German Politician Urges Festival to Disinvite BDS Academic
BERLIN — The Free Democratic Party (FDP) politician in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Lorenz Deutsch, urged the director of the music and cultural festival Ruhrtriennale to pull the plug on an appearance from an academic supporter of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement targeting Israel who has also trivialized the Holocaust.
Writing in late March, Deutsch told the director of the festival, “The BDS movement is not characterized by factual criticism of Israeli government acts, but aims at demolishing its existence through demonization, delegitimization, and disinformation. Achille Mbembe, who you invited, is unfortunately an example of this way of dealing with Israel.”
Deutsch termed the BDS an “antisemitic movement” and noted that, in 2018, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia banned public funds for institutions that provide BDS activists a platform. The Ruhrtriennale festival, which runs from August 14 to September 20, is a recipient of tax-payer money.
Deutsch, who is the cultural spokesman for the FDP, noted that Achille Mbembe signed a petition calling for an academic boycott of the Jewish state.
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