A group of hardcore BDS activists disrupted a book presentation by the Israeli author Arye Sharuz Shalicar in northern Germany on Friday.
In a telephone interview with The Jerusalem Post on Monday, Shalicar, who is back in Israel, said that minutes into his presentation, in front of about 80 people in the town of Aurich, two men ratcheted up the volume of music on their mobile phone devices and then called him a “war criminal.”
A number of attendees from the audience “told the men to leave,” said Shalicar. He said in addition to the two men inside, three female BDS activists were in front of the building where he held his talk. The Boycott, Divestment,Sanctions campaign targets the Jewish state.
Shalicar, who was born in Germany to Jewish-Persian parents and made aliyah in 2001, read from his new book The New-German Antisemite – Do Jews today belong to Germany? A Personal Analysis. In his youth, prior to becoming a political analyst, he was a hip-hop musician and graffiti artist affiliated with German youth of Arab ancestry.
One of the BDS activists who disrupted his book event is currently on trial in Berlin on criminal charges, including trespassing, for allegedly violently disrupting a 2017 event with an Israeli Holocaust survivor Deborah Weinstein and MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) in the capital.
In 2018, Berlin’s intelligence agency labeled the same BDS activist’s conduct antisemitic in its report about domestic security threats. A year later, the same activist disrupted a Holocaust film festival in Berlin that was sponsored by the Israeli government.
Shalicar, who covers the spectrum of antisemitism in Germany in his book, said the disruption at his event showed that “there is antisemitism within the Left and from BDS.”
He said this was the first experience of “radical left-wing antisemitism” for the audience. One participant asked Shalicar how he felt about being verbally attacked. The author responded that, “the men are not interested in dialogue. It is not a problem for me if they wish to stay during the talk and ask critical questions during the question and answer period, so I have the chance to answer them.”
One of the anti-BDS activists lashed out about Israel being an “apartheid state” and called him a “child murderer.” Shalicar said that the “BDS activists support terrorism in the way they delegitimize Israel.”
On the same day that the activists stormed Shalicar’s event, the German Bundestag passed a resolution recognizing the BDS campaign as antisemitic. After criticism from Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan and US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell in March, Berlin’s government deported convicted Palestinian terrorist and BDS activist Rasmea Odeh.
In 2019, the ministry released a detailed publication on the linkage between BDS and terrorism titled Terrorists in Suits: The Ties Between NGOs Promoting BDS and Terrorist Organizations.
Shalicar was on a book tour for six days in Germany and spoke to packed audiences in the cities of Hanover, Hamburg, Oldenburg, Celle, and Kassel. The only disruption took place in Aurich. The BDS activists traveled from Berlin and elsewhere to the town in the East Frisian region of the German state of Lower Saxony, which has a population of over 40,000.