German Left-Wing Parliamentarians Lead Renewed Charge Against Anti-Semitic Son of Clinton Adviser
Two of Germany’s most well-known left-wing members of parliament have urged a leading Berlin theater to “reconsider” the hosting of a November 9 discussion on the Middle East featuring Max Blumenthal, an American anti-Semitic writer of Jewish origin, and the son of Sidney Blumenthal, a close adviser to potential Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
In a letter to Frank Castorf and Thomas Walter – the directors of the famed Volksbühne theater, the leading German center for avant-garde and experimental performances – Volker Beck of the Green Party and Petra Pau of Die Linke (“The Left”) pointed to Blumenthal’s frequent “anti-Semitic” comparisons between Nazi Germany and Israel.
The letter, also signed by Reinhold Robbe, a prominent pro-Israel advocate in Germany, explicitly linked the commemoration of the Holocaust with contemporary anti-Semitism, observing that the date of the meeting scheduled for this Sunday, November 9, will mark the 76th anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom in Nazi Germany, during which over 30,000 Jews were rounded up and deported.
The letter asserted that the meeting would allow Blumenthal and his cohort David Sheen, an anti-Zionist activist, “to promote anti-Semitic prejudice by comparing the terror of the Nazis with Israeli policies.” They would do so on the anniversary of an episode “that is recognized as the beginning of the persecution, the deportation, and the killing of over six million European Jews.” The letter introduced itself with a quotation from famed Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw: “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”
In confronting the Volksbühne theater with its moral responsibility to reject anti-Semitism, Beck, Pau and Robbe have stepped up the offensive against the promotion of Blumenthal’s views in Germany. As The Algemeiner reported yesterday, Gregor Gysi, the leader of Die Linke, canceled a discussion with Blumenthal at the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament, scheduled for Monday. Gysi reached his decision after Benjamin Weinthal, a Berlin-based journalist and political analyst, presented him with evidence of Blumenthal’s anti-Semitic activities and writings.
Clemens Heni, the director of the Berlin International Center for the Study of Antisemitism, welcomed the latest attempt to drive home the message that promoting Blumenthal also means promoting anti-Semitism. Speaking to The Algemeiner, Heni said: “Volker Beck and Petra Pau are two of maybe five parliamentarians who speak out against antisemitism. We should be grateful for their targeting of this anti-Semitic event that is talking place at a very important cultural institution in east Berlin.”