„Christuskirche“ in Bochum: How to stop BDS


Thomas Wessel Foto Ayla Wessel

Thomas Wessel, Pastor of the Christuskirche (Church of Christ) in Bochum, has found a solution against BDS: sponsors from Israel.

Christuskirche in Bochum is a church that has partially been transformed into a successful cultural event location, one of the „hot spots“ for concerts in the Ruhr Region. The church hosts dozens of concerts every year, some of  which have included Laibach, Peter Murphy, the regular show „Urban Urtyp“, and many others.

This is a challenging task for Pastor Thomas Wessel, who does not want artists who support the BDS movement to perform in his church. BDS is short for „Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions“ – a movement aiming to destroy Israel.

Excluding BDS supporters from the venue meant a lot of research work for Pastor Wessel, who checked every single artist before they performed at his church, trying to find out if they signed one of the antisemitic BDS calls to boycott Israel. This is a question that could not always be easily answered: Brendan Perry for example signed in the name of „Dead Can Dance“. Lisa Gerrard, the other part of „Dead Can Dance“, however, did not sign – Gerrad will be playing at Christuskirche on October 12th.

Sponsoren der Christuskirche

Pastor Wessel found a better way to make sure that BDS supporters will not perform at his church. Instead of checking each artist, he decided to create a situation that makes it impossible for BDS supporters to perform at Christuskirche without betraying the objectives of the movement: Wessel succeeded to engage several Israeli companies in sponsorships, among them businesses that cooperate with Israeli government institutions. Performing at Christuskirche now automatically means not supporting the objectives of BDS. „I am not interested in preventing artists from performing here. I want to offer my audience an attractive program. Whoever wants to play at Christuskirche must know we have Israeli sponsors. Artists who have concerts here oppose the antisemitic rules of the BDS movement. Artists who cancel their concerts here, will disappoint their supporters, and we will see how they will like that.“

Pastor Wessel hopes that many public and private venues and organizers will follow his example. Germany is one of the biggest music markets in the world. If it is clear that supporting BDS makes it more difficult to gain access to that attractive market, the BDS movement could lose some of its influence among artists. Roger Waters, the biggest supporter of this modern version of the „Don`t buy from Jews“- campaign, will not reimburse artists for losing their fees.

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3 Kommentare

  1. #1 | Werntreu Golmeran sagt am 11. September 2018 um 17:02 Uhr

    Hallo Herr Laurin,

    das ist diskriminierend, wenn Sie das nur auf deutsch und englisch bringen. Wann kommt die arabische Version, und wann die israelische? Es gibt ca. 898 Millionen Menschen, die Mandarin sprechen und ca. 71 Millionen Menschen, die Kantonesisch sprechen, ca. 528 Millionen die Hindi sprechen, und ca. 570 Millionen, deren Muttersprache Spanisch ist, dann noch 150 bis 200 Millionen russischsprachiger Menschen. Stellen Sie sich vor, diese Menschen – mehrere Milliarden! – schließen Sie mit Ihrem deutsch-amerikanischen Zentrismus von den Weisheiten des Herrn Wessel aus. Können Sie das mit Ihrem Gewissen vereinbaren?

  2. #2 | Stefan Laurin sagt am 11. September 2018 um 17:15 Uhr

    @Werntreu Golmeran: Ja

  3. #3 | DEWFan sagt am 11. September 2018 um 19:00 Uhr

    #1: un ick will dat up plattdütsch häm.

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