German politico due in TA accused of anti-Semitism

Kerstin Muller, the Bundestag deputy slated to run a foundation based in Israel, supports boycotting settler-produced goods.

By JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
May 29, 2013 19:19
3 minute read.
A sign in Sweden calls for Israel boycotts.

boycott israel sign swdish 370. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

BERLIN – Rising criticism of a German Green party campaign to label and boycott Israeli goods produced over the Green Line, which was co-initiated by Bundestag deputy Kerstin Müller, triggered on Wednesday a series of calls for her to refrain from taking up her recent appointment as head of the Tel Aviv office of the party’s Heinrich Böll Foundation.

“So long as Ms. Müller demands the labeling of goods from only one country in the world, namely Israel, she is acting in an anti-Semitic way,” Dr. Gideon Joffe, head of Germany’s largest Jewish community (10,500) in Berlin, told The Jerusalem Post.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


“I am not aware that she has made this demand with respect to other countries with border conflicts, like, for example, in France, England, Spain, Turkey, Morocco, India, China or Russia. Thus a classic case of anti-Semitic discrimination is present,” Joffe said.

“Enough is enough," Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Post from Jerusalem. "It’s high time the Jewish world and all those truly interested in a true peace in the Holy Land to have a zero tolerance for campaigners for BDS – an anti-Semitic, anti-peace poison pill.”

"If Ms. Müller is committed to the boycott, she should relocate to Riyadh, not Tel Aviv," he said. "And don’t bother lecturing Jews that her real goal is to push Israel to make peace with Palestinians. No one buys that nonsense. Want to help peace? As a German, she should publicly scold Palestinian leaders who deny and minimize the Nazi Holocaust while depicting Israeli actions as worst than the Shoah.”

“Kerstin Müller is an experienced foreign policy politician and with her her longtime involvement in German-Israeli relations and the Middle East peace process make her an ideal representative for the foundation in Tel Aviv," Ralf Fücks, the head of the Heinrich-Böll Foundation, wrote the Post in an email response.

Müller is slated to move to Tel Aviv later this year to run the foundation’s office.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


“The Heinrich Böll Foundation irresponsibly channels German taxpayer funds to some causes and organizations that promote political warfare against Israel," Prof. Gerald Steinberg, head of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, told the Post on Wednesday.

He cited the Greens support for “such radical Palestinian groups as the Applied Research Institute in Jerusalem.”

“They also sponsor highly distorted events on Israel in the EU," Steinberg said. "Based on her support for BDSM (the immoral boycott movement), the concern is that Kerstin Müller will intensify the attacks on the elected government of Israel under the facade of German-funded ‘civil society’ activities. Before she agrees to this position, she would be well advised to learn something about Israeli realities, in contrast to the myths of German ideologues and their allies.”

Michael Schroeren, spokesman for the Green party faction in the Bundestag, rejected the criticisms leveled at Müller.

“There are no statements from the Greens in the Bundestag or from individual members of the fraction in which a boycott of Israel is advocated. We reject the accusation of anti-Semitism,” he wrote the Post by email.

Schroeren cited a November,2012 Green party parliamentary questionnaire covering the misuse of labeled products from the Morocco-occupied Western Sahara as proof that the Greens are not applying double standards to the Jewish state.

Dr. Dieter Graumann, head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, told the Post that the Greens should apply “more balance and less onesidedness” to Israel. He added, “The Greens have allowed themselves to be instrumentalized as the advocate of the anti-Israel BDS (boycott, sanctions, divestment) movement.”

Graumann urged the Greens to focus their legislative energies "on the Arab world and those countries who want to wipe out and destroy Israel. That demands - loud and clear - a label!”

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN