July 23rd, 2009

Indignation at Federal Cross of Merit for Felicia Langer

Tübingen/Berlin – The Central Council of Jews in Germany expressed indignation at the decision to bestow the Federal Cross of Merit on Israeli lawyer Felicia Langer. In an email to The Jerusalem Post, the Council's Vice-President, Dieter Graumann, described Langer as a "militant and fanatical Israel-hater". "It is the first time that aggressive verbal attacks against the Jewish state have been rewarded by the Federal Republic of Germany," he wrote. "Ms Langer is known for her virulent, militant hatred of Israel that only receives public attention (in Germany ) because she is herself Jewish and emphasises her Holocaust past." In an interview with Spiegel-Online Graumann said that by giving the Federal Cross of Merit to Felicia Langer " Germany has honoured a person that has been demonizing Israel in a professional, chronic, and obsessive way". Ralph Giordano, a journalist and writer living in Cologne , called Felicia Langer the "most strident anti-Israeli trumpet in Germany " in an article published in the Jüdische Allgemeine newspaper. Giordano said he would return his Cross of Merit if Langer's order was not revoked. Arno Lustiger, a historian living in Frankfurt , is considering to return his Federal Cross of Merit, too. The decision to award the Federal Cross of Merit to Felicia Langer has also been harshly criticised by Israel . "She has for years supported forces that advocate violence, death, and extremism," foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told the Tagesspiegel newspaper. (23.07.2009)