Lobby Watch 4 August 2020
The state government of Berlin, Germany’s capital, has appointed a new official to combat anti-Semitism.
But far from a champion in the fight against bigotry, political science professor Samuel Salzborn is deeply intolerant of Palestinians.
“When you’re sitting in the train and the people next to you start talking about ‘Palestine’ without any apparent reason, it means it is time to either get off the train, put on your headphones, or scream at them,” Salzborn tweeted last October.
He followed up with the word “anti-Semitism.”Salzborn does not appear to have tweeted anything before or after this statement to provide context. It appears to be a pure expression of his disgust even at the thought of Palestine or Palestinians existing.
While Israel and its lobby have for years smeared Palestinians and those who support their rights as anti-Semites, Salzborn has taken things to the logical limit: Even mentioning Palestine is in his mind an attack on Jews that merits aggression and silencing as a response.
Salzborn has previously echoed Israeli government talking points, for instance claiming that Israel is subjected to “double standards” and that human rights activists are attempting to “delegitimize” it.
He has even asserted that the primary cause of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is “Palestinian aggression.”
Salzborn also claimed that it is “completely absurd” to compare Israel’s colonial settlements built on occupied Palestinian land to apartheid in South Africa.
After news of Salzborn’s appointment, his October tweet gained new attention with many people expressing consternation, or simply tweeting the word Palestine repeatedly in response to it.Yossi Bartal, an Israeli left-wing activist who lives in the city, tweeted ironically that “As a Jewish Berliner, I look forward to my new ‘contact person for anti-Semitism.’”
Bartal added a screenshot showing he had been blocked by Salzborn.
That’s a sure sign the professor plans to practice what he preaches: shutting out any dissenting voices, including those of Jews critical of Israel’s crimes and abuses against Palestinians.
Spreading Israel’s lies
One of those welcoming Salzborn’s appointment is Katharina von Schnurbein, who serves as the European Union’s coordinator on anti-Semitism.Von Schnurbein tweeted her congratulations and said she looked forward to working with Salzborn.
A close ally of the Israel lobby, Von Schnurbein has done little to fight real anti-Semitism, despite worrying trends that Nazism is re-emerging as a force in Germany.
Instead, her focus for years has been spreading Israel’s propaganda and lies and trumped up charges against activists for Palestinian human rights.
She also promotes a misleading and politically motivated definition of anti-Semitism that equates criticism of Israel’s policies with anti-Jewish bigotry.
Neither Salzborn nor von Schnurbein have responded to requests for comment from The Electronic Intifada.
The Berlin office of the American Jewish Committee, a major Israel lobby group, also welcomed Salzborn’s appointment.Like von Schnurbein, Salzborn can be expected to continue faithfully parroting Israeli propaganda.
His appointment is yet another sign of the growing intolerance for Palestinian rights advocacy in Germany – a country where robotic and unquestioning support for Israel is considered to be atonement for the World War II murder of millions of European Jews in German government death camps.
Victory for Humboldt Three
The news from Germany for supporters of Palestinian rights is not all bad.
On Monday, the long-running trial of three activists for a June 2017 protest against an Israeli official at Berlin’s Humboldt University finally concluded.It ended in what Ronnie Barkan, one of the Humboldt Three, called a victory.
Barkan, an Israeli, and Palestinian activist Majed Abusalama, were acquitted of trespassing.
According to Barkan, the judge wanted to dismiss the charges against all three, but the prosecution insisted on proceeding with an assault charge against the third defendant, Israeli activist Stavit Sinai – for banging on the door of a lecture room after she had been punched.“We also claim victory because Majed and Ronnie were fully acquitted, while Stavit received the minimum possible punishment, probably to save face for the prosecution,” Barkan stated.
“Throughout the trial we insisted on making clear statements that emphasize our legal and moral obligation to oppose Israeli crimes against humanity.”Sinai was fined about $500, which she says she will refuse to pay.
