German MP under fire for membership in ‘antisemitic’ BDS group

Talks underway within the party about his alleged BDS activity

Olaf in der Beek MdB in front of Reichstag (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Olaf in der Beek MdB in front of Reichstag
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
German Jews have raised alarm bells over a Free Democratic Party MP who is on the advisory board of the German-Palestinian Society—a group that promotes the BDS campaign against the Jewish state.
The FDP member of parliament, Olaf in der Beek, who is on the advisory board of the German-Palestinian Society, appears to have defied his party’s anti-BDS platform and efforts to combat contemporary antisemitism. The FDP initiated a resolution in 2019 in which the Bundestag classified the BDS movement as antisemitic.
Monty Ott, a  spokesman for the FDP MP Frank Müller-Rosentritt, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that “Mr. Müller-Rosentritt would like to consult his colleague personally in this particular case. Accordingly, we can unfortunately not provide you with a statement at this point.”
Müller-Rosentritt played a critical role in drafting the anti-BDS resolution and is widely considered one of the leading lawmakers working to combat Israel-related antisemitism in Germany.
In der Beek told the Post that “antisemitism must be combated decisively. The FDP group is committed to this without any ifs and buts. For example, last year the FDP faction, along with other factions, submitted an application to the German Bundestag to resolutely oppose the BDS movement. The fight against antisemitism must not only take place in parliament, but must also be carried out in organizations. That is how I understand my role as a member of the Advisory Board.”
The FDP politician declined to specify how he combats antisemitism within the German-Palestinian Society.
Margaret Traub, the chairwoman of the Jewish community in Bonn, told the Post that NGOs like the German-Palestinian Society are a “shame for Germany. The virus of antisemitism unfortunately  never disappears but mutates. Anti-Zionism is the new socially acceptable variant of anti-Semitism.”
Bonn is located in Germany’s most populous state North Rhine-Westphalia, where Olaf in der Beek comes from. He represents the industrial city of Bochum in North Rhine-Westphalia.
In 2018, the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia designated the BDS campaign targeting the Jewish state as antisemitic, barring the parliament and other public facilities from hosting and supporting BDS groups.
The German-Jewish anti-BDS activist Malca Goldstein-Wolf, who lives in Cologne in North Rhine-Westphalia, told the Post that “Those who support the antisemitic BDS movement in times when Jews are attacked almost every day in Germany, even those who only tolerate it, help to incite hatred of Jews. The DPG [Geman-Palestinian Society] members act at least negligently, if not deliberately, and thus endanger Jewish life in Germany.”
The German-Palestinian Society did not respond to a Post query.
Another German-Palestinian Society advisory board member is Christine Buchholz, a Left Party Bundestag deputy, who has defended Hezbollah – Iran’s chief terrorist proxy in the Middle East – and Palestinian Hamas terrorism against Israel as a justified form of “resistance.”
Udo Steinbach, the former head of the German Orient Institute in Hamburg, is also on the board. He compared Palestinian “resistance” against Israel to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising against the Nazis in 1943.
Former Left Party MP Norman Paech was on board the Turkish vessel  Mavi Marmara when it attempted to break Israel’s legal blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza in 2010, and were detained and sent back to Germany. IDF commandos intercepted the vessel.
In 2015,  Israel’s embassy in Germany welcomed a decision by the federal prosecutor to dismiss a criminal complaint filed by a Left Party MP alleging illegal imprisonment and war crimes during the seizure of the Mavi Marmara.