Israel Embassy slams German anti-Semitic cartoon

"The claim that one must distinguish between hatred of the Jewish people and hatred of the State of Israel leaves a bad taste.”

Jorgen Roters (photo credit: Courtesy)
Jorgen Roters
(photo credit: Courtesy)
BERLIN– The Israeli Embassy in Germany on Friday rebuked the publicprosecutor’s office in Cologne for allowing a public exhibit named“Wailing Wall” that features a cartoon it says encourages “hatred andviolence” against Jews and the State of Israel.
“If one shows afigure with an Israeli flag devouring a Palestinian child, this remindsus of the most scurrilous accusations of ritual murder in Europeananti-Semitism,” the embassy said in a statement. “Immediately afterIsrael’s national Holocaust Remembrance Day, a German prosecutor gaveIsrael-haters a shot in the arm.”
The embassy added: “We don’tinterfere in the decisions of German judicial authorities. But at thesame time, we are convinced that the cartoon was of a clearlyanti-Semitic nature and that it incites hatred and violence. The claimthat one must distinguish between hatred of the Jewish people andhatred of the State of Israel is absolutely inappropriate and leaves abad taste.”
The public prosecutor last week dismissed a legalcomplaint by Gerd Buurmann, a non-Jewish theater director, that thecartoon violated Germany’s hate-crime law.
After reports in The Jerusalem Post and the regional daily Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger in February, the Posthas learned that Israeli diplomats traveled to Cologne to meet withSocial Democratic Mayor Jürgen Roters to voice their frustration anddisgust at the anti-Israeli exhibit located in the heart of thepedestrian zone of Germany’s fourth largest city.
It appearsthat the discussions with Roters and city officials proved to be futileand the Israeli Embassy, departing from diplomatic protocol, blastedthe Cologne prosecutor’s office.
The embassy circulated itscriticism on its electronic daily newsletter in Germany, which reachesjournalists, policy-makers and government officials.
RainerWolf, a spokeswoman for the public prosecutor in Cologne, could notimmediately be reached for a comment on the embassy’s criticism. Wolfpreviously told the Post that the cartoon – depicting a Jeweating body parts and drinking the blood of a Palestinian child – is“not a tendency of hostility toward Jews, but an actual criticism ofthe situation in Gaza.”
According to informed observers inCologne, Walter Herrmann, the organizer of the exhibit, has used thecity’s bustling Cathedral Square to spread anti-Jewish and anti-Israeliresentment with his Wailing Wall exhibit.
“Hatred of Jews hasled to catastrophe, and encouraging this hatred under the cover of‘freedom of opinion’ and supposed ‘political criticism’ leads to thesame sort of hatred and violence,” the Israeli Embassy said.
“Toour regret, the accusation of ritual murder has been given legalconfirmation. Despite this decision by the prosecutor, we will continuethe public and moral struggle against any form of Jew hatred inGermany.”

Buurmann, the theater director who has spearheaded a campaign to shutdown Hermann’s festival of Israel-hate, said in a statement: “Only theleft-wing parties and with them the mayor of Cologne keep silent andtolerate Herrmann’s diatribes against Israel. It is Walter Herrmann whobrought back the cartoons and the ideology of the Nazis, and a Germancourt is supporting him.”
A spokewoman for the mayor's office, Inge Schürmann, said in response that the city of Cologne and the mayor “are against anti-Semitism.”
But the simmering dispute about Cologne’s indifference toward theWailing Wall exhibit has created tension over the city’s partnershipwith Tel Aviv-Jaffa.