Germany’s “antisemitism commissioners” are self-appointed bureaucrats who are part of a larger government effort to limit criticism of Israel.
I don’t stand a chance of becoming one but we will run this campaign as hard as any and will expose their semi-legal mode of operation and weaponisation of the term “antisemitism”.
Let me introduce myself.
My name is Adam Broomberg. I come from a Jewish family, many of whom were exterminated in the Holocaust. I believe that the lesson we should all have learned from the Shoah is that we must defend the most vulnerable members of society regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality or religion. The current Government and its’ so-called Commissioners of Antisemitism seems to have drawn another lesson: To support the apartheid State of Israel at all costs. Even at the expense of Palestinians or anyone showing solidarity with them.
The role of the Commissioner of Antisemitism is supposedly to protect Jews from antisemitic hate crime.
The German state has been using these “commissioners” (none of whom are actually Jewish) to actively try to conflate any criticism of Israel’s war crimes with antisemitism. They are also very vocal in accusing anyone showing solidarity with the Palestinian cause of antisemitism.
In January, a week after burying my Jewish mother, who had such recent experience of the Holocaust, I found myself accused of being “a hateful antisemite who advocates for terrorism against Jews.” These accusations came from the Commissioner of Antisemitism of the Hamburg Senate, Stefan Hensel. As someone occupying a respectable position in the senate he was given access to all the major German media outlets.
Why? Because I dared to display my solidarity with an oppressed people. Showing solidarity is in my blood. I was active in the anti apartheid movement in South Africa from the age of 15.
We have all heard of the boy who cried wolf. This is a lethal policy in a country riddled with real racism and real antisemitism.
The footage you see superimposed over an advert for the “diversity and tolerance of Berlin life” is of me being arrested a few weeks ago by the German riot police for simply showing up at a peaceful rally organised by a Jewish German organisation to commemorate the Nakba (The Catastrophe).
I have family who live in Israel and loved ones who live in occupied Palestine. I will not stand by quietly while false and libellous allegations made by a German bureaucrat (who is not even Jewish) in an attempt to derail me; to destroy my career as an educator and interrupt my solidarity work in Palestine.
The position of commissioner of antisemitism has existed in Germany since 2018. In the current coalition German government formed in 2021, it was agreed and stipulated that the federal government’s commissioner of antisemitism would be located in the chancellery and therefore would be structurally strengthened and given vastly more powers. Therefore, I have decided to run as Commissioner of Antisemitism for the State of Berlin. So I can do what the job should do: To call out real racism and antisemitism and to protect any other minority group experiencing prejudice or hate crime.
One can’t speak about indigenous rights, about feminism, black thought, Trans rights or any religious or ethnic groups rights without including the rights of the Palestinian people.
Two weeks ago a law was passed in Berlin making ID checks mandatory in order to get into public swimming pools in Berlin . This is essentially a way of ethnically and racially profiling people wanting to enter a public space. Police vans are now parked outside Public swimming pools. Gathering of more than three (non-white) men are illegal.
The law was passed under the pretext of an increase in violence in public spaces, particularly in Neukolln and Kreuzberg. Home to most of the migrant population of Berlin.
The media and the current government make it seem worse than it is,
in reality the number of criminal offences in the swimming pools in Berlin have actually decreased 21 % from 2019 to 2022.
This is misinformation that only serves to deepen mistrust and foster anti Arab, anti Turkish, anti anything but white German sentiment. Does this remind you of something?
The same happened during the New Year’s Eve celebrations in 2022, where the police and the media quickly blamed migrant men for the violence. Weeks later it was revealed that at least 60 % of the actual offenders were white German men and that the police had rushed to conclusions and had spoken lies.
Over and over again there is an attempt to reinforces a negative image of our people and our neighbourhoods characterising them as places riddled with crime, poverty and violence.
It is not a coincidence that the CDU is cutting the budget for 2024-2025 for the most vulnerable groups of these neighbourhoods for example, youth centres, schools, homeless shelters and addiction services. While the budget for the Opera goes up.
The debate it is not about violence. It is about the justification of racism and discrimination happening openly in society reinforced by the media and dividing us even more.
We need to take care of each other because they are not going to take care of us.
I believe in intersectional solidarity.
“Never again” must apply to everyone.
And last but not least… where will the money go?
All the money you generously donate will go towards paying the legal team defending those of us who already have and those of us who will be charged with the crime of “Antisemitism” or “Disobeying German law” for showing solidarity with or simply by being Palestinian or not white in Germany today.
Every dime will be accounted for and published.
We have nothing to hide.
I am fully aware that in order to become a commissioner one needs the sanction of the Senate and the majority of the jewish community. This is highly unlikely: The appointments of the positions themselves are semi-legal and mysterious. Who actually appoints these commissioners? Who pays for them? The campaign, however will give us an important platform from which to speak: To highlight the persecution of Palestinians and those who act in solidarity.