28 April 2011
Prosecutors in Germany are investigating an anti-Israel leaflet which was found on the website of a regional chapter of Germany's Socialist party ‘Die Linke’ (The Left), which is represented in the Bundestag and several regional assemblies. A state prosecutor said authorities were probing the possible criminal use of Nazi symbols. Germany has strong hate-speech laws which generally forbid anti-Semitic literature or the use of swastikas in propaganda. The pamphlet, which Die Linke has since has disavowed, was discovered on the homepage of the party's Duisburg branch this week. It featured a Star of David with a swastika inside of it. The leaflet denies the Holocaust, calls for a boycott on Israeli goods and vilifies Israel as a “true rogue state with warmongers.”
Hans-Werner Rook, a spokesman for Die Linke, said he didn’t know how the leaflet had got on the website and said party officials were searching for its author. The link was taken down as soon it was discovered. “We are totally outraged. That’s all far-right radical nonsense,” said Rook, speculating that an extremist mole posted the flyer onto the website.
The party’s Duisburg chapter has a history of causing a stir with its strident views on Israel. In 2009, the party's mayoral candidate resigned after he supported a boycott of the country.
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