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No anti-Semitic censorship in Hamburg!

What took place on Sunday the 25th of November at Brigittenstrasse in Hamburg, is almost too hard to believe. The local cinema, Kino B-Movie, with the cooperation of a local left group, organised the screening of »Warum Israel« (»Why Israel«), by Claude Lanzmann. A group of anti-imperialists and Israel haters belonging to the »Internationalistisches Zentrum B5« (»Internationalist Center B5«), which is located in the front building of the cinema, prevented the screening from taking place through threats and acts of physical violence.

The members of B5 stationed themselves outside the cinema where they handed out leaflets which described the film as a »Zionist propaganda movie«. »Why Israel«, made in 1973, is a movie by the Claude Lanzmann, a Jew himself, who lives in France. Among Lanzmann’s film credit’s is »Shoa«, which has been of immense importance to the remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust. Furthermore he fought actively in the Résistance against National Socialism.

Lanzmann says of »Why Israel?« »This movie has a central theme, namely: What is normality? (…) In »Why Israel« I show that normality is the real anomaly.« This is what some »leftists« sense as a provocation!

The operators of the B-Movie were refused entry, every discussion was denied, and instead violent threats were made, forcing the cancellation of the screening. Those audience members that remained after the film was cancelled continued to be harassed, taunted ( in one case even as »Judenschweine« (‘Jew pigs’)), and eventually physically attacked – at least three visitors were injured through punches.

Something like that must not happen! Not only is it unacceptable to censor public screenings but it is intolerable that such a documentary by Claude Lanzmann, and subsequently a discussion about his work, should fall victim to such events.

We support the operators of the cinema in their intention to show »Why Israel« in their premises. The subscribers endorse the organisers with the substitute screening of »Why Israel« on the 13th of December 2009 at 4 PM.

We condemn such forms of cultural censorship, any anti-Semitism and Israel hatred.

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