Saturday, June 24, 2017

Berlin mayor allows Hezbollah to march in 'Zionists out of Israel' rally - Diaspora

Iraqi Shi'ite Muslim men from the Iranian-backed group Kataib Hezbollah wave the party's flags as they walk along a street painted in the colours of the Israeli flag during a parade marking the annual Quds Day. (photo credit:REUTERS) Berlin Mayor Michael Müller permitted nearly 600 Hezbollah supporters and members – and pro-Iranian regime activists – to march on Friday in the heart of the German capital at the al-Quds Day rally calling for the destruction of the Jewish state. Writing in Israel's embassy newsletter, Rogel Rachman, the head of Israel's public diplomacy at the embassy in Berlin, said the Social Democratic mayor's decision was "not to be tolerated and wrong as only wrong can be." He said the "al-Quds march creates a climate of aggression and of hate, in which hundreds of antisemites come together" and "strengthens the antisemites." "For antisemites, the step from hate to violence is a logical consequence to the pure existence of Jews and Israel, and thus the march should be unacceptable for security reasons alone, without even speaking first about moral reasons," Rachman continued. Hezbollah is classified by the US, the Netherlands and Canada as a terrorist organization. Germany and the EU proscribed Hezbollah's so-called military wing a terrorist entity. Posters blanketed Berlin's bustling shopping district with slogans "Zionists out of Israel," a crossed out Star of David on an Israeli flag with the words "Free Palestine, Boycott Israel," and "Resistance against Zionism." Pictures of Iran's radical clerical leaders Ruhollah Khomeini and Ali Khamenei and Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah were on display at the march. One protestor draped himself in the flag of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) – a US and EU outlawed terrorist organization. The al-Quds Day rally was called into a global action in 1979 by the late Ayatollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, with the goal of dismantling Israel. Since 1996, there have been 21 al-Quds day marches in Berlin. "Today, like every year, tens of thousands haters of Israel are demonstrating under the disguise of anti-Zionism for the destruction of Israel... It [al-Quds day] deals with a hate festival where flags of various terror organizations are waved," said Rachman. Israel's embassy "appealed to the mayor to send a clear signal against this hate parade and deny on legal grounds the annual event." A spokesman for the mayor told The Jerusalem Post on Friday, "the mayor does not comment on representatives from foreign groups." The mayor has been criticized for being weak on combating Islamism. Müller was under fire for appearing at a peace event with Islamists from the Dar-as-Salam mosque. The intelligence agency monitors the mosque for its threat to Berlin's democracy. According to Berlin's intelligence agency – the rough equivalent of the Shin Bet – there are 250 active members and supporters of Hezbollah in the German capital. A total of 950 Hezbollah members and supporters operate in Germany. "It is certain that people from Germany will be financed on Friday with foreign money to be driven to the al-Quds march in Berlin," said Rachman. Last month, Germany's foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel hosted Hamidreza Torabi, an Iranian religious leader who called for Israel's elimination at last year's al-Quds march in Berlin. Torabi was welcomed by Gabriel, who has faced criticism from Israel and human rights groups for supporting anti-Israel NGOs and belittling the Holocaust, at the foreign ministry. The event was titled: “The Conference on the Responsibility of Religions for Peace.” Torabi, who heads the Islamic Academy of Germany – part of the Iranian regime-owned Islamic Center of Hamburg – held a poster in downtown Berlin at the 2016 anti-Israel al-Quds rally urging the “rejection of Israel” and calling the Jewish state “illegal and criminal.” Torabi once again participated in this year's march. Torabi is a key organizer of the al-Quds event in Berlin. The Islamic Center buses pro-Hezbollah and pro-Iranian regime members and activists to the annual event, which also serves as a gathering for the BDS campaign against Israel. The city of Hamburg is a partner of the Iranian-regime Islamic Center in connection with a city-run religious council and provides support to the Islamic extremist center. Rachman said that "it is perverse and especially inhuman that the demonstration will take place near Breitscheidplatz where 12 people were murdered in an attack." In December 2016, an ISIS terrorist rammed a truck into a Berlin Christmas market at Breitscheidplatz. One of the 12 victims was Dalia Elyakim from Israel – her husband Rami was seriously wounded. A joint Iran-Hezbollah terror operation murdered five Israelis and their Bulgarian Muslim bus driver in Burgas, Bulgaria in 2012. The diplomat noted that "at least the Berlin interior agency for the first time banned Hezbollah flags and certain hate slogans" at the al-Quds march. He said that studies show that antisemitism is always shown more in European and German societies. He feared that "condemning antisemitism is no longer automatic," rather antisemitism has morphed into a "legitimate opinion" among many people.

No comments: