Dissident Jews: Unwanted in Germany?
A European country that scapegoats a Semitic people, persecutes defenders of human rights by stripping them of employment, and denies freedom of speech to Jews: surely a description of Germany during the Third Reich?
Yes, but unfortunately also a description of Germany at the outset of the 21st century.
In the wake of German Chancellor Merkel’s craven speech to the Israeli Parliament (the Knesset) two years ago, I wrote: “a penance is being paid for Germany’s past crimes… by the Palestinians to whose plight Merkel is so indifferent…. By scapegoating the victims of its former victims, Germany is compounding its past crimes.” (Scapegoat upon Scapegoat, Electronic Intifada, 20 March 2008).
Just one year later I described the case of Hermann Dierkes, forced to resign his position as representative of Die Linke (The Left Party) on Duisburg city council after tentatively advocating a boycott of Israeli goods. I commented: “It appears that freedom of speech, supposedly one of the proudest acquisitions of post-Fascist Germany, is readily suppressed when exercised to advocate positive action against the racist, politicidal institutions and actions of the Zionist state.” (A public stoning in Germany, Electronic Intifada, March 2009).
I mentioned as something of an anomaly Thomas Assheuer’s application of the “antisemite” label to Canadian Jewish author Naomi Klein (Die Zeit, 15 January 2009) because of her support for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel. In the light of recent developments this seems far less anomalous.
In July 2009 the Bundesverdienstkreuz (Federal Cross of Merit) was awarded to Felicia Langer, German-based Jewish lawyer and former Israeli citizen who has repeatedly defended Palestinians in Israel’s courts. There ensued a virulent if unsuccessful campaign by right-wing German Jews like Ralph Giordano, backed by the neo-conservative American Jewish Committee, to have this decision reversed. Langer called this “a campaign of defamation” designed to stifle criticism of Israel, and described Giordano as “motivated by… a bottomless hatred.”
In November 2009 the Israeli historian Ilan Pappe saw his projected lecture at Munich’s Pedagogical Institute cancelled by the municipality after protests from Zionist lobby groups. In an open letter to the Munich Mayor, Dr Pappe wrote that his father “was silenced in a similar way as a German Jew in the early 1930s”. Like himself, he wrote, his father and his friends were regarded as “‘humanist’ and ‘peacenik’ Jews whose voice had to be quashed and stopped.” Pappe professed himself “worried… about the state of freedom of speech and democracy in present day Germany”.
Norman Finkelstein’s lecture on Gaza scheduled for 26th February 2010 in Berlin, under the auspices of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, was attacked by the neo-conservative lobby group “Honestly Concerned”, which is German despite its English monicker. They described Finkelstein – a US Jewish academic who is the son of Holocaust survivors – as an antisemite engaged in “historical revisionism”. The Foundation promptly withdrew its support.
The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, close to Die Linke and named after a murdered anti-Zionist Jewish Marxist, stepped into the breech. However, after an outcry orchestrated by the Shalom Working Circle (BAK Shalom), a youth faction within Die Linke itself, this support was also withdrawn. Despite a rescue attempt by the leftist daily newspaper junge Welt, Finkelstein cancelled his German trip with the words: “If I come to Germany to speak before a few people in a small room it will be said that free speech was not violated in Germany. I do not want to lend credibility to this lie.” (As a footnote to this: at the time of writing, junge Welt proposes to go ahead with this event anyway; speakers mooted include the abovementioned Hermann Dierkes.)
It would be a serious mistake, however, to conclude that such defamation is exclusively the province of Zionist Jews. They are backed by a slew of small groups, so far to the left that they have ended up on the right, known as the “anti-German” movement.
An understanding of this bizarre phenomenon is essential to an understanding of the political atmosphere in which events such as these can occur. The Anti-Germans reject German nationalism. This leads them to unconditional support for Israel, seen as “representing the Jews”, the main victims of that nationalism in the 1930s and 40s. Next, they offer unconditional support to the USA as Israel’s main sponsor, and to each and every war in which the USA and NATO are implicated. They define these wars in neo-conservative terms as a battle for Western civilization against the forces of barbarism. This has led the Gruppe Morgenthau, an “anti-Nazi” group that vilifies “liberal” Israeli Jews, to call for the lifting of “anti-racist taboos”. The Anti-German newspaper Bahamas has praised Jean-Marie Le Pen of the French far right Front National for his “rational objections… to unlimited Islamisation”, and a Bahamas author – Martin Blumentritt – has described criticism of the West as “the propagation of a racial struggle against the ‘white race’”.
