BERLIN – Pro-Israel German NGOs have ratcheted up their criticism of a Green Party mayor in Aachen who has waged a media campaign against Israel and prominent German Jews.
The German-Israeli Friendship Society (DIG) in Aachen blasted Mayor Hilde Scheidt last week, saying her political and media actions were designed to damage the reputations of DIG and German Jewish authors Henryk M. Broder and Ralph Giordano.
“It is absurd when a mayor attempts to discredit the circle of Aachener friends of the State of Israel as a rightwing organization,” according to DIG.
“The mayor contends that ‘Broder divides and brings conflict and lives from that’ because that statement recalls the unspeakable anti- Semitic rhetoric of past times,” DIG continued.
Broder, widely considered the leading authority on contemporary anti-Semitism in the Federal Republic, wrote to The Jerusalem Post on Friday that Aachen is a “disgusting jerkwater town, half-green [a reference to the Green Party] and half-brown [a reference to Nazi storm troopers].”
Sacha Stawski, the head of the Frankfurt-based NGO Honestly Concerned, told the Post on Saturday that local press coverage has enabled Scheidt to mount a hate campaign against Jews and Israel. His media watchdog group has “concluded that the coverage of the Aachener Zeitung and the Aachener Nachrichten – at least in this case – is not only not factual reporting, but instead highly opinionated and one-sided. And even worse: not only against Henryk Broder, but in actual fact an incitement against all friends of the Jewish state.”
Dr. Nathan Warszawski, a prominent member of the Aachen Jewish community, told the Post on Friday that reports in the jointly owned Aachen papers are “rather anti-Jewish.”