German Left Party official Claudia Haydt.
(photo credit: screenshot)
BERLIN – The inclusion of Left Party official Claudia Haydt in the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s 2014 list of anti-Semitic and anti-Israel incidents provoked an angry email from her, announcing legal action against the human rights organization and other people believed to be in Germany.
In a December 30 email obtained exclusively by The Jerusalem Post, Hadyt, who is a member of the Left Party’s executive board, writes, “I am at the moment initiating legal action against whose have started the slanderous rumors about my so called ‘involvement’ in ‘Toiletgate,’ but I hope that this will not be necessary in your case.”
The Toiletgate incident is a reference to an anti-Semitic scandal that engulfed the German Left Party in November. According to the Wiesenthal list, Haydt – along with the German Left MPs Annette Groth, Inge Höger, and Heike Hänsel – played a key role in inviting and organizing an event with two fringe anti-Israel extremists. The two extremists chased the party’s fraction leader in the Bundestag, Gregor Gysi, into a parliamentary bathroom while yelling at him as he sought to protect himself from apparently pending bodily harm and verbal abuse.
Haydt is an employee in Höger’s office. She said her job is to cover “German military policies.” The subject of the email read “urgent. please change mistakes. top ten.” Höger and Groth were on the Turkish vessel Marvi Marmara,which sought to break Israel’s legal blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip in 2010.
In Haydt’s email, which was filled with examples of broken English, she wrote “I was only involved in the unbearable scene in front of Gregors Gysis office after I was asked for help to escort the Journalist and other guest to the exits of the Bundestag. I can nor see that this merits the label ‘Antisemitism.”’ Haydt refused to answer multiple Post emails and telephone press queries. An employee in Höger’s office told the Post she would not comment. She denied in her email inviting the anti-Israeli radicals.
It is unclear whether Haydt plans to file a lawsuit against other Left Party members and politicians. In November, some leading Left Party MPs, regional politicians and members launched a petition entitled, “You don’t speak in our name,” calling for Groth, Höger, Hänsel, and Haydt to be disciplined for enabling the two anti-Zionist assailants – a Canadian-Israeli and an American – to confront Gysi.
The petition states “members of our party in responsible positions are stoking obsessive hate and demonization of Israel with an anti-Semitic argument pattern and trivialization of the Holocaust.”
The Südkurier paper wrote in November that the Forum of Democratic Socialism in Baden-Württemberg – which includes the Left Party local politician Marco Radojevic – said Haydt and the MPs’ behavior damaged the party’s reputation. The group called for sanctions against the four women.
Michael Schlick, a spokesman for the Left Party faction, told the Post he is not aware of Haydt’s legal suit against party politicians or members. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Post he is also not aware of a lawsuit from Haydt.