The German-Israel Society branch in Berlin has lodged a criminal complaint against three BDS activists for disrupting a talk at the city’s Humboldt University in late June.
The panel at the discussion on “Life in Israel – Terror, Bias and the Chance for Peace” consisted of MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid); Holocaust survivor Deborah Weinstein, 82, a musician from Tel Aviv; and four young Israelis. An estimated 60 people attended the June 20 event, the society said.
According to the complaint obtained by The Jerusalem Post,
a female BDS activist “swung [her fists] wildly around her and attendees” as she was escorted from the university room for disrupting the event. She “continuously attempted to reenter the lecture hall and pounded on the door.”
A member of the German-Israel Society positioned himself by the door to block her reentry, noted the complaint. Humboldt University security appeared after the start of disruptions to provide assistance.
The criminal allegations were leveled against the BDS activists Ronnie Barkan, Majed Abusalama and Stavit Sinai. It appears that Sinai is the alleged female attacker. Post
queries sent to a University of Konstanz email address and Twitter account under Sinai’s name were not immediately respond.
The activists shouted at the Israelis and said, “The blood of the Gaza Strip in on your hands,” and, “Child murderers.”
Barkan wore a T-shirt with the words “Boycott Israel.”
Lavie told the Jüdische Allgemeine German-Jewish newspaper that the BDS activists called the Israelis “Nazis.”
Abusalama said on his Twitter feed that he is from Gaza. In an apparent reference to disruption of the university event, he wrote, “But we did it to raise the voice of Palestine and Gaza.” He and Barkan declined to respond to numerous Post queries.
Barkan wrote on his Facebook page: “We have seriously touched a nerve with the recent disruption of apartheid representative and chair of anti-BDS lobby, MK Aliza Lavie, at Humboldt University in Berlin.”
Lavie is chairwoman of the Knesset Caucus for the Struggle Against the Delegitimization of the State of Israel.
The BDS activists launched tirades exceeding their permitted speaking time and interrupted Lavie’s talk, German-Israel Society noted.
A Berlin police spokesman told the Post
on Saturday that the police are “aware of the complaint.” The spokesman said he could not reach the investigators assigned to the case on the weekend and would have information on Monday.
The German-Israel Society wrote that the anti-Israel activists could have brought their “criticisms in the form of a civil debate but decided to disrupt academic discourse, including by physical attacks.”
The society said, “It was clear the disruptors are part of the BDS campaign...and its goal to not accept Israel’s existence.”
The German-Israel Society added in the complaint that BDS defends the violence of terrorist entities Hezbollah and Hamas as “acts of resistance.”
Lavie and the rest of the delegation left the room after the event through a side exit because there were unconfirmed reports that a group of BDS activists were present at the main exit, said the complaint.
Hans-Christoph Keller, a spokesman for Humboldt University, told the Post
that the school “condemns” the disruption of the Israel talk. The university would consider banning the three BDS activists from Humboldt property once a criminal complaint is filed, he said.
It is unclear if Humboldt has issued such a ban since the complaint was submitted.
The BDS Campaign NGO in Berlin posted information on its website about the disruption. Last year, the German-French bank DAB closed BDS Campaign’s bank account because it discriminates against Israelis.
Yair Lapid, chairman of Yesh Atid, wrote an angry letter to Berlin Mayor Michael Müller last week regarding the fracas at Lavie’s event and the mayor’s toleration of a pro-Hezbollah, pro-Iran al-Quds Day march in the center of Berlin on June 23. It is unclear if the mayor responded to Lapid’s letter.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Rabbi Abraham Cooper told the Post
, “Berlin mayor enables Hezbollah terrorists, his staff blocks the truth.” Müller has refused to answer specific Post queries.
Martin Pallgen, a spokesman for Berlin’s Interior Ministry, told the Post that “the constitution of Berlin gives every person the right, without a permit, to assemble peacefully without a weapon.”
The US, Netherlands and Canada classify Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. Germany and the EU designated Hezbollah’s so-called military wing a terrorist entity in 2013.
Col. (ret.) Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, wrote to his more than 30,000 followers on Twitter: “He [Michael Müller] should be fired.”
Kemp added in a second Tweet: “Jew-hating Hizballah march in London bad enough, but Berlincity where Germans planned the murder of 6 million Jews.”