- Samuel Salzborn
- Katharina von Schnurbein
- Humboldt University
- Ronnie Barkan
- Stavit Sinai
- Majed Abusalama
screaming me me
Permalink Glenn Bowman replied on
Let's give him a sore throat:
Permalink Gareth William Smith replied on
The German state will find itself accused of complicity with ethnic cleansing in Palestine when the ICC case has hopefully reached conclusion. Its attacks on activists for Palestine are appalling and the forced closure of their charitable bank accounts is beyond the pale. We should all contact German embassies in our respective countries and express our displeasure.
Permalink Peter Purich replied on
Fascinating, when I hear about fascists, I "shout at them." So in Canada, that makes a hate crime. Welcome to Canada.
Samuel Salzborn and Katharina von Schnurbein would love to meet Freeland.
Misuse and abuse
Permalink Alan Dent replied on
As ever, this is the misuse of anti-Semitism and the abuse of history. Remember, The Holocaust didn't exist prior to 1967. The Nazi genocide did, but the capitalised event is a post 6-day war invention. Germany was a key ally of the US against the Soviet Union. Hence, US shyness about talking too much about the Nazi genocide. The Communists talked about it all the time because they could argue that it was the outcome of free-market capitalism. The US and Europe had good reason to play down the Nazi atrocities. Does anyone who was at school in the 1950s and 1960s recall a Holocaust Memorial Day, or even any significant reference to the Nazi genocide as part of their education? It all changed when Israel defeated the Arabs in six days. The US, which previously had not been sure Israel could prevail, recognised Israel as its guarantee of power in the Middle East. The Holocaust was invented. It was a weapon to defend any Israeli action: the Zionists were justified, always justified, because they were victims. This gross, morally abject misuse of the appalling suffering of the Jewish victims of the Nazis has become the Zionist stock-in-trade. It has transmogrified into the New or Real Antisemitism. Here is what the Perlmutters say in their 1984 book on the latter: "Essentially, this book's thesis is that today the interests of Jews are not so much threatened by their familiar nemesis, crude anti-Semitism, as by a-Semitic governmental policies, the proponents of which may be free of anti-Semitism.." Get it? You can be an anti-Semite even if you're not an anti-Semite. If you support an "a-Semitic policy" ie one which doesn't advance Jewish/Zionist/Israeli interests, you're anti-Semitic, even though you aren't. Any challenge to Israeli hegemony is anti-Semitic, even if it comes from someone "free of anti-Semitism." George Orwell couldn't have made it up. The Zionists employ this despicable distortion to justify their own racist policies. Hence, Salzborn. Utterly vile.
the hypocrisy is staggering
Permalink tom hall replied on
In setting itself up as a universal arbiter on the question of antisemitism, the German state and its varied institutions have come to regard the country's own historical crimes as a purifying agent- cleansing by guilt, let's say- that qualifies them to subject the rest of us to a form of order and discipline arising from their own epic atrocities. Only Germany among nations has been able to mobilise its shame as an instrument of moral authority, and to do so on behalf of the single most racist state on the face of the earth.
Tom Hall's comment
Permalink Glenn Bowman replied on
Germans who hate Palestinians
Permalink Elizabeth Block replied on
Now Germany seems to have added itself to the people who blame the Palestinians, not the Germans, for the Holocaust. How very convenient.
I'm reading Rashid Khalidi's "The Hundred Years' War on Palestine." I thought that after all I have read, he would have nothing new to tell me. I was wrong!
Permalink GENNARO PASQUALE replied on
Israel is an Apartheid State in which its Christian and Muslim Arab Citizens are treated like second class citizens in EVERY way and they are told the country in which they are citizens does not belong to them but only to Jews.. Nobody can dispute thes facts!!!
Permalink mukhammad zuher replied on
Palestine has high spirits,never give up..
Media is Silent abaut palestine
justice is salent
goverment is sailent
Permalink kamal_hadjhafsi replied on
government of israel stole people of palestine, stole their land, their live their hope, they have no right o do that
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