By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL, JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
BERLIN – Thomas Schalski-Seehann, a local politician from the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in the city of Stade, outside of Hamburg, filed a legal suit against three members of the German Left Party last week.He told the Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper that “as liberals, we want to send a clear message against this nasty anti-Semitism in the Left Party, nor are we blind in the right eye. Other criminal complaints against politicians in the Left Party that have been submitted to the Berlin prosecutor’s office show that our complaint is right and important.”The FDP is the political party of German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.He appeared to be the first German politician to charge the three Left Party members with “incitement to hatred” and the “support of a terrorist organization.” Inge Höger and Annette Groth, members of the Left Party in the parliament, and Norman Paech, a former Left Party MP and foreign policy spokesman, were on board the Mavi Marmara.However, Schalski-Seehann’s decision to take legal action against the Left Party caused friction among fellow FDP politicians, and according to a report in Monday’s Hamburger Abendblatt, he resigned from his post as chairman of the FDP in Stade, as well as his party membership. He still plans to pursue his complaint against the Left Party members and said he wanted to show the “anti-Semitic continuity between the SED [former communist party in East Germany] and the Left Party.”In a telephone interview with The Jerusalem Post on Monday, Margret Mohrmann, the deputy chairwoman of the FDP in Stade, said Schalski-Seehann had made an “entirely personal decision” to take legal action against the Left Party. When asked if he had been forced to resign by the FDP, Mohrmann said that there had been no pressure from the local FDP in Stade. “We are a local organization” and “such matters” as Gaza are of nointerest to a local political organization, she said. She stressed thatSchalski-Seehann “did not speak with us” before he initiated his legalcomplaint against the Left Party.AdvertisementSchalski-Seehann did not immediately return calls seeking comment.Anti-Israel sentiments following the Left Party’s involvement in theflotilla, and the alliance of many MPs with radical Islamicorganizations, has been the subject of growing media criticism inGermany.Writing in the Tageszeitung, a left-liberal Germandaily, reporter Doris Akrap noted that Paech “is not an objectiveobserver, when it [comes to] Israel. He has compared over the yearsIsrael’s military approach with Nazi methods, recommends Hamas as adialogue partner, and leaves open whether the right of resistance ofthe Palestinians against the Israeli occupation has a limit.”In a widely viewed investigative television report last week titled“Questionable Peace Mission, German Leftists on Ship with TurkishIslamists and Right-Wing Extremists,” Report Mainzshowed that radical Islamists with a history of violence had been onboard the Mavi Marmara. Members of the Great UnionParty (Büyük Birlik Partisi) a radical nationalistic Islamic party,traveled on the Mavi Marmara. According to Islamexpert Michael Kiefer, who was quoted in the broadcast, the Great UnionParty has similar views, within a German context, to the neo-NaziNational Democratic Party. When confronted with the list of radicalIslamic passengers, including members of the Great Union Party, Grothtold Report Mainz that she was not the right personto ask and walked away from the camera.
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