RIAS have reported antisemitic posters used in a campaign in student elections at the Freie Universität, one of Berlin’s major universities.
The left wing group “Liste 15/Tierbabys und Klassenkampf” [List 15/Baby Animals and Class War] posted up campaign posters featuring a piglet drinking from a Starbucks cup, together with the slogan “Kapitalistenschweinchen sind nicht koscher” [“Capitalist pigs are not kosher”].
The word “kosher” is used to denote food prepared in accordance with Jewish law. It has also found wider use in common parlance to describe legitimacy or genuineness.
Conflating Jews with capitalism, and leveraging anti-capitalist sentiment against the Jewish people, is a centuries-old phenomenon. Contributing factors include culturally ingrained resentment stemming from Christian and Muslim communities, who borrowed from Jews, both because their scriptures prevented them borrowing within their religions and because they had banned Jews from almost all other lines of business. Other factors include Marxist contempt of Jews (Marx wrote: “What is the secular basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is the worldly God? Money.”) and Soviet courtship of militant Islam throughout the 20th Century, which sought to mobilise Arab nationalism and radical Islamism in its fight against the West.
Dehumanising Jews by depicting them as pigs has an equally lengthy legacy. Judensau (German for “Jew-sow”), is a derogatory and dehumanising image of Jews that appeared from around the 13th century in Germany. Its popularity has lasted over 600 years and was revived by the Nazis.
Starbucks, whose Chairman and CEO is Jewish, has long been the focus of anti-Israel campaigners. In 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2014 there were several calls to boycott Starbucks for ‘supporting Israel’.
RIAS report that, following criticism within the student group itself, List 15 withdrew its campaign material.