(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
BERLIN – The controversial commissioner against antisemitism in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, Michael Blume, lashed out in a blog at a prominent German Jewish activist who works to combat growing antisemitism and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, prompting the Simon Wiesenthal Center to call for his resignation on Tuesday.
The head of the center’s Jerusalem office, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, told The Jerusalem Post that Blume should “first tender his resignation and then apologize to Ms. Goldstein-Wolf.”
Blume, who is not Jewish, wrote a blog on his personal website in which he ostensibly compared the German Jewish activist Malca Goldstein-Wolf with Adolf Eichmann, one of the main architects of Adolf Hitler’s mass extermination of European Jews.
Zuroff, the organization’s chief Nazi-hunter and an international expert in antisemitism, said “the comparison of this sort is outrageous and clearly shows that the commissioner has no grasp of issues related to antisemitism.”
In a rambling blog entry titled “Eichmann, Brevik, Spencer and the terror attack at Christchurch – Ethno-nationalism as a connection from antisemitism and racism,” Blume targeted Goldstein-Wolf in his criticism.
Blume wrote in the blog entry that “a ‘malca goldstein-wolf’ tweets under the hashtag #michaelblume also [having] an alleged connection to the #Muslim Brotherhood.” Goldstein-Wolf denied the claim and told the Post that Blume held a joint event with Juma, an organization with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
She told the Post that: “An antisemitism commissioner should focus on fighting hatred of Jews. Michael Blume, on the other hand, organizes an event with the organization Juma (Young Muslim and Active), founded by the radical Iman Mohamed Matar, whose NBS [Berlin-based] mosque was observed by Berlin’s domestic intelligence agency.”
She continued: “The social democrat and ‘Israeli critic’ Mohamed Ibrahim, who is a member of Juma, wore a ‘boycott Israel’ shirt and was at a demonstration side by side with the enemies of Jews.
“How can one fight antisemitism and work with organizations such as Juma?” Goldstein-Wolf asked in regarding Blume.
In 2017, Goldstein-Wolf convinced the public television outlet WDR to cancel the broadcast of a concert with former Pink Floyd band member Roger Waters because of his pro-BDS and anti-Jewish views.
Goldstein-Wolf said Blume’s work with Islamists, who propagate antisemitism and are a threat to German democracy, is “dangerous.”
The German Jewish group WerteInitiative Values Initiative wrote on Twitter regarding Blume’s attack on Goldstein-Wolf: “We find it rather absurd to want to bring @WolfMalca and Emrah Erken close to ‘paid right-wing trolls’ and conspiracy theorists.”
Sven Matis, a spokesman for mayor Fritz Kuhn of Stuttgart, the capital city of Baden-Württemberg, told the Post that: “Mr. Blume does not work for the city.” Numerous Post queries to Blume and to the governor of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, were not returned.
German Jews slammed Blume for his lack of expertise in the field of antisemitism. German Jewish journalist Henryk M. Broder, who has testified in the Bundestag on contemporary German antisemitism, wrote on Monday: “Although he [Blume] has no idea about antisemitism, he is busy and tends to unmotivated outbursts of anger.”
Critics allege that Blume, who came to the job with no expertise in antisemitism, attacked Israelis on his blog last year and helped mainstream pro-Hamas and pro-Hezbollah politicians, like German Left Party MP Christine Buchholz.
Blume wrote in an email last year that he believes the Baden-Württembergische Bank (BWB) should close the account of the pro-BDS organization Palestine Committee Stuttgart.
“Because the state parliament of Baden-Württemberg rejected the [BDS] campaign, I would like to speak to the state’s bank about its business relations to BDS organizations and ask them to end the relations,” wrote Blume.
Blume later denied that he called on the bank to close the account. It is unclear why Blume allegedly fabricated his response. Felix Klein, the federal commissioner for combating antisemitism, has urged BWB and other financial institutions to not engage in business with BDS entities.
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