Activists disrupted a Holocaust film screening in Berlin last Thursday in an attempt to promote the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.
Two individuals ascended the stage of the German premier of The Testament — an Israeli film that follows a Holocaust researcher who uncovers a secret about his survivor mother — at the opening night of the 2018 SERET Israeli film and TV festival.
They held a banner reading, “No culture in whitewashing Apartheid,” before being escorted off-stage to applause.
One of the activists was identified by The Jerusalem Post as Ronnie Barkan, an anti-Zionist Israeli who co-founded the BDS group Boycott from Within, and who denounced the SERET festival on social media as “a whitewashing extravaganza sponsored by the Israeli Embassy.”
The organization Aktionsforum Israel, which uploaded a recording of the incident to YouTube, wrote that it reflected an attempt by BDS activists “to sabotage a film about the Holocaust.”
“This is reminiscent of the speech by [German politician Bjoern Hoecke],” it continued.
In a speech last year, Hoecke denounced Germany’s “stupid” culture of Holocaust remembrance, and called for a “180 degree turn in terms of the politics of remembrance.” He also referred to the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin as a “memorial of shame.”
Aktionsforum Israel argued that BDS — whose leaders oppose the existence of a Jewish nation-state — and parts of the Alternative for Germany and National Democratic Party of Germany each “have a problem with this topic. BDS is a movement to boycott Jews.”