November 6th, 2008

Central Council has mixed feelings about resolution on anti-Semitism

Berlin – The resolution on anti-Semitism passed by the Bundestag on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom has been received with mixed feelings by the Central Council of Jews. The Secretary General, Stephan J. Kramer, said in Berlin yesterday he welcomed the resolution. He, however, pointed out that the refusal of the CDU/CSU faction to introduce the resolution together with the Left Party left a "bitter taste". Kramer said that this decision has driven a wedge into the coalition of democratic parties and played into the hands of far-right extremists. He accused the CDU/CSU faction of being "somewhat Janus-faced": On the one hand, the interior policy speaker, Hans-Peter Uhl, claimed that his faction's refusal to cooperate with the Left Party was due to the fact that their rejection of anti-Semitism was not credible; on the other hand, he did not criticise last week's visit of the Iranian President, Mohammed Chatami, to Freiburg.

The Secretary General has also harshly criticised some members of the Left Party faction. He said that the eleven MPs who had not supported the resolution in the Bundestag on Tuesday had "unmasked themselves" and compromised the Vice-President of the Bundestag, Petra Pau (The Left Party). The latter championed a joint resolution of all the groups in the Bundestag, which was rejected by the CDU/CSU faction. As a result, two identical resolutions were put to the vote and adopted by a majority of the MPs. (06.11.2008)