Berlin Jewish Museum Director Quits Over BDS Tweet
The director of Berlin’s showcase Jewish Museum resigned from his post on Friday following outrage over a tweet by the museum’s team earlier this week that was supportive of the anti-Zionist boycott campaign targeting Israel.
In a statement sent to The Associated Press, museum chief Peter Schaefer said he was quitting to prevent further damage to the museum.
Germany’s Central Council of Jews led the chorus of criticism after the museum’s Twitter account on Tuesday posted a link to an article about Jewish academics rejecting a German parliament resolution that denounced the BDS campaign as antisemitic, tagging it “#mustread.”
“Under these circumstances, one has to consider whether the name ‘Jewish’ is still appropriate,” the Council said in a statement.
Schaffer had earlier explained the tweet as merely encouraging discussion of the boycott campaign, rather than endorsing the substance of the article. But, he added, “if I had seen the tweet before, I would have pointed out that it could be understood in that way as well.”
According to the German news outlet Spiegel, Managing Director Martin Michaelis will take over the running of the museum until a permanent replacement is found.
One of the largest Jewish museums in Europe, the Jewish Museum of Berlin attracts 650,000 visitors a year.