Roth Observes “Disgusting, Open Anti-Semitism” Among Left-Wing Radicals

Roth Observes “Disgusting, Open Anti-Semitism” Among Left-Wing Radicals

Following the controversy surrounding the anti-Israel comments made at the Berlinale Film Festival awards ceremony, State Minister for Culture, Claudia Roth (Greens) has criticized segments of the political left for expressing anti-Semitic sentiments. In an interview with the Spiegel Online portal published on Friday, Roth stated, “There is a revolting level of open anti-Semitism among left-wing radicals.”

Roth described the award ceremony as “disappointing and partially intolerable.” She has recently faced criticism for her response to the incident.

Dubbing the “nadir” of the awards ceremony to be the speech by US filmmaker Ben Russell, who accused Israel of committing genocide against Palestinians, Roth said, “Despite feeling empathy for the suffering of civilians, such allegations bear no relation to the actual situation in the Gaza Strip.” She added, “Russell’s speech was insupportable.”

Roth places the responsibility for the unfolding of events at the Berlinale on the event’s management. She believes, “There should have been a different, more thoughtful preparation on how to address such performances, how to not let them pass without comment and who from the Berlinale team would be responsible for it,”

Roth defended her own lack of intervention during the incident. She argued, “I struggle with the notion that representatives of the federal and state governments, and thus the state itself, should intervene at an international film festival, a cultural event hosted by the Berlinale.”

Roth’s predecessor, Monika Grütters (CDU) and the Bavarian Prime Minister and CSU leader, Markus Söder criticized Roth strongly following the scandal. Grütters suggested in the “Bild” newspaper that there were opportunities for intervention at the gala, such as expressing disapproval, heckling, or even leaving the hall. Söder accused Roth of remaining conspicuously silent during the event.