Home
Search
עברית
Board & Mission Statement
Why IAM?
About Us
Articles by IAM Associates
Ben-Gurion University
Hebrew University
University of Haifa
Tel Aviv University
Other Institutions
Boycott Calls Against Israel
Israelis in Non-Israeli Universities
Anti-Israel Petitions Supported by Israeli Academics
General Articles
Anti-Israel Conferences
Lawfare
Anti-Israel Academic Resolutions
Lectures Interrupted
Activists Profiles
Readers Forum
On the Brighter Side
How can I complain?
Contact Us / Subscribe
Donate
Boycott Calls Against Israel
The Importance of the Working Definition of Antisemitism: Pro-Palestinian Activist Christoph Glanz as a Case in Point
27.06.16
Editorial Note

Christoph Glanz is a German pro-Palestinian activist who is connected to Uri Avnery and Ellen Rohlfs of the Institut für Palästinakunde in Bonn (IPK).
 
His planned lecture at the University of Oldenburg, “BDS – the Palestinian Human Rights Campaign Introduces Itself,” prompted Sara Rihl, a local politician and a student member of the senate of the University of Oldenburg, to demand the cancellation of his talk from the organiser, the Protestant Student Association (Evangelische Studierenden Gemeinde, ESG). She referred to the speaker as a “known anti-Semite,” working for an “anti-Semitic organisation.” As a result, the ESG cancelled the event, and Glanz took Rihl to court. 

A number of Israelis wrote in support of Glanz, for example, Judith Bernstein, "I am appalled that you designate Mr Christoph Glanz as anti-Semite. We have invited Mr. Glanz to Munich to inform about the BDS movement...I myself am a Jew, born in Jerusalem and defend myself against this comparison which is trivializing the Holocaust. "Do not buy from Jews" was directed on racial grounds against all Jews... By contrast, the BDS campaign directed against the policies of the Israeli government. Once it ends the occupation and the Palestinians get the same rights as Jewish Israelis both in Israel and in Palestine, the BDS campaign would be ended."

Another group of Israelis in favor of BDS, wrote in support of Glanz, "The Palestinian-led BDS call is similar to the boycott call regarding Apartheid South Africa, several decades ago. We know that campaign was legal and widely supported in Germany at the time. Just as that campaign was not racist against white South Africans, BDS is not an antisemitic campaign. Prominent human rights activists all over the world, including numerous South African, Jewish and other personalities, from Desmond Tutu to Judith Butler, have endorsed the BDS campaign."

On 14 June 2016, the German regional court in Oldenburg ordered Rihl not to repeat accusations of anti-Semitism against Christoph Glanz.  

Charging BDS activists with antisemitism without evidence can be counterproductive. Rihl would have done better had she referred to the Working Definition of Antisemitism using the clause concerning Israel, "Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation."  Blanket accusations of antisemitism are not effective and can create a backlash.  Pro-Israel activists need to acquaint themselves with relevant arguments to further their work.



