Tuesday, 16 Jul 2019 - 13 of Tammuz, 5779

Berlin Jewish Museum head resigns following anti-Israel retweet

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World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder welcomed the resignation :  “We do not need leaders of Jewish institutions who identify with or support the BDS movement.”

BERLIN—The Director of the Berlin Jewish Museum, Peter Schäfer, has resigned following a tweet that appeared to be anti-Israel, a move welcomed by the Council of Jews in Germany and the World Jewish Congress.

Schäfer, who served as director since 2014, came under fire for retweeting a report from Berlin daily Tageszeitung, which described a letter signed by 240 Israeli and Jewish scholars who rejected a motion adopted by the Bundestag, the German federal parliament, condemning BDS (Boycott, Disinvestment, Sanctions) as an anti-Semitic movement.

Schäfer’s tweet was considered as taking a political position which is contrary to his  role as head of a cultural institution financed by the government.

Peter Schäfer, who served as director of the Jewish Museum in Berlin since 2014, came under fire for retweeting a report from daily Tageszeitung, describing a letter signed by 240 Israeli and Jewish scholars who rejected a motion adopted by the Bundfestag, the German federal parliament, condemning BDS (Boycott, Disinvestment, Sanctions) as an anti-Semitic movement.

Josef Schuster, president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said : “Enough is enough. The Jewish Museum appears to be completely out of control.”

Schäfer offered his resignation to Culture Minister Monika Grütters “to avoid further damaging the Jewish Museum Berlin,” according to a statement sent by the museum.

World Jewish Museum (WJC)  President Ronald S. Lauder welcomed the resignation :  “We do not need leaders of Jewish institutions who identify with or support the BDS movement,” he said.

“I have been deeply involved with museum culture throughout my life, both in the Jewish world and beyond, and it pained me deeply to see the Jewish Museum of Berlin step outside of its mandate repeatedly to weigh in on this matter in such a callous way. There is absolutely no place for such politics in museums, especially not those committed to providing a platform for Jewish history and unity in the face of the adversity the community has faced for so long.’’

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