Dieter Graumann 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
BERLIN – Dieter Graumann, the new head of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, on
Tuesday issued a blistering attack on German peace activists who are promoting a
boycott of Israeli fruit and cosmetic products.
“To me, the calls for a
boycott – as I have said before in the matter in North Rhine- Westphalia –
naturally are anti-Semitic in character,” Graumann told The Jerusalem Post. What
else would they be?” Graumann added that “This time, the initiators think
they’re being especially clever by saying themselves that it has nothing to do
with the Nazis’ slogan ‘Don’t Buy from Jews.’ But that doesn’t help. It is what
it is. Calls for boycotts against Israel – especially in Germany – for me always
have an insensitive character.”
“And by the way,” Graumann continued.
“Where are all these peace groups’ calls for boycotts of Iran, for example? That
alone speaks volumes.
And the fact that some Jews – whom I think are
misguided – are taking part, is no justification.”
Activists from the
“Bremer Peace Forum,” located in the northern port city of Bremen, called in
early March for Israeli products to be boycotted because of Israel’s
construction and policies in the disputed West Bank
According to a Bremer Peace Forum boycott call, the Germans
are “joining the worldwide appeal of concerned Jews.” Meanwhile, the forum
listed no Jewish supporters, and compared Israel with the former racist regime
in South Africa.
When asked about Graumann stating the forum’s boycott
action is infected with anti-Semitism, Hartmut Drewes, a spokesman for the
Forum, told the Post
on Tuesday that “our people are not anti-Semites.” He added
“we commemorate the Kristallnacht pogrom” and “we are not against
Asked if the forum is boycotting any other countries, he said
The German Left Party branch in Bremen showed photographs of the
demonstrators on its website standing in front of a Rewe City supermarket, with
posters stating “Boycott Israel’s fruits.”
Asked about the Left Party
showcasing the boycott calls against Israel on its website, Andreas Hein, a
spokesman for the Bremen Left Party, responded by e-mail that the Left Party
“neither supports nor called for” a boycott of Israeli fruit.