Thu. Aug 28, 2008
BRODER: The pro-Israel writer is at the center of the German court case.
In a case that has captivated Germany and reignited public debate on criticism of Israel and on antisemitism, a German court is expected to rule in early September on a defamation lawsuit brought by a prominent anti-Zionist against a well-known maverick columnist.
The politically charged case pits Evelyn Hecht-Galinski, a staunch critic of Israel whose father once ran German Jewry’s main organization, against pro-Israel commentator Henryk Broder. A regional court in Cologne is scheduled to make a decision September 3 as to whether Broder can claim in writing that statements made by Hecht-Galinski equating the Israeli government with Nazi Germany are antisemitic. Hecht-Galinski won an interim injunction barring Broder from making such allegations in an open letter, and the court will decide whether to overrule or restrict the injunction.
The case has stirred strong emotions among German Jews and has elicited broad media coverage across the country, where claims that Broder was trying to silence critics of Israel have been met with counterarguments about the slippery slope between anti-Zionism and antisemitism.