4/18/20, 4:26 PM EDT
Dear signatories of our petition to the HRK,
A foretaste of what is to come at our universities if the HRK Resolution on Anti-Semitism is complied with is given by this recent event:
At this year's Ruhrtrienniale 2020 (cultural festival in the Ruhr region), Achille Mbembe, a Cameroonian historian and political scientist who has taught for many years in the USA and now in South Africa, is to deliver the opening speech. Among other awards, he has received the Geschwister Scholl Prize of the City of Munich in 2015 and both a prize from Gerda Henkel Foundation and the Ernst Bloch Prize of the City of Ludwigshafen in 2018.
Now Lorenz Deutsch, the FDP's [liberal democrats] cultural policy spokesman in the state parliament or Nordrhein Westfalen [where the Ruhr region is], has discovered that Mbembe is critical of Israel's politics. He even signed a BDS list in 2010.
If there was not method in it, this would be nothing more than a parochial farce. But in nowadays Germany everyone is wiggling their heads in concern: BDS - that's a nogo.
If you understand German:
(1) Open letter from Lorenz Deutsch of 23.3. to the artistic director of the Ruhrtriennale Stefanie Carp, Ph.D.:
(2) Report in the WELT from 6.4:
(3) A more reasonable comment from 15.4. in DLF Culture:
(4) And even better in the FAZ of 17.4:
(5) I wrote a letter to the initiator of this matter, Mr. Lorenz Deutsch, Member of the Nordrhein-Westfalen state Parliament, on April 17 and also sent it to other parties involved in this conflict. You can read it here:
(or via www.rolf-verleger.de, then Aufsätze and there "zur Meinungsfreiheit ")
An internationally important voice such as Mbembe would no longer be allowed to speak at German universities in accordance with the criteria propagated by the HRK, which we are opposing here.
With best regards