Important stage victory for BDS Oldenburg and Freedom of Speech
18th June 2016 | BDS Oldenburg, Germany
Local German SPD politician forced to abstain from charges of anti-Semitism by court order
On 14 June 2016 the Regional Court Oldenburg ordered Sara Rihl, local SPD politician and student member of the senate of the university of Oldenburg, not to repeat her statements relating to Christoph Glanz. Rihl had played a leading role in the prevention of an event scheduled by the Palestinian BDS campaign.
The lecture titled “BDS – the Palestinian Human Rights Campaign Introduces Itself” was to be held by the Oldenburg teacher and activist Christoph Glanz. Rihl had demanded the organiser – the Evangelische Studierenden Gemeinde (ESG) – to cancel the talk, and referred to the speaker as a “known anti-Semite”working for an “anti-Semitic organisation” in this connection. As a result, the ESG actually cancelled the planned event.
Glanz now successfully defended himself against this public assault. “We are happy to see that the local court has the defendant in her barriers and that she may not repeat those absurd statements if she doesn´t want to face severe penalties”, he commented. “We know the strategies of the Israel supporters who -lacking arguments- frequently use indimidation and slander including the antisemitism accusation to stop events such as the ones planned in Oldenburg. We are proceeding on the assumption that this court sentence will set a positive precedent for our movement and intend to reinforce our commitment to the just cause of the Palestinians even further.”
In 2005, Palestinian civil society called all people of the world including Israelis for active solidarity. After decades of suppression, displacement and occupation this call proclaimed a strategy that had already proven successful in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. BDS calls for boycott, divestment and sanctions against the State of Israel until it fully accords Palestinians their rights as established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, dozens of UN resolutions and the Geneva Conventions.
These activities already made for a number of major successes in the past. At the same time, the State of Israel also intensifies its efforts to contain BDS and to drive it into illegality, in some cases successfully. Recently, however, more than 350 European human rights organisations, trade unions, churches, and political parties requested the EU to uphold the right to boycott. “What is remarkable is that some of these organisations do not even actively practise BDS themselves”, Christoph Glanz comments. “Their chief concern is their fundamental right as European citizens to act at their own political and moral discretion. This also includes a public debate which should not be characterised by fear and repression but by better arguments. Why don‘t our opponents face public discussion? All of our attempts to this end have come to nothing.”
Another talk on the same subject to be held by the Israeli Ronnie Barkan in the Oldenburg public venue PFL was also cancelled. In this case there had been threats of violence from the milieu of the Autonomist centre “Alhambra” whereupon the city withdrew from the already signed tenancy agreement. In this matter as well court proceedings are pending.
These incidents drew attention nationally and internationally. For example, Rolf Verleger weighed into the discussion and demanded the realisation of the event. Rolf Verleger is a former member of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. A group of Israelis promoting BDS also solidarised with Christoph Glanz and criticised the mentioned incidents as attacks against the freedom of expression:
In a city which fought hard to get its university called after Carl von Ossietzky- the journalist and resistance fighter against the Nazis who was so well known for his sharp mind and pointed pen- we would expect to see a lively public debate, rather than silencing.“
Riya Hassan, the European coordinator of the BNC (the Palestinian “BDS National Committee”), evaluates the situation as follows: “This ruling is a serious blow to Israel’s war of repression against the BDS movement. The German government must now join the Swedish, Irish and Dutch governments in making clear that BDS is a legitimate movement that should be protected as a form of free speech.“
Hassan further stated: “Rather than seeking to repress BDS activism and free speech, Germans who are genuinely concerned with peace and justice the in the Middle East should work to end German military aid to Israel, which is a form of material support for its ongoing oppression of Palestinians.”
========================================================================



FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION IMPORTANT STAGE VICTORY for BDS OLDENBURG and FREEDOM OF SPEECH
Local German SPD politician forced to abstain from charges of anti-Semitism by court order

OLDENBURG/ 16 June 2016 – On 14 June 2016 the Regional Court Oldenburg ordered Sara Rihl, local SPD politician and student member of the senate of the university of Oldenburg, not to repeat her statements relating to Christoph Glanz. Rihl had played a leading role in the prevention of an event scheduled by the Palestinian BDS campaign. The lecture titled “BDS – the Palestinian Human Rights Campaign Introduces Itself” was to be held by the Oldenburg teacher and activist Christoph Glanz. Rihl had demanded the organiser – the Evangelische Studierenden Gemeinde (ESG) – to cancel the talk, and referred to the speaker as a “known anti-Semite” working for an “anti-Semitic organisation” in this connection. As a result, the ESG actually cancelled the planned event. 

Glanz now successfully defended himself against this public assault. “We are happy to see that the local court has the defendant in her barriers and that she may not repeat those absurd statements if she doesn´t want to face severe penalties”, he commented. “We know the strategies of the Israel supporters who -lacking arguments- frequently use indimidation and slander including the antisemitism accusation to stop events such as the ones planned in Oldenburg. We are proceeding on the assumption that this court sentence will set a positive precedent for our movement and intend to reinforce our commitment to the just cause of the Palestinians even further.”

In 2005, Palestinian civil society called all people of the world including Israelis for active solidarity. After decades of suppression, displacement and occupation this call proclaimed a strategy that had already proven successful in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. BDS calls for boycott, divestment and sanctions against the State of Israel until it fully accords Palestinians their rights as established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, dozens of UN resolutions and the Geneva Conventions. 

