Two supporters of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign disrupted the showing of a Holocaust movie in Berlin, holding up a banner bearing their message in front of the screen, Benjamin Weinthal reported on Wednesday for The Jerusalem Post.
The crowd booed as the two activists were removed from the theater by Israeli security personnel.
Weinthal was able to identify one of the anti-Israel activists as Ronnie Barkan, an Israeli-born BDS activist, from a video made of the incident posted on YouTube by a German pro-Israel group, Aktionsforum Israel. Barkan’s past anti-Israel activities had been described as anti-Semitic by the Berlin Office of Constitutional Protection.
“This recalls the speech from Bjoern Hoecke with the culture of forgetting,” Aktionsforum Israel wrote, describing the disruption. “Both BDS and parts of the Alternative for Germany [AfD party] as well as the NPD [neo-Nazi party] have a problem with this topic.”
Hoecke, who is a politician with AfD, called a Berlin Holocaust memorial a “monument of shame.”
The operator of the cinema where the film was shown, Timothy Grossman, told Weinthal that he planned to file charges against Barkan and the other anti-Israel activist.
Grossman said that he was impressed with the turnout for the film festival, which attracted nearly 4,000 attendees to watch over 40 Holocaust movies.
In August at Humboldt University, Barkan and two other anti-Israel BDS activists disrupted an event featuring Deborah Weinstein, an Israeli Holocaust survivor, and MK Aliza Lavie of Yesh Atid, that was titled, “Life in Israel – Terror, Bias and the Chances for Peace.” It was Barkan’s activities at this event and one other that prompted the Berlin intelligence agency to characterize his actions as anti-Semitic.
[Photo: Aktionsforum Israel / YouTube ]