Germany’s Left Party withdraws anti-Israel initiative calling 'to end occupation'

Germany's NRW party disclaimed on Twitter that its "motion to the situation in Palestine will not be dealt with," after facing harsh criticism concerning the merit and contents of the initiative.

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October 17, 2017 02:53
2 minute read.
MEMBERS OF Germany’s Left Party in North Rhine-Westphalia who were candidates for the Bundestag appe

MEMBERS OF Germany’s Left Party in North Rhine-Westphalia who were candidates for the Bundestag appear on the organization’s website.. (photo credit: screenshot)

 
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After weeks of criticism, Germany’s Left Party in the country’s most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) appears to have withdrawn its anti-Israel initiative.

On its Twitter account on Sunday, the Left Party in NRW said, “Motion to the situation in Palestine will not be dealt with.” The NRW Left Party did not immediately respond to The Jerusalem Post’s queries on Monday.

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The initiative was proposed for passage at the NRW’s Left Party congress on Sunday. The motion called on Israel “to end the occupation and the Gaza blockade” and urged the European Union to end its association agreement with Israel because of the Gaza blockade and Israel’s “construction of a border wall that violates international law.”

In response to the motion in early October, Martina Renner, a Left Party MP, wrote on Twitter that the “motion sounds like it was written from Israel boycott groups. From this the executive board of @dielinke clearly distances itself.”

Some of the signatories to the motion blasting Israel have, over the years, been accused of stoking antisemitism and hatred of the Jewish state in Germany. The Simon Wiesenthal Center included MP Inge Höger, one of the motion’s supporters, on its list of top 10 antisemitic/anti-Israel incidents in 2014.

According to the center, there were “ongoing efforts to demonize Israel by a group of extreme anti-Israel MPs, led by Inge Höger and Annette Groth.

Both of these parliamentarians were onboard the controversial 2010 Mavi Marmara Gaza flotilla and upon their return to Berlin, were hailed by many of their party’s MPs.”

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Höger played a role in bringing extremists of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel to the Bundestag in 2014.

MP Ulla Jelpke, who supported the motion, previously said: “I consider it legitimate to be against Zionism. After all, it has apartheid-like characteristics.”

The three-page motion said 2017 is the 100-year anniversary of the Balfour Declaration “in which the former colonial power Great Britain unilaterally created a Jewish home state.”

Journalist Stefan Laurin first reported on the NRW’s Left Party motion, writing on the website Ruhrbarone that the party foments “incitement against Israel.” He said the motion shows “how deep the hate of Israel” is within the Left Party in NRW.

Laurin wrote that the NRW’s Left Party did not mention in the motion that the blockade against the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip is also maintained by Egypt. He added that the blockade was the Jewish state’s reaction to “permanent attacks of Hamas on Israel.”

Laurin said it is the “terroristic Hamas with its regime that is responsible for the misery in Gaza.” He added, “Hamas builds shopping centers and villas for its corrupt leadership.”

The Left Party in NRW, a state with roughly 18 million people, did not secure votes to re-enter the state parliament in this year’s election.

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