May 22, 2024

The German government’s anti-Semitism commissioner, Felix Klein, has condemned the protests against Israel’s participation in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest this weekend.

“It is a common anti-Semitic trait to hold Israelis collectively liable for the actions of their government or their army, which they themselves often condemn,” he told the Funke Mediengruppe newspaper.

“The progressive Israeli cultural scene in particular is already suffering considerably from this and is facing increasing international isolation,” he said.

The latest Eurovision was one of the most controversial in recent memory, coming over seven months after the start of the war between Israel and the Islamist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Demonstrations took place around the Eurovision venue in Malmö, Sweden, directed against the organizers’ decision to allow Israel to compete and to ban Palestinian flags at the event.

On Saturday evening, the police removed climate activist Greta Thunberg as well as other demonstrators from the site of protests.

The war, which has devastated Gaza and killed tens of thousands of Palestinians, erupted when Hamas-led militants killed some 1,200 people in southern Israel on October 7.

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