A banner with the colors of the Israeli flag that said “The state Israel is our misfortune” was held by neo-Nazis in the city of Dortmund, a city in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia with a population of about 600,000 people. The protest appears to have been held against both the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem and the founding of the State of Israel.
During the Holocaust, the Nazis adopted the phrase “The Jews are our misfortune” from the antisemitic historian Heinrich Gotthard von Treitschke (1834-1896) to stoke lethal Jew-hatred in Germany.
Nearly 30 neo-Nazis can be seen in a photo tweeted by Bild journalist Claas Weinmann. He wrote “Pictures that hurt. In every way. Neo-Nazis in these minutes in Dortmund.”
At least four Palestinian flags can be seen in the photograph.
The mass-circulation daily Bild tabloid is considered a pro-Israel publication that goes to great lengths to combat pervasive antisemitism in Germany. According to a federal government study from 2017, 40% of Germans maintain modern antisemitic views – a loathing of the Jewish state.
German neo-Nazi parties – The Third Way and the National Democratic Party – support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. The Cologne-based Bank for Social Economy is the leading financial institution for BDS accounts.
“We condemn the leaders of any bank that continues to allow the BFS [Bank for Social Economy] to do business with those who work to damage and ultimately do away with the Jewish state,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of The Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.
The center may, at the end of 2018, include the bank’s top three executives – Harald Schmitz, Oliver Luckner and Thomas Kahleis – on its list of the top ten worst outbreaks of antisemitism and anti-Israel sentiment for the year.