The authorities in the northern German city of Bremen prohibited a radical pro-Iranian regime group from conducting
a public vote on Saturday on whether Israel is an illegal state.
According to a statement from The Feather– the Iranian regime group that mounted the protest against the existence of the Jewish state– the municipal authorities in Bremen „in contrast to actions in Delmenhourst and Hannover, did not permit this time that we show or vote on the slogan ‚Israel is illegal.“‚
Last year, The Feather conducted public voting on Israel’s existence in the cities Delmenhourst and Hannover, and in the state of sacony.
The Feather, which shows a photograph of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on its website, was founded in 2007. The group wrote that they are „
The German-Israel friendship society in Bremen (DIG) launched a counter-protest against the ten The Feather activists. The DIG praised the Bremen authorities on their webpage for banning the anti-Israel vote and having“ learned that continued actions of the organization..under the disguise of free speech call for the destruction of Israel.“
The Weser-Kurier paper reported that 50 people from the DIG and local politicians demonstrated with Israeli flags against The Feather. „That is nothing more than agitation and violence,“ Widu Wittekdint, the deputy representative of the DIG, told the paper about The Feather’s event.
The social democratic mayor Carsten Sieling participated in the counter-protest against The Feather. He told the taz north paper that „To place Israel’s existence in question is almost a civil declaration of war,“ adding that the event is is no longer a legal question.
Kirsten Kappert-Gonther from The Green Party who is also a member of the DIG executive board, told the taz paper that protest is „the best signal…against antisemitism.“ The taz said 60 pro-Israel activists were involved in distributing 350 flyers at the counter-protest.
Bremen has garnered negative publicity over the years for hosting groups that advocate the Boycott,Divstement, Sanctions (BDS) against Israel.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center has urged mayor Sieling to crack down on city aid to BDS groups. Dr. Shimon Samuels, director for International Relations for the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, wrote the mayor in June, 2106: ”Our members are most concerned by the inaction of your municipality against a reportedly, increasingly violent anti-Semitic campaign, otherwise known as BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions), reminiscent of the 1930s ‘Kauf nicht bei Juden’ (“Do Not Buy From Jews”) assaults in Nazi Germany.”
Bremen’s cultural centers – Villa Ichon, the Überseemuseum natural history and ethnographic museum, the municipal library and the Weserterrassen community center – have provide space to BDS advocates.
The BDS groups–The Bremen Peace Forum, Arbeitskreis-Nahost Bremen, and Nord-Bremer Citizens against War are embedded in mainstream Bremen society. The Bremer Landesbank bank provides an account to the BDS website nahost-forum in Bremen that promotes weekly demonstrations against Israel’s existence across from the city hall. Members from the Bremen Peace Forum have marched into stores in Bremen to search for Israeli products and mark them for opprobrium.