(JNS.org) Israeli and Jewish organizations blasted a German Green Party lawmaker for saying that Israel’s security fence is worse than the Berlin Wall.
“The Berlin Wall is a toy” in comparison to the security fence, said Member of Parliament (MP) Uwe Kekeritz in a recently posted YouTube video that was filmed at an apparent anti-Israel event organized by the German Protestant Church in June.
“It is obvious that Green MP Uwe Kekeritz learned nothing about the larger picture about Middle East politics and history during his visit to Israel,” said the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Jerusalem office, Efraim Zuroff, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Kekeritz had also said it “must be made clear to the Israelis that they cannot continue with their policies without consequences,” and that it is “taboo” to criticize Israel in Germany.
"To the best of my knowledge, the Berlin Wall was not built to stop terrorists from committing suicide attacks against West Berlin civilians, [it was] rather to prevent East Germans from fleeing to freedom in the West. And the number of people shot by communist authorities far outnumbers any casualties at Israel’s security fence," said Zuroff, who added, "There is no shortage of criticism of Israel in Germany today and no one is preventing him from voicing criticism of Israel, justified or unjustified.”
Prof. Gerald Steinberg, head of the Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor, said the incident "highlights the damage done by irresponsible NGOs, particularly in Germany, who promote vicious anti-Israel propaganda campaigns. In their activities, Misereor and Brot für die Welt, both of which are funded by the German government, present entirely biased and immoral distortions of the conflict.”
"In addition, as NGO Monitor has documented, a number of the political foundations including the Green Party's Heinrich Böll Stiftung fund and partner with the ideological fringe, adding to the distortions. The public money that these groups channel into targeting Israel results in misinformed and unethical statements and positions from German journalists, MPs, academics, and others,” Steinberg added.
Kekeritz later expressed regret for the comparison on his website, stating, “To deduce a comparison with the dictator in the DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik) and the democratic legal state of Israel is absurd.”