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On social media, German official calls on Netanyahu to ‘tear down this wall’

A contentious X post compared the Jewish state to the Soviet Union.

Michael Blume, the commissioner for combating antisemitism for the German state of Baden-Württemberg, in 2017. Credit: Council of Europe via Wikimedia Commons.
Michael Blume, the commissioner for combating antisemitism for the German state of Baden-Württemberg, in 2017. Credit: Council of Europe via Wikimedia Commons.

Michael Blume, the commissioner for combating antisemitism for the German state of Baden-Württemberg, has prompted criticism for his decision to share a social-media post drawing a parallel between the Berlin wall and Israel’s security fence.

Blume retweeted the statement on X, “Mr. Netanyahu, Tear Down This Wall!—Palestinians, tear down their version of the Berlin Wall,” written by Richard Silverstein, a longtime left-wing activist opponent of Israel. He deleted it following a blowback on social media.

The post of antisemitism czar was created in 2018 for each of the 16 German federal states to hold Germany to its historic responsibility to ensure Jewish security at a time of rising hatred. Blume has since been roundly denounced for actions related to his position.

“Comparing Israel to the Communists and the Soviets is a very unfair comparison, and is made by people who have an innate hatred of Israel and would like to see it disappear,” said Efraim Zuroff, director of the Israel office and Eastern European Affairs at the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Efraim Zuroff
Efraim Zuroff, director of the Israel office and Eastern European Affairs at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, in 2007. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Zuroff is an American Holocaust scholar responsible for helping bring German Nazi war criminals to trial, part of the platform of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. He also served as the first director of the Los Angeles center in 1978, having moved back and forth between the United States and Israel.

“Blume has been doing things like this for years,” said Zuroff.

In 2021, the Wiesenthal Center included Blume on its list of 10 worst antisemites of the year.

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