These activities already made for a number of major successes in the past. At the same time, the State of Israel also intensifies its efforts to contain BDS and to drive it into illegality, in some cases successfully. Recently, however, more than 350 European human rights organisations, trade unions, churches, and political parties requested the EU to uphold the right to boycott. “What is remarkable is that some of these organisations do not even actively practise BDS themselves”, Christoph Glanz comments. “Their chief concern is their fundamental right as European citizens to act at their own political and moral discretion. This also includes a public debate which should not be characterised by fear and repression but by better arguments. Why don‘t our opponents face public discussion? All of our attempts to this end have come to nothing.”    

Another talk on the same subject to be held by the Israeli Ronnie Barkan in the Oldenburg public venue PFL was also cancelled. In this case there had been threats of violence from the milieu of the Autonomist centre “Alhambra” whereupon the city withdrew from the already signed tenancy agreement. In this matter as well court proceedings are pending.

These incidents drew attention nationally and internationally. For example, Rolf Verleger weighed into the discussion and demanded the realisation of the event. Rolf Verleger is a former member of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. A group of Israelis promoting BDS also solidarised with Christoph Glanz and criticised the mentioned incidents as attacks against the freedom of expression: 
“In a city which fought hard to get its university called after Carl von Ossietzky- the journalist and resistance fighter against the Nazis who was so well known for his sharp mind and pointed pen- we would expect to see a lively public debate, rather than silencing.“
Riya Hassan, the European coordinator of the BNC (the Palestinian “BDS National Committee”), evaluates the situation as follows: “This ruling is a serious blow to Israel’s war of repression against the BDS movement. The German government must now join the Swedish, Irish and Dutch governments in making clear that BDS is a legitimate movement that should be protected as a form of free speech."
Hassan further stated: “Rather than seeking to repress BDS activism and free speech, Germans who are genuinely concerned with peace and justice the in the Middle East should work to end German military aid to Israel, which is a form of material support for its ongoing oppression of Palestinians.”

Sources:
http://boycottisrael.info/node/261 (Solidarity letter by Israeli citizens for Christoph Glanz)
https://bdsmovement.net/2016/irish-dutch-join-sweden-right-to-boycott-14143 (Report  on European governments and their pro BDS statements)
BDS Oldenburg, Germany represented by Christoph Glanz, can be contacted via BDSOldenburg2016@gmail.com



=========================================================================
From Israeli citizens, in Solidarity with Christoph Glanz, Against the Attempt to Silence BDS and Palestine Solidarity in Germany!
June 2016
From Israeli citizens, in Solidarity with Christoph Glanz, Against the Attempt to Silence BDS and Palestine Solidarity in Germany!
 
To whom it may concern,

We are Israeli citizens, active against our government's policies of occupation, colonization and apartheid. We would like to express our solidarity with Christoph Glanz (Oldenburg, Germany). Christoph is a dedicated human rights activist, who has done a lot to raise awareness of Israeli human rights violations towards the Palestinian people. For his efforts, he has been vilified in the ugliest manner by several German groups and individuals, who are standing on the wrong side of history.

We would like to stress that the fundamental right to free speech is apparently being suspended in Germany when it comes to the state of Israel. This happens via the intimidation of venues hosting events on Palestine (Munich, Freiburg, Bremen, Oldenburg et al). The incidents in Oldenburg also included (incomplete list): a „Shitstorm“ email campaign, an open letter signed by lecturers of the University´s Philosophy Department, violent threats against venues and hosts of BDS events with at least partial complicity of police and administration in all of this.

Furthermore, supporters of Israel's illegal policies are using anti-Semitism allegations to malign German citizens (and even Israeli citizens) who are merely calling for equality in human rights and advocating non-violent action to attain this goal. Christoph himself has been called a „known antisemite“ working for an „antisemitic organisation“. We hope that the Landgericht Oldenburg (local court) rules in favour of the restraining order eventually forcing the SPD-politician and member of the University´s Senate who raised these absurd claims to cease to do so.

The Palestinian-led BDS call is similar to the boycott call regarding Apartheid South Africa, several decades ago. We know that campaign was legal and widely supported in Germany at the time. Just as that campaign was not racist against white South Africans, BDS is not an antisemitic campaign. Prominent human rights activists all over the world, including numerous South African, Jewish and other personalities, from Desmond Tutu to Judith Butler, have endorsed the BDS campaign.

