona Pop, who is the city senator responsible for energy and economics.
Beck wrote, “Homophobia and antisemitism cannot be a partner country. This regime must not be courted.”
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Bin Mohamad said he will not allow Israelis to participate in the Paralympic Swimming World Championship, scheduled to take place in Malaysia in July.
Malaysia is listed as the official partner country of the IBT, which is slated to take place March 6-10 in Berlin. The IBT is advertised as the world’s largest trade affair.
Müller and Chebli, both social democratic party politicians, have faced criticism over the years for being soft in the fight against contemporary antisemitism. Chebli initiated a working circle in the city senate to combat antisemitism.
After The Jerusalem Post exposed in 2017 widespread pro-BDS (Boycott, Divestments, Sanctions) activity in Berlin, Müller said, “BDS stands with antisemitic signs in front of Berlin businesses. Those are intolerable methods from the Nazi period. We will do everything possible to withdraw money and rooms for BDS’s anti-Israel agitation.”
The case of the city of Berlin enabling a trade event with the Malaysian regime that promotes an antisemitic boycott of Israel, according to critics, would appear to fall under the mayor’s declaration to not conduct business with pro-BDS entities.
Beck said “Israel’s existence is German raison d’état” and urged the mayor and Chebli to take action against Malaysia.
In a statement issued by the social democratic politician Michaele Engelmeier, she called for a cancellation of sports events in Malaysia.
“The refusal of entry and thus the exclusion of the Israeli team from the competition is a slap in the face and a massive violation of international fair play in sport.
The International Paralympic Committee must act as host. The right reaction can only be the cancellation in Malaysia and a new contract,” said Engelmeier.
She added,”The international sports federations, above all the International Olympic Committee with its president Thomas Bach, must react now. Those who do not allow all athletes to enter and participate can never host international events and must be banned.”