Journalist refuses to settle German case

A German Jewish journalist refused to settle a case in which he called another Jew anti-Semitic.

Henryk Broder, the acerbic columnist for Der Spiegel magazine and a well-known pro-Israel blogger in Germany, on Wednesday turned down a Cologne court’s suggestion of an “amicable settlement” in the civil case.

Broder has publicly accused Hecht-Galinski, the daughter of a former leader of Germany’s Jewish community, of making anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist statements. She, in turn, lodged an injunction against him, accusing Broder of besmirching her reputation.

The injunction bars Broder from publishing a letter to Monika Piel, the director of Westdeutsche Rundfunk radio, in which he referred to Hecht-Galinski in those terms.

“It is not the anti-Zionist part to which I object, but the anti-Semitism,” Hecht-Galinski told JTA.

Broder told JTA that he had faced the “usual” argument: “Anti-Semitism is confined to Nazis. If you are not a Nazi, you cannot be an anti-Semite.”

The Central Council of Jews in Germany is backing Broder.

“It is a rare phenomenon to find even Jews expressing themselves in an anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist manner, and Ms. Hecht-Galinski is a leading representative,” said the council’s general secretary, Stephan Kramer.

The court will decide on the appeal against the injunction on Sept. 3.

 

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