BDS activists assault Israeli film festival attendees in Berlin

Violence ensued after BDS activists refused to leave cinema

By
September 9, 2019 23:23
2 minute read.
Anti-Israel BDS

Anti-Israel demonstrators march behind a banner of the BDS organization in Marseille, June 13.. (photo credit: GEORGES ROBERT / AFP)

A group of BDS activists violently assaulted visitors at the Israeli Seret International film festival on Sunday in Berlin, causing injuries and disrupting a podium discussion, according to German police. An estimated 10-12 BDS activists participated in the disruption and attacks.

According to the police notice reviewed by The Jerusalem Post, the BDS activists refused to leave the cinema when requested, resulting in violence.  BDS is the abbreviation for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign targeting the Jewish state. The German parliament classified BDS as antisemitic in May.

The police report said after the screening of the documentary film “King Bibi,” a question and answer discussion was planned with the director and a 42-year-old started to scream. At the same time, a second 42-year-old man and a third unknown person held a poster in front of the film screen. It is unclear what was written on the poster. The discussion could not continue after the disruption.

A 62-year-old man, who organized the evening film presentation, called on the three men to leave the event. The BDS activists refused to leave the cinema. The 54-year-old manager of the cinema attempted to force the activists out of the building.

The police said all participants were released after showing identification. The Green Party politician, Volker Beck, wrote on Twitter on Sunday: “When BDS violently attacks everything that is Israeli, it is time the rule of law shows where the borders are. That’s not criticism, that’s violence.” Beck urged Berlin’s police to take a more aggressive posture against BDS.

Last year, two BDS activists disrupted the presentation of an Israeli Holocaust film in Berlin, prompting security officials to evict the protesters as the audience booed the stoppage caused by the BDS people. Ronnie Barkan, whose conduct Berlin’s intelligence agency classified as antisemitic, was one of the activists who disrupted the Holocaust film festival at the time.

Barkan, who rejects the existence Israel, stormed an Israel event at Berlin’s Humboldt University in 2017. At least three pro-BDS activists lashed out at Israeli survivor of the Holocaust Deborah Weinstein and MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) at the Humboldt University event. The event had been titled, “Life in Israel – Terror, Bias and the Chances for Peace.”

In 2017, Barkan and Majed Abusalama, two of the activists who disrupted the Humboldt event, were barred from speaking at BDS events in the city of Oldenburg due to antisemitism.

Stavit Sinai, a third BDS activist at the Humboldt event, was removed from the lecture hall as she “swung [her fists] wildly around her and [at the] attendees,” according to a statement from the pro-Israel German-Israel Friendship Society. She “continuously attempted to reenter the lecture hall and pounded on the door,” said the group. Criminal complaints were filed against the BDS activists for disrupting the Humboldt University event. It is unclear if Sinai, Barken and Abusalama were involved in the violent assault on Saturday. The activists tour Germany to disrupt pro-Israel events and spread BDS.


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