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Berlin Bans Protests of Terror Organization over Antisemitic Calls

The authorities in the city-state of Berlin banned protests on Saturday and Sunday, organized by the Israeli government-designated terrorist NGO Samidoun that aids Palestinian terrorists.

This was reported by the Berlin newspaper BZ on Friday. A police official said: “According to our forecast, we would have to deal with added acts of violence.”

The Jerusalem Post reported that last Saturday, an estimated 500 Germans, most of whom were Muslims, marched through two Berlin neighborhoods chanting “Death to Jews” and “Death to Israel.”

The protest was organized by Samidoun, a Palestinian NGO that has been classified as a terrorist entity by Israel. According to Israel’s The National Bureau for Counter Terror Financing (NBCTF), “The Samidoun organization was designated as a terrorist organization as it is part of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and was founded by members of the PFLP in 2012.”

The US and the EU proscribed the PFLP a foreign terrorist organization. In 2020, the Post exclusively reported that Berlin’s government imposed a four-year ban on Khaled Barakat, who the PFLP said was a “coordinator “ of Samidoun.

According to NBCTF, “Representatives of the organization are active in many countries in Europe and North America, led by Khaled Barakat, who is part of the leadership of PFLP abroad. Barkat is involved with establishing militant cells and motivating terrorist activity in Judea and Samaria and abroad. The formal goal of Samidoun is to assist Palestinian prisoners in their struggle to be released from prison. However, in practice, it serves as a front for the PFLP abroad. “

The deputy federal chairman of the German police union, Manuel Ostermann, called the demonstration last week “a picture of shame.” Antisemitism needed to be fought in Germany “with all legal means,” he said, according to a report by German broadcaster BR24.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Post “I raised the issue of the death to Israel chants on the streets of Berlin [and other cities] with the Ministry of Justice on that day and at other anti-Israel demonstrations years ago. Nothing has changed. Fighting antisemitism is hard work, but to be effective there must be consequences for those who publicly shout threats not heard on the streets of Germany since the Nazi Third Reich.”

Cooper added “We appreciate the various initiatives announced to combat antisemitism but of even greater importance is arresting and prosecuting ‘Death to Israel’ protesters. Without it, the mainstreaming of Jew hatred in German society will only continue to expand with potentially dire results. If history taught us anything, it is that the words taught and uttered in the 1930s in Germany set the stage for the Shoah.”

The Post reached out to Katharina von Schnurbein, the EU Commissioner tasked with fighting antisemitism, who just participated in a conference in Berlin titled “Actions Matter” against antisemitism. The Post asked von Schnurbein if the EU will designate Samidoun a terrorist entity. Von Schnurbein did not immediately respond to a press query. Von Schnurbein has faced calls from the Simon Wiesenthal Center to urge the EU to ban the entire Lebanese terrorist movement Hezbollah within the borders of the EU. Von Schnurbein has declined to call for a full ban of Hezbollah.

The German branch of Samidoun has been active across the Federal Republic, including a demonstration in Frankfurt against Israel. The city of Stuttgart permits the pro-BDS organization Palestine Committee Stuttgart, which supports Samidoun, to post its information on the municipal website. Palestine Committee Stuttgart promotes Samidoun in entries on its website. The mayor of Stuttgart in the state of Baden-Württemberg, Frank Nopper, and the controversial civil servant, Michael Blume, decided to not pursue new legal action to delete the Palestine Committee Stuttgart notice on the city’s website.

The Post reported in January that a German court in Hamburg said Blume, who is supposed to fight antisemitism, can be termed antisemitic due to his attacks on German Jews and a founder of the IDF, Orde Wingate.  

The internationally famous German attorney Joachim Steinhöfel, who also writes a column for Bild paper, termed Blume “antisemitic” and prevailed in the January Hamburg court decision.

Steinhöfel recently defeated Blume and his employer, the state government of Baden-Württemberg, again in a court case about the state violating the government’s “requirement to be objective” because its spokesman defended Blume and termed Steinhöfel’s comment against Blume “despicable.” Israel’s former ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, told the Post last year that Blume should resign. 

Steinhöfel told the Post on Saturday that “By trying to defend an incompetent and touchy antisemitic bureaucrat [Michael Blume], the government of Baden-Württemberg became, by judicial confirmation, a serial violator of the constitutional rights of German citizens.”

In the last six months, courts issued three verdicts against Baden-Württemberg. Two in Steinhöfel’s favor and one for the pro-Israel blog “Die Achse des Guten” (The Axis of Good). Baden-Württemberg’s government had to sign two cease-and-desist-declarations  for violating the constitutional rights of the famous German-Jewish journalist Henryk M. Broder and Steinhöfel.

Source: https://www.jpost.com/bds-threat/article-739299