Even those who do not agree with BDS, should agree that it is a legitimate campaign. For example, at least three European governments –Sweden, Ireland, the Netherlands- have recently stated that the BDS call falls within the right to free speech. In a city which fought hard to get its university called after Carl von Ossietzky- the journalist and resistance fighter against the Nazis who was so well known for his sharp mind and pointed pen- we would expect to see a lively public debate, rather than silencing. We hope to see the Kulturamt Oldenburg (Department of cultural affairs), and the Municipality in general retract, their decision to withdraw from a signed contract only days before the BDS talk at the PFL venue, and offer the public space needed to discuss, and promote (based on free speech) the BDS campaign.

We would also like to state that Christoph Glanz, in particular, is an exemplary human rights activist. Christoph knows Israeli society well and worked with disabled people in Israel as part of his Zivildienst (citizen's service) for 1.5 years. Christoph has helped get antisemitic content banned from social media, organized a media group of high school students to commemorate the local „Kristallnacht“, and much more.

We find it shameful that supporters of Israel's illegal policies –in particular the head of the German Israeli Friendship Society (DIG)- are abusing the memory of the Holocaust to promote hatred and McCarthyism. We find it shameful that Israeli citizens, some of them descendants of Holocaust refugees, are also being silenced in Germany. For example, we are well-aware of the successful attempt to prevent Israeli citizen Ronnie Barkan from speaking on Palestine/Israel in Oldenburg recently.

We are committed to a struggle for free speech, including free speech on the Palestine issue. We also challenge those who are opposed to BDS to an open debate. We intend to keep monitoring this situation.

Sincerely

Avigail Abarbanel (former Israeli citizen and soldier, granddaughter of Holocaust survivors) ; Tamar Aviyah ; Eitan Bronstein Aparicio ; Iris Bar ; Ada and Ron Berger ; Judith Bernstein ; Guy Butavia ; Dr. Uri Davis ; Dror Dayan ; Tsilli Goldenberg ; Shir Hever ; Yaron Kaplan ; Ofer Neiman ; Jonathan Ofir ; Ilan Pappe ; Revital Sella ; Noa Shaindlinger ; Tali Shapira ; Yonatan Shapira ; Tzvia Tier ; Elian Weizman.
On behalf of 

Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS Call from Within 

====================================================



JÜDISCH-PALÄSTINENSISCHE DIALOGGRUPPE
HOME AKTUELLES
KONTAKT ÜBER UNS
Geplanter Vortrag Von Christoph Glanz In Der ESG Am 08.06.2016: Palästinensische Menschenrechtskampagne
April 25, 2016
 

Brief von Judith Bernstein an die Evangelische StudentInnen Gemeinde Oldenburg:

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

ich bin entsetzt, dass Sie Herrn Christoph Glanz als Antisemiten bezeichnen.

Wir haben Herrn Glanz nach München eingeladen, um über die BDS-Bewegung zu informieren. Die Veranstaltung fand statt am 7. November 2015 und nicht, wie verleumderisch behauptet, am Datum der Reichspogromnacht, dem 9. November! Dieses Detail ist charakteristisch für die Art und Weise, wie bestimmte Kreise versuchen, Menschenrechtsorganisationen in den Schmutz zu ziehen.

Im Vorfeld der Veranstaltung hat Frau Knobloch, ohne die Ausführungen des Referenten zu kennen den Vergleich mit dem Nazi-Slogan „Kauft nicht bei Juden“ gezogen. Ich bin selbst Jüdin, in Jerusalem geboren und wehre mich entschieden gegen diesen Vergleich, der den Holocaust verharmlost. „Kauft nicht bei Juden“ war aus rassistischen Gründen gegen alle Juden gerichtet - ohne dass Juden etwas dagegen hätten unternehmen können. Insofern war der NS-Boykottaufruf ein Vorläufer und Wegbereiter des späteren Vernichtungsfeldzugs gegen das europäische Judentum.

