German pastor: Anti-Israel film boosts Nazi support
A German regional court in the state of Bavaria covering the cities of Nürnberg-Fürth ruled on Friday that a pastor will continue to be able to describe a film about the Israel-Palestinian conflict as anti-Semitic.
The pastor argued the film contributes to strengthening the neo-Nazi scene and anti-Semitism in the federal republic, according to a report in the local Nordbayern newspaper.
The Nordbayern reported that the court affirmed that the pastor's criticism is protected by freedom of speech. The pastor accused the film by Stefanie Landgraf of anti-Semitism because of comparisons between the Jewish state an Nazi Germany. The film is titled, “We refuse to be enemies.”
It compares a Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank with the Warsaw Ghetto during the Holocaust. In addition to the alleged demonization of Israel through the Nazi comparison, the pastor labeled the film anti-Semitic because in the film, a Jewish museum is charged with manipulating the Holocaust in order to steal land from the Palestinians.
Nathan Gelbart, a leading international expert on media law, wrote the Jerusalem Post by email,"The magistrate court has not ruled Ms. Landgraf´s movie as anti-Semitic but just has allowed the defendant to continue to call this movie anti-Semitic as a legitimate expression of his views and thoughts which are protected by Article 5 of the German Constitution."
Gelbart , who practices law for the Berlin-based FPS firm, added "Ms. Landgraf might not like it but has to live with it since the defendant has not crossed the red line calling her movie anti-semitic without any reasons." The film spat comes on the heels of a heated debate over modern anti-Semtism. The Spiegel columnist Jakob Augstein compared the Gaza Strip to a camp in connection with Israel's policies toward the Hamas-controlled enclave. The German word for camp evokes a concentration camp from the Nazi period.
German critics of Augstein pointed to the EU’s definition of contemporary anti-Semitism, which outlines parallels between Israel and Nazi Germany to be a crystal clear example of anti-Semitism.
The head of the city’s school administrator in Nürnberg, Klemens Gsell, from the Christian Social Union party, barred the Nürnberger school system from showing the film. Landgraf told Nürnberger Nachrichten daily on Monday that “Germany must stop to impose such restrictions." He said Israel is responsible for the expulsion of the Palestinians and permanently violates human rights.
At a film presentation on Sunday in Nürnberg, an elderly lady said “We have paid for what our parents did" and “today we do not have to put on a muzzle.” According to the article, many spectators from the audience totaling 180 applauded her remarks.
The oldest serving head of a German Jewish community, Arno Hamburger, Israelitischen Kultusgemeinde (IKG) in Nürnberg also slammed the film for its distorted depiction of Israel