(JTA) — The organizers of a Copenhagen event celebrating diversity asked Danish Jews refrain from displaying the Israeli flag “for security reasons.”
The request came during preparations for the city-sponsored Mangfoldigheds festival held early last month, according to the Copenhagen-born Jonas Herzberg Karpantschof, former chairman of the European Union of Jewish Students.
The Danish Zionist Federation displayed the Israeli flags despite the requests. Several verbal confrontations occurred in front of the federation’s stand but they did not escalate into physical violence, Karpantschof wrote in a report for the website of CRIF, the umbrella organization of French Jews. Karpantschof said that “in reality, it [the request] was an attempt to block the group’s participation.”
Other groups also displayed country flags at the event, the Copenhagen Post reported, and had not been asked to refrain from displaying them.
One of the event organizers, Pernille Kjeldgaard, told the Post, “It is not that there is a flag policy. Specific associations were asked not to display their flags as a safety precaution.” His group, TaskForce Inklusion, had been tasked by the municipality to organize parts of the event.
Max Meyer, head of the Danish Zionist Federation, was quoted as saying, “It is a shame that one group is discriminated against, especially at a diversity celebration."
In the festival, participants were supposed to offer visitors food and culture connected with their ethnicity. The festival featured a Kurdish stall and three Palestinian organizations, Meyer wrote. Jews, Muslims and Christians shared one stall at the event.
It was the first time that the Danish Zionist Federation participated in the festival.