Holocaust deniers and anti-Israel activists cannot be considered tolerant, the City Council of Bayreuth has concluded.
The City Council of Bayreuth on Monday voted to suspend the award of the city’s annual tolerance prize to Code Pink, an American NGO, after revelations that some of its members were linked to Holocaust deniers and anti-Israel activists.
Bayreuth’s mayor, Brigitte Merk-Erbe, last week stopped the award to the activist group Code Pink because of ties of some of its members with alleged deniers of the Holocaust and the group’s support for the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction) movement.
“I consider it correct to refrain from awarding the prize out of a sense of historical responsibility, and out of respect for the victims of National Socialism,“ said Merk-Erbe.
On Monday, Bayreuth city councilors discussed the matter and decided to postpone the award and to check if the allegations warrant that Code Pink is not given the prize.
The $11,000 Wilhelmine-von-Bayreuth Toleranz Prize is awarded annually by the city to individuals or organization active in promoting peaceful coexistence and tolerance.
Felix Gothart, the head of Bayreuth’s 500 member Jewish community, told the Jerusalem Pos‘ that he agreed with Merk-Erbe’s decision, calling Code Pink “anti-Semites.”
Gerald Steinberg, the head of the Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor, told the Jerusalem Post’that Code Pink engaged in “a vicious targeting of Israel with false allegations of war crimes.” According to the watchdog, Code Pink members “participated in ‘freedom flotillas’ aimed at breaching Israel’s borders and the blockade on Gaza, and initiating confrontations with Israeli naval forces.”
Code Pink activists called for the elimination of Israel at 2015 protest at an AIPAC conference. The activists chanted “The State of Israel has to go” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” Recently, activists of the group unfolded a banner at the Western Wall in Jerusalem urging the world to boycott Israel.
Spokespersons for Code Pink rejected allegations of anti-Semitism, adding that a number of the group’s members were Jewish.