Hingegen richtet sich die BDS-Kampagne gegen die Politik der israelischen Regierung. Sobald diese die Besatzung beendet und die Palästinenser vollständig die gleichen Rechte wie die jüdischen Israelis sowohl in Israel als auch in Palästina erhalten, würde auch die BDS-Kampagne beendet werden. Insofern hat sie entscheidende Ähnlichkeit mit der jüdisch-amerikanischen Boykott-Kampagne gegen Nazi-Deutschland und dem zivilgesellschaftlichen Boykott gegen den südafrikanischen Apartheidstaat. BDS ist daher ein Wegbereiter eines gerechten Friedens, der nicht nur die Palästinenser befreit, sondern auch Generationen von jungen Israelis, die dann nicht mehr zu Mittätern und Opfern einer militarisierten Besatzergesellschaft werden.

Wenn Sie Israel immer noch als die einzige Demokratie im Nahen Osten bezeichnen, dann stelle ich fest, dass Sie wenig Ahnung von der dortigen Situation haben. Denn mittlerweile werden nicht nur Palästinenser, sondern auch linke Israelis regelrecht verfolgt. Vielleicht ist es Ihnen nicht bewusst, dass Sie mit Ihrer Unterstützung einer selbstzerstörerischen Politik dazu beitragen, dass Israel sich selbst abschafft, vor allem moralisch (der Soldat, der einen schwerverletzten Palästinenser tötet und als Held gefeiert wird, ist nur die Spitze des Eisbergs).

Ein Engagement wie das von Herrn Glanz kommt letztlich allen Menschen im historischen Palästina zugute - unabhängig von ihrer Herkunft und Religion. Wie ich weiß, ist das die entschiedene Triebfeder für Christoph und steht im Einklang mit seinem sonstigen langjährigen gesellschaftlichen Engagement.

Ich vertraue darauf, dass diese Informationen Ihre Einschätzung beeinflussen und die beabsichtigte Veranstaltung wie geplant am 08 Juni 2016 ohne Störungen durchgeführt wird.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Judith Bernstein
 


(Translated by Google)
JEWISH-PALESTINIAN DIALOGUE GROUP
Planned Lecture by Christoph Glanz The ESG On 08/06/2016: Palestinian Human Rights Campaign
April 25, 2016
 

Letter from Judith Bernstein to the Protestant students community Oldenburg:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am appalled that you designate Mr Christoph Glanz as anti-Semites.

We have invited Mr. Glanz to Munich to inform about the BDS movement. The event took place on 7 November 2015 and not, as defamatory claims on the date of Kristallnacht, November 9! This detail is characteristic of the way, as certain circles try to take human rights organizations in the dirt.

Prior to the event, Ms. Knobloch to know the comparison with the Nazi slogan "Do not buy from Jews" pulled without the comments of the speakers. I myself am a Jew, born in Jerusalem and defend myself decided against this comparison, the trivialized the Holocaust. "Do not buy from Jews" was directed on racial grounds against all Jews - without Jews mind can take. In this respect the Nazi boycott was a forerunner and pioneer of the later extermination campaign against European Jewry.

By contrast, the BDS campaign directed against the policies of the Israeli government. Once this end the occupation and complete the Palestinians get the same rights as Jewish Israelis both in Israel and in Palestine, the BDS campaign would be ended. As such, it has significant similarity to the Jewish-American boycott campaign against Nazi Germany and the civil society boycott against the South African apartheid state. BDS is therefore a pioneer of a just peace, not only freed the Palestinians, but also generations of young Israelis, then no longer be accomplices and victims of militarized occupiers society.

If you still refer to Israel as the only democracy in the Middle East, then I see that you have little idea of ​​the situation there. Because now not only Palestinians but also Israelis left be followed literally. Perhaps you are not aware that you contribute with your support a self-defeating policy means that Israel abolishes itself, especially morally (the soldier who kills a severely injured Palestinians and is hailed as a hero, is just the tip of the iceberg).

A commitment like that of Mr Glanz ultimately benefits all people in historic Palestine - regardless of their origin and religion. How do I know this is the decisive driver of Christoph and is consistent with its other long-term social commitment.

I trust that this information your assessment influence and intention as planned event will be held on June 8, 2016 without interference.

Best regards
Judith Bernstein



 


Back to "Boycott Calls Against Israel"Send Response
Top Page
    Developed by Sitebank & Powered by Blueweb Internet Services
    Visitors: 243697224Send to FriendAdd To FavoritesMake It HomepagePrint version
    blueweb