|Hands off Freedom of Expression in Munich!|
We, citizens from Munich and the surrounding area,insist on our right
to hold a free would like to be free to hold free democratic discussion on
all subjects - also about the Occupation and settlement policy of the
Israeli government and its consequences for the Palestinians.
This right is threatened by the SPD-CSU majority in the Munich City Council,
which seeks - under the slogan `No more Anti-Semitism!` - to curtail the
right of free discussion in urban spaces. We protest the insinuation that
criticism of the Israeli government in fact conceals an anti-Semitic
attitude. We condemn racism, Nazi terror and anti-Semitism. We affirm the
right of the State of Israel to exist. But, on the other hand, we strongly
oppose with Jewish racists and oppressors, because we also uphold the
Palestinians` right for self-determination.
All international efforts to resolve the Middle East Conflicts have failed.
That is why, more than ten years ago, Palestinian civil society groups
issued the call for boycott against the Israeli government. An international
boycott against various states, because of their policies, is regarded as a
legitimate means of nonviolent pressure when applied, for example, to
Russia, Iran, Cuba or South Africa. Likewise, the Münchner `Jewish-
Palestinian Dialogue Group` calls, in the case of Israel, for a temporary
boycott until the end of the occupation.
It is defamatory of the city council to label this as `anti-Semitic`.
This assertion is untenable: since its formation in 1985, this group is
particularly concerned for a peaceful and equal right of coexistence to
Israelis and Palestinians alike in the Middle East. Should the proposal be
submitted by the SPD and CSU to the city council be definitely enacted, many
international speakers - including those from the the Israeli peace movement
- would no longer be able to speak in municipal halls. The lecture `50 years
of Israeli occupation`, which Israeli journalist Gideon Levy (Haaretz)
delivered in May this year, would become impossible to repeat in the future.
Even South African Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu would no longer
be able to speak in Munich.
It is unacceptable to limit democratic rights under spurious pretexts.
Controversial discussions and debates are the lifeblood of democracy.
Shimon Stein, former ambassador of Israel to Berlin, recently noted aptly:
`If you call everything `anti-Semitism`, you make it impossible to fight
against the real anti-Semitism. `
Deeply concerned about the freedom of speech in our city, we call upon the
SPD and CSU councilors: Take back tour proposal!
*Dr. Peter Barth, lecturer in Political Science
*Dr. Reiner Bernstein, lecturer in History
*Gaby dos Santos, Kulturmanagerin
*Lisa Fitz, Kabarettistin
*Josef Hanneschläger, actor Schauspieler
*Gisela Heidenreich, Familientherapeutin und Autorin
*Almut Hielscher, Journalistin
*Henning Hintze, Journalist
*Uta König, Journalist and filmaker
*Ecco Meineke, Musiker und Kabarettist
*Brigitte Obermayer, Internationale Frauenliga für Frieden und
*Anatol Regnier, Musiker und Schriftsteller
*Clemens Ronnefeldt, Referent beim Internationalen Versöhnungsbund -
*Dr. Peter Scholze, Internist
*Dr. Tilman Spengler, Author
*Dr. Johano Strasser, Schriftsteller
*Stefanie Sycholt, Filmregisseurin und Autorin
*Dr. Gerd Tersteegen, Rechtsanwalt
*Martin Urban, Wissenschaftspublizist
*Dr.Clemens Verenkotte, BR-Redakteur und früherer ARDKorrespondent
*Hans Well, Musiker, Kabarettist