Friday, November 15, 2019

German antisemitism commissioner likes FB post comparing Zionists to Nazis

A commissioner tasked with combating antisemitism in the southern German state of Baden-Württemberg clicked “Like” on an antisemitic Facebook post on Tuesday that compared Zionists to Nazis, just one day before a neo-Nazi murdered two bystanders while attempting to shoot Jews in a synagogue in Halle.

Michael Blume, the commissioner, liked a Facebook post from a user named Alexander Omar Loh who wrote: “Zionists, Nazis and radicals should quickly remove themselves from my friends list.”

Blume is now facing a fresh round of accusations that he stokes contemporary antisemitism on social media and is unqualified to be assigned with fighting Jew-hatred. Loh and Blume are Facebook friends.

The US State Department and the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance both define comparisons between Nazi Germany and Israel as an expression of modern antisemitism. Germany adopted the IHRA definition in 2017.

In March, the human rights organization Simon Wiesenthal Center said Blume “promotes antisemitism” because he used the Nazi mass murderer Adolf Eichmann in a rambling article to demonize Malca Goldstein-Wolf, a German Jewish activist who campaigns against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in Germany.

Wiesenthal Center chief Nazi-hunter Dr. Efraim Zuroff told The Jerusalem Post at the time that Blume “needs to tender his resignation and then apologize to Ms. Goldstein-Wolf.”

Goldstein-Wolf, who convinced a German TV outlet in 2017 not to broadcast a concert from former Pink Floyd member Rogers Waters, a vocal BDS supporter, told the Post on Monday that Blume is “unacceptable” as a commissioner to fight antisemitism.

She said that in addition to comparing Zionists to Nazis, Blume has forfeited “confidence” in his position at a time when honest officials are needed to “lead a fight against antisemitism.” She added that Blume’s “conduct is shocking.”

Blume is widely viewed as a German official who quickly shuts down dialogue on social media with critics, including journalists, who question his alleged anti-Israel and pro-political Islam posts and activities.

“I have traveled to Berlin twice in last few months,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center, told the Post on Sunday. “There are dedicated people like Felix Klein who are devoted to recognizing and combating antisemitism from far Right, extreme Left, Islamist fanatics led by Iranian regime and those seeking Israel’s destruction. Anyone who is uncomfortable dealing aggressively with the full menu of today’s antisemitism should not be put in charge of the battle on federal, [state] or local levels.”

Cooper noted that after what happened on Yom Kippur in Halle, Germany, “where Jews escaped a massacre despite the fact that police were absent on Yom Kippur, German Jews deserve a total commitment to fight antisemitism in all its ugly manifestations. If they cannot rely on all authorities to lead an aggressive and unequivocal fight to weed out antisemitism – whatever its source – the future of Jews in Germany is in serious doubt.”

Klein, the federal commissioner for combating antisemitism in Germany, did not immediately respond to a Post query about Blume’s latest flirtation with antisemitism.

Requests from the Post to Blume and officials in the state of Baden-Württemberg for comment went unanswered.

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