Thus the initial rejection of fascism leads to a new racism and thence back to a kind of fascism. The absolutism with which a rational liberal position has been turned inside out suggests that the anti-Germans couldn’t be more thoroughly German.
Disturbingly, this lunatic fringe does not only thrive on the margins. There is an influential anti-German clique within Die Linke itself, represented by, among others, the above-mentioned BAK Shalom faction, one of whose spokesmen (Benjamin Krüger) wrote that “Finkelstein is internationally popular among antisemites because, merely by describing himself as a Jew and the son of Holocaust survivors, .he is accorded credibility…”, a formulation that it is tempting to describe as antisemitic.
Ralph Giordano, in opposing the award of the Bundesverdienstkreuz to Felicia Langer, accused her of being an inspiration to those Germans “who seek to relieve the pressure of their own guilt by criticizing Israel”. In fact, of course, the exact opposite is happening: unconditional support for Israel caters to the narcissism of those Germans who need constant reassurance that their “penance” – transferred to Palestinian scapegoats – is universally applauded.
Shortly after his tour of Germany in 2002 (it was possible then!), Finkelstein mocked the “operatic courage” of his German critics and accused them of engendering antisemitism among their compatriots. The antics of the anti-Germans and their ilk whip up racial tensions that can only lead to a climate reminiscent of the 1930s. Perhaps the travails of Pappe and Finkelstein may serve ultimately as a wake-up call to activists to place Germany – the most powerful country in the European Union – high on the list of Palestine’s most deadly enemies after Israel and the USA.
Raymond Deane is a composer and activist based in Ireland and Germany
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
- Click to print (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on StumbleUpon (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)
- Share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
1 Comment »
or go to
From the Archives
By Ron Forthofer | Palestine Chronicle | February 18, 2012
Madeleine Albright, former U.S. ambassador to the UN and former Secretary of State in the Clinton administration, once asked General Colin Powell, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: “What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?”
Albright’s statement nicely captures the U.S. approach to dealing with troublesome leaders. By troublesome, I mean those who have the temerity to oppose U.S. positions and who, at the same time, are far too weak to pose a real military threat to the U.S. Examples of nations that had such troublesome leaders include Panama, Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The leaders of Syria and Iran are also currently in the crosshairs.
Note the contrast between Albright’s words and those of President Eisenhower in his “Cross of Iron” speech in 1953. Eisenhower addressed the idea of regime change when he said: “Any nation’s right to a form of government and an economic system of its own choosing is inalienable.” He added: “Any nation’s attempt to dictate to other nations their form of government is indefensible.” Unfortunately the U.S., even under Eisenhower, did not base its actions on these words. … continue
Aletho News Exclusive Content
This article will examine some of the connections between the US and UK National Security apparatus and the appearance of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory beginning after the accident at Three Mile Island. … continue
Also by Aletho News:
September 19, 2011
March 8, 2011
January 2, 2011
October 10, 2010
July 5, 2010
February 25, 2010
February 7, 2010
January 5, 2010
December 26, 2009
December 19, 2009
December 4, 2009
May 9, 2009
- House-demolition scheduled for Wadi al-Joz – Families call for support April 18, 2015
- Prisoners’ day at weekly Bil’in demonstration April 17, 2015
- Four years ago we lost Vik April 15, 2015
- Interview with Dr. Basman Alashi in Gaza April 14, 2015
- Escalating violence at Friday Demo in Kafr Qaddum April 11, 2015
TagsAfghanistan Africa al-Akhbar Al-Manar al-Qaeda American Civil Liberties Union American Israel Public Affairs Committee Argentina Bashar al-Assad Benjamin Netanyahu Brazil Britain Canada Central Intelligence Agency China CIA Colombia Egypt EU European Union FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation France Gaza Germany Hamas Hebron Hezbollah Honduras Hugo Chávez Human rights India Intelligence International Atomic Energy Agency International Solidarity Movement Internet Iran Iraq Iraq War Israel Israeli settlement Japan Jerusalem John Kerry Latin America Lebanon Libya Middle East Military National Security Agency NATO New York Times NSA Obama Pakistan Palestine Palestinian prisoners in Israel Police Press TV Russia Sanctions against Iran Saudi Arabia South America Syria Turkey UK Ukraine United Nations United States USA Venezuela Washington Post West Bank Yemen Zionism
