Outrage over Berlin Jewish Museum hosting antisemitic Iranian regime

“With the invitation, the Jewish Museum gives the Iranian Embassy the opportunity to make its antisemitic anti-Zionism part of the public debate,” said Stop The Bomb spokeswoman Ulrike Becker in a statement sent to The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

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March 19, 2019 06:26
2 minute read.
 Prof. Dr. Peter Schäfer (left) speaks to Seyed Ali Moujani (right)

Prof. Dr. Peter Schäfer (left) speaks to Seyed Ali Moujani (right). (photo credit: HONESTLYCONCERNED TWITTER FEED)

 
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BERLIN – Berlin’s controversial Jewish Museum, which has served as a location for BDS against Israel and hosted Iran’s antisemitic regime earlier this month, is sparking widespread criticism from groups and critics seeking to end Tehran’s denial of the Holocaust and lethal Jew-hatred targeting the Jewish state.

“With the invitation, the Jewish Museum gives the Iranian Embassy the opportunity to make its antisemitic anti-Zionism part of the public debate,” said Stop The Bomb spokeswoman Ulrike Becker in a statement sent to The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

The Anti-Iranian regime group said it protested against the meeting of Seyed Ali Moujani, the Iranian Embassy’s Cultural Council in Berlin, with Prof. Dr. Peter Schäfer ,the non-Jewish director of Berlin’s Jewish Museum.

The embassy’s cultural department distributed a report that Moujani was welcomed in the museum on March 8. Representatives from the museum provided a guided tour for Moujani including the current exhibition about Jerusalem; he posed for a photo with Schäfer. The exhibit has come under attack for removing the critical role of Zionism and Jews from the history of the city.

A photograph of and allegedly antisemitic statements from Schäfer and Moujani appeared on the Internet over the weekend.

According to Stop the Bomb, they agreed that the equation of antisemitism with anti-Zionism is a problem that needs to be scrutinized. Moujani demanded that the “line between Zionism and Judaism” needs to be preserved, like “the border between ISIS and Islam.”

Becker said: “The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran relates to the work of the Jewish Museum Berlin,that has in the past invited speakers that support a boycott of Israel. The invitation of an emissary of the antisemitic Iranian terror regime passes all redlines. Peter Schäfer must explain his policy publicly and the responsible minister of state, Monika Grütters, has to draw personal and institutional consequences.”


Katharina Schmidt-Narischkin, a spokeswoman for the museum, told the Post by email that the photograph of Schäfer and Moujani was not meant for publication. “We asked the [Iranian] embassy last Friday to delete the statements and photographs.”

She said the Iranian cultural attaché was a guest of Schäfer regarding conversations about a possible exhibit of photographs of Iranian Jews from the 19th and 20th centuries, along with a music archive, synagogue and secular music.

After his talks with Schäfer, he toured the exhibit “Welcome to Jerusalem.” German Jewish critics, including Berlin’s own Jewish community, say Schäfer and the museum are pushing anti-Israel propaganda.

 According to media articles in Germany and news gathering by the Post, many employees of the museum loathe Israel and want more BDS activities.

The head of Israel’s NGO Monitor, Prof. Gerald Steinberg, called Berlin’s Jewish Museum the “anti-Jewish Museum” in 2012.

Judith Butler, a professor in the rhetoric and comparative literature departments at the University of California, Berkeley, told a sold-out audience in 2012 in the courtyard of the museum that she accepts a “version of a boycott” against Israel, and stressed that the BDS movement is “non-violent resistance” against Israel. Roughly 700 Germans in the audience roared in agreement with Butler’s pro-BDS views.

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