Berlin Jewish Museum head quits after controversial tweet

Berlin (AFP) –


The director of Berlin's Jewish Museum resigned on Friday amid controversy over a tweet he sent linking to an article that criticised the German parliament for passing legislation against the BDS movement, which demands a boycott of Israel.

Professor Peter Schaefer proposed his resignation "to avoid further damage" to the Jewish Museum, a statement on its website said.

It was accepted, the statement added, but no specific reason for his departure was given.

German parliament last month condemned the BDS -- Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) -- as anti-Semitic.

Lawmakers said the group uses anti-Semitic methods to promote its political goals -- a claim firmly rejected by the movement, which calls for a cultural boycott of Israel over its policies towards Palestinians.

Schaefer came under pressure after the tweet of an article that was critical of that parliamentary decision.

After the tweet, the Central Council of Jews in Germany said the museum "appears to have totally slid out of control".

Professor Peter Schaefer "today proposed his resignation to the chairman of the board of the foundation and Culture Minister Monika Grutters to avoid further harm to the Jewish Museum Berlin," a museum statement said.

Schaefer, director of the museum since September 2014, had recently had his contract extended to stay in post until August 2020, according to the museum.