German Jewish head opposes BDS speaker, wants anti-Israel director fired

The president of the Germany’s 105,000 member Central Council of Jews called on Saturday for the dismissal of Stefanie Carp, the anti-Israel director of the Ruhrtriennale music and cultural festival, who passionately defended a South African-based academic who supports the “global isolation” of the Jewish state as the opening speaker for the now cancelledevent.The Jerusalem Post sent a press query to Josef Schuster, the head of the Central Council, this week. He said “I have no understanding for the invitation of Achille Mbembe as opening speaker of the Ruhrtriennale – even if the event has now been cancelled due to corona,” according to a report in the Neuen Osnabrücker Zeitung.

Schuster called on the festival’s organization to fire Stefanie Carp, the director of Ruhrtriennale, who has invited Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions  speakers over the years to the festival to bash Israel.Schuster said Mbembe propagates the view that Israel’s conduct is worse than the former apartheid regime in South Africa. Schuster said that is historically false and unacceptable.Schuster also criticized Mbembe’s writings because they argue that Israel’s interaction with the Palestinians in the context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is worse than the Holocaust.
 “With that he [Mbembe] disqualifies himself.” said Schuster, adding “I wonder what the director was thinking when she invited him. Apparently, her attitude has not changed at all.”Schuster said “I can no longer understand that she continues to be director of the Ruhrtriennale, and I appeal to those responsible to finally draw the necessary conclusions.”
 The Post reported on that Andreas Görgen,the director of the foreign ministry’s department for culture and communication, tweeted a series of articles in support of Mbembe.When asked about the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s criticism of Görgen and his tweets in support of an academic who allegedly trivialized the Shoah and spreads antisemitism, the foreign ministry told the Post on Friday: “”We ask for your understanding that we won’t comment on the issue mentioned.”

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Post on Friday that the German foreign minister needs to launch an investigation into Görgen’s tweets in support of Mbembe.Görgen refused to answer numerous Post media queries on Twitter and via email.Last year, the director of the German Foreign Ministry’s representation for the Palestinian territories, Christian Clages, was revealed to have liked scores of antisemitic tweets while using his government Twitter feed. Clages retained his job. The German paper Bild broke the story about Clages.The foreign ministry disciplined Clages for liking neo-Nazi and KKK tweets.Mbembe did not immediately return a Post press query on Saturday.

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