As Germany Marks Kristallnacht Anniversary, Leading Berlin Theater Cancels Event With Anti-Semitic Son of Clinton Advisor
Following protests from German members of parliament, one of Berlin’s leading theaters has canceled a discussion scheduled for tonight featuring Max Blumenthal, an American anti-Semitic writer and activist of Jewish origin.
Blumenthal – the son of Sidney Blumenthal, a key confidante of potential Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton – had been due to speak at the famed Volksbühne theater in East Berlin on a weekend dominated by anniversaries resonant of Germany’s totalitarian past; both the anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom in 1938 and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 are being marked around the country.
As The Algemeiner reported throughout this week, two of Germany’s most well-known left-wing members of parliament, 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 in a letter to the directors of the Volksbühne.
The letter, also signed by Reinhold Robbe, a prominent pro-Israel advocate in Germany, 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.”
As also reported by The Algemeiner, 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.
It was Weinthal who broke today’s news that the Volksbühne theater had reconsidered its agreement to host Blumenthal. Weinthal told The Algemeiner in an email that the theater had verbally confirmed the cancellation. On Twitter, Blumenthal posted a photo of a handful of supporters protesting outside the theater.
The fact that Blumenthal has been unmasked as an anti-Semite and shunned by an important and influential sector of the German left demonstrates that his wild, demonizing rhetoric – Blumenthal compares Israel with Nazi Germany and the Islamic State terrorist organization, and advocates the destruction of Israel as a sovereign state – is starting to grate.
In December 2013, Blumenthal spoke at the leading liberal Democratic think-tank, the New America Foundation, an invitation that was widely understood as further evidence of the indifference, or even contempt, on the American left for Jewish concerns about anti-Semitism.
Blumenthal’s latest book “Goliath,” dismissed in Germany, along with its author, as anti-Semitic, was described in a New America Foundation press release as “an unflinching, unprecedented work of journalism which depicts a startling portrait of Israeli society under siege from increasingly authoritarian politics.”