Jüdische Stimme notes that the attempts to silence Jewish human rights advocates in Germany are reaching new levels of absurdity. An initiative group from Leipzig recently called on the Mercure Hotel MOA Berlin to withdraw from hosting the Rosa Luxemburg Conference (scheduled for January 11th, Berlin) due to the participation of Lea Tsemel. Tsemel is a human rights lawyer, and the protagonist of the documentary „Lea Tsemel, Anwältin“, a film highly praised and shortlisted for the Academy Awards, which has screened on ARD.
The abuse of antisemitism accusations to smear those who speak and act for the human rights of Palestinians is not new. What is new here is the absurd claim by German activists that the basic right for legal defense amounts to antisemitism, when an Israeli-Jewish lawyer defends Palestinians.
We notice the continuation of troubling trends in Germany: first, the smearing of peace and human rights activists in the context of Palestine and Israel; second, the further use of the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) definition of antisemitism for this purpose; thirdly, the tactic of public pressure on venues to decline space, and thus to effectively undermine freedom of speech and expression of Palestinians and those who support human rights for Palestinians.
Rosa Luxemburg and Lea Tsemel are part of a proud tradition of Jewish women deeply committed to the values of justice and humanism. We encourage everyone to attend the Rosa Luxemburg conference and to watch „Lea Tsemel, Anwältin“.