Visits Since December 2009
- 2,105,139 hits
Contact:atheonews (at) gmail.com
Recent Aletho News Posts
- Personal details of murdered journalist & ex-MP found posted on Ukrainian ‘enemies of state’ database April 17, 2015
- Nuclear deal or no nuclear deal? That is the question April 17, 2015
- #PalestinianPrisonerDay: Protesters target G4S London HQ over Israeli ‘torture’ complicity April 17, 2015
- Hillary: a Disaster in the Making April 17, 2015
- Fast Track Bill Would Legitimize White House Secrecy and Clear the Way for Anti-User Trade Deals April 17, 2015
- Palestinian Shot In The Eye In Jerusalem April 17, 2015
- 20 Palestinian journalists being held in Israeli jails April 17, 2015
- Hezbollah likens Saudi aggression on Yemen to Israeli atrocities in Gaza April 17, 2015
- Venezuela Tops Latin America in Military Spending Cuts, Slashes Arms Budget by 34% April 17, 2015
- Uprooted & evicted: World Bank-funded projects force millions off their land April 17, 2015
- Stop Corporate Welfare Kings April 17, 2015
- US-NATO Antics in the Nuclear Playground April 17, 2015
- US Paratroopers Arrive in Ukraine as Fighting Intensifies in Donbass April 16, 2015
- NATO plans amount to violation of NPT: Russian envoy April 16, 2015
- What the Hell Are We Doing in Yemen? April 16, 2015
- Syrian Rebels Caught in ‘False-Flag’ Kidnapping April 16, 2015
- Two Ukraine journalists killed in Kiev, Poroshenko suspects ‘provocation’ April 16, 2015
- FDA So Slow to Respond to GAO Recommendations about Secret Food Additives that It’s like not Responding at all April 16, 2015
Looking for something?
Categories"Hope and Change" Aletho News Civil Liberties Corruption Deception Economics Environmentalism Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism False Flag Terrorism Full Spectrum Dominance Illegal Occupation Islamophobia Mainstream Media, Warmongering Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity Militarism Nuclear Power Science and Pseudo-Science Solidarity and Activism Subjugation - Torture Supremacism, Social Darwinism Timeless or most popular Video War Crimes Wars for Israel
This site is provided as a research and reference tool. Although we make every reasonable effort to ensure that the information and data provided at this site are useful, accurate, and current, we cannot guarantee that the information and data provided here will be error-free. By using this site, you assume all responsibility for and risk arising from your use of and reliance upon the contents of this site.
This site and the information available through it do not, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Should you require legal advice, you should consult your own attorney.
Nothing within this site or linked to by this site constitutes investment advice or medical advice.
Materials accessible from or added to this site by third parties, such as comments posted, are strictly the responsibility of the third party who added such materials or made them accessible and we neither endorse nor undertake to control, monitor, edit or assume responsibility for any such third-party material.
The posting of stories, commentaries, reports, documents and links (embedded or otherwise) on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such posted material or parts therein.
The word "alleged" is deemed to occur before the word "fraud." Since the rule of law still applies. To peasants, at least.
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more info go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
This is information for anyone that wishes to challenge our “fair use” of copyrighted material.
If you are a legal copyright holder or a designated agent for such and you believe that content residing on or accessible through our website infringes a copyright and falls outside the boundaries of “Fair Use”, please send a notice of infringement by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will respond and take necessary action immediately.
If notice is given of an alleged copyright violation we will act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the material(s) in question.
All 3rd party material posted on this website is copyright the respective owners / authors. Aletho News makes no claim of copyright on such material.