[The contact information for Bochum, Germany is here.]
To whom it may concern:
Firstly, I’d like to apologize for writing this correspondence in English rather than German. I live in the United States and I do not speak German. If I spoke German, I would have honored your country by writing in its official language.
I read an article today in the Jerusalem Post titled “Student fined for showing Israeli flag in Germany.” The article is about a citizen in Bochum who waved an Israeli flag in solidarity with the State of Israel at an rally organized to defame the Jewish state. While the anti-Israel protesters were shouting such slogans as “children murderer Israel” and “Israel terrorist” as well as comparing the Nazi Holocaust to Israel’s response to Palestinian terrorism, the public prosecutor for the city of Bochum chose to present the student waving the Israeli flag with a fine for “provoking” the anti-Israel protesters.
I hope that you will agree with me that articles like this have an extremely detrimental effect on Bochum’s international reputation. The flag waver, who spoke on condition of anonymity to ensure his personal safety, said it best in your regional newspaper, Der Westen, when she said that there is “confusion of perpetrator and victim. You can only call that anti-Semitism.” By choosing to fine the student who was waving a flag and to turn a blind eye to the insidious rhetoric of the rally is, in effect if not intent, a form of state-sponsored anti-Semitism.
However, let me be clear. I support the right of all people to freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, no matter if the speech is offensive and the assembly is to promote racism. All I am asking is that the rights of this student, as well as three other pro-Israel counter-protesters, be given equal protection under the law. Maybe then, Bochum will not be shamed by news stories like this again.
Los Angeles, CA