Court: Journalist can call statements anti-Semitic

BERLIN (JTA) – A German-Jewish journalist can describe anti-Israel statements by the daughter of a former German-Jewish leader as anti-Semitic, a German court ruled. 

A regional appeals court in Cologne removed a gag order Wednesday on Jewish journalist Henryk Broder, ruling that the German constitution protects Broder’s freedom of expression in the matter. 

Evelyn Hecht-Galinski — whose father, Heinz Galinski, headed the Central Council of Jews in Germany until he died in 1992 — at various times has suggested that the Central Council is a mouthpiece for the State of Israel; complained about what she calls a "Jewish-Israel lobby" with a "worldwide network" trying to control criticism of Israel; and defended those who compared Israel’s protective barrier to the Warsaw ghetto.

Hecht-Galinski had sued over a letter Broder wrote to a radio station last May in which he complained about her remarks during an interview, and said that she "specializes in anti-Semitic statements." He published his letter on the Axis of Good Web site  until a temporary injunction was invoked at Hecht-Galinski’s behest.

At the time, Hecht-Galinski told JTA she objected to being called an anti-Semite but not to being called anti-Zionist.

The court overturned the injunction, but Hecht-Galinski reportedly plans to pursue the case next month in Cologne district court.

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