German authorities announced Wednesday that the German branch of the American Library Association (ALA) has officially terminated its association with the American Jewish Congress (AJC) over its refusal to register for the 2019 American Jewish Yearbook.
In a letter dated Feb. 11, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the AJC had made an “unacceptable decision” that it is “unwise to continue to engage in the process” of registering for the 2020 AJA yearbook, which will be published next month.
The letter comes a day after the German government announced that the Jewish community would be able to register with the government for the yearbook this year, after a series of challenges to the AJC.
The Jewish community in Germany, including those living in Israel and in the United States, is allowed to register as a single group.
The AJC, however, has repeatedly warned the German authorities not to register Jews for the AJA’s 2019 book, saying it is in violation of the law, according to The New York Times.
The AJA is a member of the European Parliament and has historically supported anti-Semitism in Europe, according the AJA.
In response to the cancellation of the 2019 AJA book, the AJI announced on Feb. 9 that it will seek to register its members with the AJPAs registry.
But the AJJ is in conflict with the German decision, the association said in a statement.
“It is also a matter of grave concern that the AJAC has chosen to withdraw from the process to register the AJM as a member,” the statement read.
The German government has been under pressure to register members of the Jewish diaspora as a group for years.
The German government recently announced plans to remove the Jewish flag from the German parliament, which would force Jewish community members to relocate to other parts of Germany, and to register their membership with the Jewish Agency for International Cooperation, a non-governmental organization that is not subject to German laws.
“The German public has no right to judge the decisions of a private organization, even if it represents a minority of the population,” said Jodi Schlosberg, the deputy chair of the AJS, in a news release.
The cancellation of a book, particularly one aimed at the German public, is deeply concerning, said AJS executive director Jonathan Greenblatt.
“I think it’s a bit like the way the US Supreme Court has done it with the National Rifle Association,” Greenblath told the AJ Times.
“They are just putting all of the gun-rights groups under a microscope.”