German party branch equates Israel with Third Reich

A branch of the Left Party posts flyer with a swastika morphing into a Star of David, calls for boycott of Israeli products.

By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
May 1, 2011 03:03
2 minute read.
German Left Party Star of David-Swastik

German Left Party Star of David-Swastika 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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BERLIN – The Left Party branch in Duisburg, North Rhine-Westphalia, has posted a flyer with a swastika morphing into a Star of David on its website and called for a boycott of Israeli products.

The Internet news portal Ruhrbarone first reported the flyer on Wednesday.

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“The Left Party in Duisburg is a hotbed of anti-Semitism,” Ruhrbarone wrote.

The flyer states, “Confront the moral blackmail of the so-called Holocaust,” and terms Israel a “rogue state” and “warmonger.” After Ruhrbarone reported about the flyer, the party branch removed it from its website.

A Ruhrbarone writer filed a complaint with Duisburg police asserting that the flyer violated Germany’s anti-hate laws. It may have been on the website for many years.

“The content and style of the flyer that is posted is clearly anti-Semitic, disgusting,” Petra Pau, a Left Party MP and vice president of the party in Bundestag, wrote on Thursday in response to an email query from The Jerusalem Post.

Pau traveled to Israel in 2008 to speak at an international conference of the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism.



When asked if Left Party legislators agreed with the flyer, she told the Post that “because I am at this time not in Berlin, I cannot speak for the Left Party in the Bundestag.

Personally, I am angry and convinced that the party leadership will clarify the matter.”

Ruhrbarone criticized the Green Party and the Social Democrats for forming a coalition with the Left Party on the Duisburg City Council.

Critics charge Left Party leaders with supporting Hamas and Hezbollah, and with failing to confront both anti-Semitism and a rising hatred of Israel among its members and MPs. Party spokesman and MP Wolfgang Gehrcke has attended pro- Hamas and pro-Hezbollah demonstrations over the years.

Last year Hermann Dierkes, a Left Party representative on the Duisburg city council who promotes a boycott of Israeli products, termed Israel’s right to exist “petty.”

Last year, the Central Council of Jews in Germany called Dierkes an “Israel-hater and anti-Semite” because of his activities.

The Left Party has bounced from one anti-Israel scandal to another. In April, a Left Party member of the Bundestag, Inge Höger, blamed Israel’s government for the deaths of two pro-Palestinian activists murdered by radical Islamists. The local chapter of the Left Party in city of Bremen allowed an anti- Israeli group – Bremer Peace Forum – to promote a boycott of Israeli goods in March on its website.

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