Israeli diplomat blasts German peace conference as antisemitic

Conference excluded German Jew who rejects BDS

Kris Isham (right) and Anna Peterson appear in a rehearsal for the play 'Things to Do in Munich' by Oren Safdie (photo credit: ARKANSAS PUBLIC THEATRE)
Kris Isham (right) and Anna Peterson appear in a rehearsal for the play 'Things to Do in Munich' by Oren Safdie
The head of Israel’s consulate in Munich slammed a canceled peace conference for stoking antisemitism, because it excluded a German Jewish councilman opposed to BDS.
Israeli diplomat Sandra Simovich said that the Munich Peace Conference’s decision to bar city councilman Marian Offman from participating in the event was “a form of Israel-related antisemitism,” according to an article in the Munich daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
Simovich said the exclusion of Offman is “completely unacceptable.” The organizers announced on their website Thursday that they have pulled the plug on the conference, which was scheduled to be held in February, because of the controversy.
Thomas Rödl, the conference’s main organizer has been embroiled in charges that he and the other organizers engaged in antisemitic conduct by denying entry to a Jewish politician while permitting non-Jewish politicians to attend the event.
“In the past few days, the accusation of antisemitism against the organizers of the peace conference has been implicitly and explicitly raised in the media,” wrote the organizers on the peace group’s website. “In the meantime, we have decisively rejected these allegations. Nevertheless, we had to fear a further escalation of the campaign against our event in the next few weeks.”
Ludwig Spaenle, the commissioner for combating antisemitism for the state of Bavaria where Munich is located, said the decision not to invite Offman is antisemitic.
Rödl and the peace event organizers objected to Offman’s pro-Israel activities.
As a member of the Munich City Council, Offman played a role in a cross-party bill to ban city financial support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign targeting the Jewish state.
In May, Germany’s federal parliament classified BDS as antisemitic.
The Munich Peace Conference, which is an event in opposition to the annual Munich Security Conference, appeared to only blame Offman in connection with the cancellation. “The main reason for the cancellation is the events surrounding the greeting by City Councilor Marian Offman,” wrote Rödl and Gudrun Haas, another organizer of the event.
The peace event would have been the 18th one, if it would have been held.