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Journalist gains legal victory against German 'anti-Zionist lobby'
BENJAMIN WEINTHAL, Jerusalem Post correspondent
06/18/2009
Cologne court dismisses defamation suit of a radical anti-Zionist Jew who sought to legally bar German Jew from labelling her statements anti-Semitic.
BERLIN - A regional court in Cologne on Wednesday dismissed the defamation suit of a radical anti-Zionist Jew, Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, who sought to legally bar German Jewish journalist Henryk M. Broder from labelling her statements anti-Semitic. Hecht-Galinski - the daughter of Heinz Galinski, who served as head of the Berlin Jewish community as well as the Central Council of Jews in Germany - has filed a series of bogus law suits, according to critics, to muzzle Broder's free speech rights. The court case has garnered national media attention in Germany and Israel. Broder's attorney, Nathan Gelbart, told The Jerusalem Post that the decision was a "slap in the face of the anti-Zionist lobby." He said the court's decision affirmed that there was "not a fundamental difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism." Gelbart and his law colleague Katy Ritzmann said in a statement that Broder's free speech rights were protected and "justified because of the anti-Semitic nature of Ms. Hecht-Galinski's statements." While filing the lawsuits against Broder to turn the screws on his free speech rights, Hecht-Galinski has said that there is a "Jewish-Israel lobby with its active network... extended over the world," working to clamp down on critics of Israel. She also supports statements equating Israel with Nazi Germany and writes for an anti-Semitic Web site in Germany that devotes coverage to hardcore anti-Israel causes and boycott measures. The Central Council of Jews in Germany has sharply criticized Hecht-Galinski for anti-Semitism and Jewish self-hatred. According to observers, Hecht-Galinski exploits the name of her father to secure media attention in Germany.
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