German Jews slam Social Democrats for event with Iran's 'criminal regime'

"There is enough evidence to break all relations with Iran. Why are you giving this criminal regime a podium?"

May 9, 2019 20:39
2 minute read.
Iranians at an exhibit during a visit at the Holocaust denial event in Tehran, i

Iranian men look at a cartoon exhibit during the " in Tehran August 14, 2006. (photo credit: RAHEB HOMAVANDI/REUTERS)


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Sigmount Königsberg, the commissioner on antisemitism for Germany’s largest Jewish community in Berlin, issued a rare rebuke to the German Social Democratic Party’s think tank for its slated May event with Iranian regime officials, who propagate Holocaust denial and call for a war against the Jewish state.

On Monday, Königsberg – who represents Germany’s largest local community of roughly 10,000 Jews – wrote on Twitter: “Friedrich Ebert Foundation, There is enough evidence to break all relations with Iran. Why are you giving this criminal regime a podium?”

He linked his tweet to a March commentary in the Swiss newspaper New Journal of Zürich about the Islamic Republic of Iran’s trampling of human rights. The commentary, authored by Daniel Steinvorth, noted that the Tehran regime continues to show its “dictatorial nature.”

Repeated Jerusalem Post media queries sent to Peter Donaiski, a spokesman for the Ebert Foundation, were not returned.

The May 14 event is titled “Deal or No Deal: One year after the US withdrawal from the atomic agreement.”

Königsberg’s tweet is the first significant pushback from a German organization against the pro-Iran and anti-Israel policies of the Ebert Foundation – disinvited the distinguished Israeli writer Chaim (Hans) Noll last month because he wrote critical texts about German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas’s appeasement of Iran’s clerical regime at the expense of the security of the Jewish state.

Maas is a Social Democrat and his foreign ministry celebrated the Iranian revolution in February at Tehran’s embassy in Berlin. The Iranian revolution calls for the obliteration of Israel. Maas is committed to circumventing US sanctions against the mullah regime. The sanctions are designed to prevent Iran from securing a nuclear weapons device and halt its spread of terrorism.

Dr. Efraim Zuroff, chief Nazi-hunter for the Simon Wiesenthal Center and director of its Jerusalem office, told the Post on Monday: “If these are the kinds of guests invited to Berlin, which gives legitimacy to Iranian Holocaust denial and the Iranian regime’s genocidal threats against Israel, it is not surprising that German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has pursued policies severely critical of Israel and voted against Israel at the UN.”

Germany voted with Iran’s regime 16 times against Israel last year at the world body.

Zuroff added that the foundation should cancel the invitation to the Iranian regime representatives and invite Iranian dissidents instead.

The Ebert Foundation invited Saeed Khatibzadeh, who represents the think tank of Iran’s Foreign Ministry – the Institute for Political and International Studies, which organized the 2006 Holocaust denial conference in Tehran. The 2006 event, “The International Conference On Review of the Holocaust: Global Vision,” featured a who’s who of global and Iranian Holocaust deniers.

The foundation’s conference next week will also feature Hassan Ahmadian, who defended massacres carried out by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Shi’ite militias in Syria, as “forward deterrence” against the Jewish state. The United States classifies the IRGC as a foreign terrorist organization.

Kurt Beck, chairman of the Ebert Foundation, has not weighed in on the anti-Israel scandals roiling the think tank.

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