Jewish celebrities protect Claudia Roth – politics
After boos against Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth at the Jewish music competition “Jewrovision”, numerous Jewish celebrities have backed the Greens politician in an open letter. “Claudia Roth’s political biography unequivocally announces her lifelong engagement anti-Semitism and racism,” it says under the heading “Not in our name” in the letter that is available to the German Press Agency.
The 50 signatories include Daniel Barenboim, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Daniel Kahn, Barrie Kosky, Igor Levit, Rachel Libeskind, Meron Mendel, Eva Menasse, Jerry Merose, Jerzy Montag, Michael Naumann, Susan Neiman, Miriam Rürup and Sasha Marianna Salzmann, Julius Schoeps, Paula-Irene Villa Braslavsky, Albert Wiederspiel, Mirjam Zadoff and Moshe Zimmermann.
Roth took part in the event last Friday in Frankfurt/Main at the invitation of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. During her greeting, there were loud protests from individuals in the audience. The reason given was, among other things, the debates about the documenta fifteen in Kassel, where 2022 works were criticized as anti-Semitic. “Protest is one thing, the shouted-down speech of an invited guest is something else,” says the letter published on Friday.
Roth does not do everything right, but is not to blame for everything either
In addition, it is claimed that Roth does not take concerns about anti-Semitism in the cultural sector seriously. “We want to clearly contradict that,” said the undersigned. “Without agreeing with everything she does: it is thanks to her, among other things, that the future work of memorial sites and institutions dealing with the history of National Socialist crimes is secured,” the letter says. “Despite all legitimate concerns about rising anti-Semitism, which is also being fueled in the digital media, the Minister of State for Culture and the Media cannot be held responsible for controversial content in an open society.”
Roth has the difficult task of “keeping an eye on democratic norms and the freedom of art in this area of tension, because art is political, but political interference in art must be avoided”. Cultural workers need a political environment in which they can work unhindered. “Many Jews are involved in shaping the cultural scene in Germany – the liberal consensus must remain that religious communities have no influence on it.” The Judaism live from polyphony, pluralism and debate.
It was pointed out that more than half of the Jews living in Germany did not belong to any Jewish community. They see themselves as secular or reject “the particularist politics of the Central Council”. “But we all have to insist on a civilized, respectful debate and cannot just demand it from the others,” demanded the signing celebrities.