September 19, 2016 | The Jerusalem Post

Leading BDS activist: Move Israel to Germany

It would not be absurd to relocate Israel to Baden-Württemberg, embattled German BDS activist Christoph Glanz wrote.

The news that Glanz welcomed the idea that the Jewish state should be eradicated surfaced on Thursday in a review of his YouTube comments endorsing a pro-BDS video in 2015.

Alper Çugun wrote in the comments section on YouTube in English: “I always wondered why they didn’t just carve out a piece of Germany and found the State of Israel in Baden-Württemberg” state in southwestern Germany.

Glanz responded in the same language, “an absurd idea? i don’t think so given that it was us germans who perpetrated the genocide of jews in europe. and an israeli artist came up with precisely that idea.”

The school authorities in Lower Saxony have launched an investigation into Glanz because he is a public school teacher in the city of Oldenburg.

When asked about the Israel transfer comments, Bianca Schöneich, a spokeswoman for the school system, told The Jerusalem Post on Friday, “We are examining all accessible information” as part of the legal process.

German teachers are required to remain politically neutral because of their status as members of the civil service.

Çugun told the Post on Friday, “…

I had no exchange with that Kushka character other than his reply to my comment.” He also said, “I deleted that comment though [so as] not to be associated with that person and to prevent any future misunderstandings.”

Glanz used the alias Christopher Ben Kushka on the YouTube comments page that contains a video of an interview with Omar Barghouti, a co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement.

Glanz campaigns across Germany for a total boycott of Israel. Politicians from the Social Democratic Party have labeled him an antisemite and a racist. Glanz called the allegation of antisemitism “absurd.”

His interest in resettling Israelis to Germany mirrors the call of the former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has denied the Holocaust and called for Israel to be wiped off the map. Ahmadinejad said in 2005: “If European countries claim that they have killed Jews in World War II… why don’t they provide the Zionist regime with a piece of Europe.”

Ahmadinejad added, “Germany and Austria can provide… two or three provinces for this regime to establish itself, and the issue will be resolved.”

“I have nothing to say,” Glanz told the Post on Friday on the telephone.

He declined to respond to email queries about his alleged antisemitism and his expressed interest in destroying Israel.

Writing on an obscure US-based anti-Zionist website on Friday, Glanz said, “Zionists are effectively trying to shut us up. They won’t succeed.

We are well aware of the harassment going on in other parts of Germany, Europe and the US.”

Critics of BDS say the real aim of the campaign is to dismantle Israel.

Comprehensive boycotts against Israel are advocated by Islamist and Palestinian groups in Germany, as well as by extreme leftists and the neo-Nazi parties NPD and The Third Way.

Glanz has raised eyebrows among educators and antisemitism experts because he teaches a “welcome course” for refugees, many of whom come from countries that are steeped in hatred of Jews and Israel.

The German-Israel Friendship Society in Oldenburg (DIG) is slated to hold a lecture on “Antisemitism and Anti-Israelism in the schools” on Wednesday. Cordula Behrens, an educator with the society, and other experts will present their findings.

Benjamin Weinthal is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow him on Twitter @BenWeinthal.