Friday, September 05, 2008

Daring to Tell the Truth - German Court declares Anti-Zionism is a form of Anti-Semitism

German Court: Anti-Zionism May Be Anti-Semitism
4 Elul 5768, 04 September 08 05:22by Ze'ev Ben-Yechiel(

A regional court in the German city of Cologne handed a partial legal
victory to a renowned Jewish activist and writer, when it nullified an
order restraining him from labelling the anti-Zionist statements of
another Jewish commentator as anti-Semitic.

Henryk M. Broder, a Polish-born Jew known for his polemical columns in the
German magazine Der Spiegel and other national media, called Eveyln
Hecht-Galinski.s remarks .anti-Semitic. after the latter was invited to
speak on a German national radio program. Hecht-Galinski, in return, filed
a restraining order against further such statements from Broder, which was
granted temporarily.%ad%

Hecht-Galinski, like Broder a prominent Jewish commentator, also enjoys
recognition as the daughter of the head of Berlin.s first Jewish community
after the Holocaust and one-time president of German.s Central Council of
Jews. She speaks out consistently against Israel, whose policies she
equates with those of Nazi Germany.

In addition to praising a German bishop.s recent anti-Israel statements,
she has been quoted as saying that a .Jewish-Israel lobby with its active
network is extended over the world and thanks to America its power has
become so great..

While the court waived the unconditional injunction against Broder, it
does require him to accompany any charges he makes of anti-Semitism with
an explanation of those charges.

The legal battle began when Broder wrote a letter to West German
Broadcasting Corporation protesting its invitation to Hecht-Galinski to
speak in a special episode marking the 60th birthday of the State of
Israel. "The only claim to fame of Evelyn Hecht-Galinski (who first
adopted her father's name after the latter's death) is the fact that she
is 'the daughter of Heinz Galinksi,' as she introduces herself at each of
her appearances,. wrote Broder in the letter.

.There is no justification for describing her as an 'author,' since apart
from letters-to-the-editor she has written nothing and published nothing.
Even a drunken reveler at carnival in Cologne could recognize that Ms.
E.H.G. is a hysterical housewife in need of affirmation, who speaks for no
one and talks nonsense. Her specialty is intellectually vapid
anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist statements - such as are currently in fashion."

Hecht-Galinski filed a motion for a court order following publication of
the letter, along with her attorney Nathan Gelbart, who is also a Jew.
Anti-Semitic remarks and actions carry heavily penalties in Germany, which
enacted strict legislation forbidding hate speech in the wake of the
atrocities committed when the country was governed by the Nazi regime.

In the wake of the legal proceedings and the growing national debate over
the definition of anti-Semitism, representatives of the Jewish community
in Germany and Austria spoke out overwhelmingly in support of Broder.The
very same Central Council of Jews in Germany that Hecht-Galinsky.s father
once headed expressed its solidarity for Broder's position.

On Wednesday the Austrian Jewish community issued a statement saying that
allegations of anti-Semitism "are of course based on the substance of the
anti-Semitic statements and not on the ethnic origin of the person making
them. If that person formally belongs to a Jewish community, or is in fact
or supposedly of Jewish or Israeli origin, the definitions of
anti-Semitism still apply..

.To give someone carte blanche for anti-Semitism because of Jewish origin
or meritorious ancestors is racism," continued the statement.

Ariel Muzicant and Raimund Fastenbauer, the president and the secretary of
the Jewish community in Austria, respectively, concluded their statement
by asserting their "complete support for and solidarity with Henryk Broder
in his statements regarding Ms. Evelyn Hecht-Galinski. [We] fully share
his opinion in this regard, and reject any attempts to criminalize him."

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