Germany’s Left Party blocks ban on burning Israeli flag

The German party Die Linke (The Left) has torpedoed a bill in the Berlin senate which would have banned the burning of the Israeli flag in the capital city.

The Berlin-based B.Z. newspaper first reported that the Left Party, a part of the ruling governing coalition in the city-state of Berlin, along with the Social Democratic Party and Green Party, blocked the pro-Israel bill.

The Left Party politician Sebastian Schlüsselburg told the B.Z. that “No faction wants Israel flags or Jewish symbols to be burned in Berlin. But a ban in criminal law, as demanded by the CDU [Christian Democratic Union], is the wrong way.”

The CDU introduced the pro-Israel legislation in the Berlin parliament after Israeli flags were burned demonstrations in the capital following US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem in 2017.

Schlüsselburg defended his party’s move because the German court declared that the burning of a flag is protected by free speech.

It is illegal to burn the German flag in the federal republic. Germany currently bars the burning of nation state flags at public events.

The Left Party rejects a wholesale ban of the entire terrorist and antisemitic organisation Hezbollah in Germany, and in May 2019 opposed a resolution denouncing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign as antisemitic. The resolution was passed in the Bundestag.

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