German Jew sues Berlin to stop antisemitic Quds Day rally

Iranian regime-sponsored rally attracts neo-Nazis, members of Hezbollah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

Demonstrators attend an 'al-Quds Day' protest rally in Berlin, Germany, July 11, 2015 (photo credit: FABRIZIO BENSCH / REUTERS)
Demonstrators attend an 'al-Quds Day' protest rally in Berlin, Germany, July 11, 2015
BERLIN—After the city-state of Berlin declined to take action against an annual Iranian-regime sponsored protest calling for the destruction of Israel, German Jewish retiree Gilbert Kallenborn filed a lawsuit to stop the rally.
The Berlin-based B.Z. paper reported on Monday that the 66-year-old Kallenborn seeks to prevent the mid-May Al-Quds rally from taking place in the heart of Berlin’s shopping district. “The destruction of the Jewish state of Israel  is called for there," said Kallenborn.
According to B.Z., the authorities are examining legal measures and have not issued a decision.
When asked if the city of Berlin plans to ban the Quds Day rally, Martin Pallgen, a state interior ministry spokesman, told The Jerusalem Post: “This year's Al-Quds assembly was not ‘approved’ by the State of Berlin. According to the Assembly Act, based on Article 8 of the Basic Law, demonstrations do not have to be requested, but only registered. The Al-Quds demonstration was already registered in July 2019 for May 16, 2020.”
Pallgen added that “The possibilities under the right of assembly to impose or prohibit an assembly remain unaffected.”
He said Berlin is “currently reviewing what legal measures are considered in relation to the Al-Quds assembly. In view of the current developments in the corona pandemic, no final decision has yet been made.”
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, launched Quds Day in 1979, calling for the destruction of Israel. Al-Quds is the Arabic word for Jerusalem. The Berlin Quds Day demonstration has been held each year since 1996.
The Quds Day rally attracts members of the terrorist organizations Hezbollah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Neo-Nazis have also participated in the demonstration, where salutes to Hitler have been documented, according to the B.Z.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Post in February: “Berlin leaders should spare us crocodile tears when [a] spate of anti-Jewish attacks continue. They accurately tally antisemitic incidents while abetting Jew-hatred and Holocaust deniers. Despicable. Mocks the dead and endangers living Jews.”
Berlin Mayor Michael Müller has claimed that legal action to stop the Quds Day demonstration would not meet the court’s criteria for a ban. There are doubts as to whether Müller’s contention is true because the law has not been tested.
Berlin’s interior senator Andreas Geisel has said in the past: "I do not want such antisemitic events to take place in Berlin. We are therefore exhausting all possibilities under the rule of law to make something like this impossible in our city." Geisel, however, declined to test the law to ban the antisemitic rally.
Dr. Elio Adler, chairman of the German-Jewish organization Values Initiative, told the Berlin paper: “If the antisemites use the loopholes of the rule of law without being disturbed, then we have to clarify, in the same detail, how they can be stopped in the future.”
US officials, including Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, who is also the ambassador to Germany, have urged Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration to ban the entire terrorist entity Hezbollah, a main force behind Quds Day in the federal republic.
Merkel and Interior Minister Horst Seehofer from her Christian Union Party have opted to not crackdown on Hezbollah, to the frustration of German Jews and counter terrorism experts.
German intelligence agencies have said there are 1,050 Hezbollah operatives in Germany. The Hezbollah members and supporters raise funds for Hezbollah in Lebanon and recruit new members.
The Quds Day demonstration is supported by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Last May, Germany’s Bundestag defined BDS as antisemitic.