A series of virulent outbreaks of antisemitism at the German University of Tübingen, including a call from a University of California, Berkeley academic for the dissolution of Israel, triggered backlash from experts on Jew-hatred.
The University of Tübingen in the southwestern German state of Baden-Württemberg hosted in late November Berkeley Professor Daniel Boyarin who argues for a Judaism without a Jewish state, according to an article in the local paper Schwäbisches Tagblatt about the conference.
Boyarin’s contention in his book in 2023 titled, “The No State-Solution” was a heated topic of discussion at the conference.
Boyarin blasted Israel’s government for its “authoritarian, racist, military conduct” at the event. Israel’s government launched a defensive war against the US and EU-designated Hamas terrorist movement after the jihadi organization massacred 1,200 people on October 7 in southern Israel.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the Journal that the German “conference that took place almost two months after the October 7 mass murder and mass rape of Jews under the rubric of a conference analyzing similarities between Judaism and Islam. The notion that at a conference at this time convened in Germany would include a speaker who calls for the dissolution of Israel and leaving Judaism as a truncated religion for a permanent Jewish diaspora, is an outrage.”
He continued “And that there would be an academic conference and that any speaker would get up and call for the dissolution of Israel, currently home to 10 million citizens, over 80 % of whom are Jews, who constitute the largest Jewish community in the world, is frankly beyond the pale.
“Apparently this speaker views Judaism as a multiple choice exercise, not an ancient foundational Abrahamic faith. The truth is at the core of Judaism, our prayers, our people’ hopes and aspirations for two millennia was a return to Zion.”
Cooper said that “Anyone trying to remove Zion from Judaism is removing one of the pillars of our faith, destiny and history. Judaism is not a multiple choice exercise and neither is Islam, by the way.”
When asked about his attacks on the Jewish state, alleged blowback against his work at the Tübingen conference, and if he is Jewish antisemite, Boyarin told the Journal: “I am not a Jewish antisemite. I am a Jewish antizionist. I hold no truck with either right-wing nationalism whether German nor Jewish nor with cosmopolitanism. In fact, I identify myself as a Jewish nationalist, a diaspora Jewish nationalist; my antizionism has to do with the false identification of nationalism with sovereignty, not any disdain for Jewish culture, identity, and solidarity. I observed no ‘blow-back’ in Tuebingen; it must have been expressed privately or at any rate out of my earshot.”
The University of Tübingen hosted the alleged antisemitic German civil servant, Michael Blume, as speaker on January 9 who is tasked with fighting antisemitism in the state of Baden-Württemberg. He delivered a diatribe against Jews and Israel, according to experts.
Blume, the state bureaucrat who is paid to fight Jew-hatred, has been repeatedly deemed to be involved in antisemitic activity by former Israeli minister Natan Sharansky, the Wiesenthal Center, Zionist Organization of American, B’nai B’rith, Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America, and Christians United for Israel.
Blume told German public radio that German Jews are “right-wing extremists,” and termed the father of the Israel Defense Forces, Orde Wingate, a “war criminal.” Two German court rulings determined that Blume can be called antisemitic due to his attacks targeting German Jews and Israel.
Blume delivered a talk at Tübingen titled, “Antisemitism in our society,” stating “Benjamin Netanyahu authorized flows of money from Qatar to Hamas in Gaza. His government coalition with right-wing extremists and ultra-Orthodox divided Israeli society by attempting to abolish the separation of powers and relocated the Israeli army to the settlers in the West Bank instead of protecting its own south.”
Blume also said Israel is ostensibly preventing the fight against antisemitism because the Jewish state opposes “renewable energies.” Blume said, “The European and US right-wing, just like Israeli governments, have blocked the expansion of renewable energies and thereby allowed and even promoted the fossil financing of regimes such as Russia, Iran, Qatar and their offshoots Hamas, Houthis and Hezbollah.”
The most popular contemporary German-Jewish best-selling author and journalist for the large daily Die Welt, Henryk M. Broder, penned a takedown of Blume’s tirade against Israel.
Broder wrote that Blume “uses his position to rehash classic antisemitic nonsense, such as that the Israeli governments, in collaboration with the European and American right, have ‘blocked the expansion of renewable energies…but the temptation to spread flawless antisemitism in the costume of an antisemitism commissioner is too great to resist.”
Rabbi Cooper added: “Here was an opportunity three months after the bloodiest day in Jewish history since the Nazi Holocaust for an ‘antisemitism czar’ to address the runaway antisemitism in Germany, across western Europe and North America. Instead he linked October 7 to carbon emissions.”
Blume declined to comment. The Journal spoke on the telephone to the spokesman for the University of Tübingen, Leon Kokkoliadis, who also declined to comment and refused to answer numerous Journal email queries.