The Jerusalem Post quoted B'nai B'rith International's letter condemning German diplomat Andreas Görgen for defending an academic who promotes the BDS movement, spreads anti-Semitism, and trivializes the Holocaust.
BERLIN – The Jerusalem Post’s exclusive disclosure in April, that a senior German diplomat used his Twitter feed to promote an allegedly antisemitic professor who supports BDS and has minimized the Holocaust, triggered a parliamentary inquiry.
Free Democratic Party MP Frank Müller-Rosentritt filed a formal questionnaire to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration, in which he asked: “How does the federal government assess the public-oriented defense of the invitation to the post-colonial theorist for the Ruhrtriennale 2020 from a person employed by the federal government on social media?”
On Wednesday, the Post obtained Müller-Rosentritt’s inquiry letter and the German federal government’s response.
The post-colonial theorist is South African prof. Achille Mbembe who called for “global isolation” of the Jewish state and promoted two Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) actions against professors from Ben Gurion University.
Müller-Rosentritt’s letter included the web address (URL) of a German-language translation of sections of a Post April article which reported that Andreas Görgen, director of the Foreign Ministry’s department for culture and communication, tweeted a series of articles in support of Mbembe.
The Vienna-based think tank Mena-Watch translated several paragraphs of the article and published them on April 27 under the headline, “Antisemitism: The Embarrassing Silence of the German Foreign Ministry.
”Merkel’s administration wrote Müller-Rosentritt on May 7 that Görgen’s pro-Mbembe tweets, including “liking” an article, merely “forwarded actual voices of the debate.”
Antje Leendertse, a state secretary in the German foreign ministry, answered Müller-Rosentritt 's inquiry letter.
Görgen did not tweet or like any articles either objecting to or criticizing Mbembe’s alleged antisemitism, support of BDS and belittling of the Holocaust.
Since the Post revealed Görgen’s alleged anti-Israel tweets, he has stopped tweeting in favor of Mbembe.
When asked about Görgen’s tweets in support of an academic who allegedly trivialized the Shoah and spreads antisemitism, the Foreign Ministry told the Post in April that “”We ask for your understanding that we won’t comment on the issue mentioned.”
Mbembe wrote that Israel’s control over the disputed West Bank territory is worse than the former racist system in South Africa. Germany’s federal commissioner to combat antisemitism, Felix Klein, urged the cultural and music festival Ruhrtriennale to disinvite Mbembe because of his antisemitic language. The festival was canceled last month due to the coronavirus crisis.
The Post counted at least seven Görgen tweets in support of Mbembe. Görgen has declined to answer numerous Post email and Twitter press queries. The Foreign Ministry has a history of alleged antisemitism and anti-Israel activities.
Last year, director of the German Foreign Ministry’s representation for the Palestinian territories, Christian Clages, was revealed to have liked scores of antisemitic tweets while using his government Twitter feed. Clages liked antisemitic and neo-Nazi/KKK tweets. The Foreign Ministry did not discharge Clages.
The human rights organization Simon Wiesenthal Center slammed Görgen for stoking Jew-hatred and may include him on its top ten list of worst outbreaks of antisemitism for 2020.
Last year, the Wiesenthal Center included Görgen’s Foreign Ministry colleague, German ambassador to the UN Christoph Heusgen, on its list because the ambassador he compared Israel with the jihadi terrorist entity Hamas and engaged in a spree of anti-Israel votes at the UN.
Jewish organizations, including B’nai B’rith, have issued public rebukes of Görgen.
“On behalf of B’nai B’rith International’s more than 100,000 members and supporters in over 40 countries, we write to express our deep dismay at recent tweets by Andreas Görgen, the Ministry’s director for culture and communication,” the organization wrote in a letter obtained by the Post. “Mr. Görgen has posted multiple times on his official Twitter feed in defense of Achille Mbembe, a Holocaust-minimizer and denier of Israel’s right to exist."
The Foreign Ministry has refused to comment on the B’nai B’rith letter.
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