Breaking News Today

Is German Chancellor Angela Merkel Endangering Jewish Life?

Published: in Jewish News by .

Vicious, often Muslim-animated antisemitism—including violence—has engulfed German cities.

The post Is German Chancellor Angela Merkel Endangering Jewish Life? appeared first on Jewish Journal.

Vicious, often Muslim-animated antisemitism—including violence—has engulfed German cities, from metropolises such as Berlin, Cologne, Essen, Leipzig, Munich and Stuttgart, to regional centers such as Bochum, Freiburg, Gelsenkirchen and Osnabrück. The protesters say they are demonstrating for human rights and against alleged Israeli abuses, yet their targets suggest otherwise.

The protesters say they are demonstrating for human rights and against alleged Israeli abuses, yet their targets suggest otherwise.

In Gelsenkirchen, a mob of 180 people waving Turkish and Palestinians flags marched on a synagogue, where they shouted, “Scheiss Juden” (“Shit Jews”). There was no similar mobilization against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s war on his own people that left half a million dead—including over 4,000 Palestinians. There were also no demonstrators protesting the Chinese Communist Party’s genocidal targeting of its minority Muslim community, the Uyghurs, not to mention the Tibetans.

Pro-Hamas supporters also attacked an Israeli journalist with a firecrackers during an interview in Berlin. The event prompted the Committee to Protect Journalists to urge the German authorities to swiftly investigate the attack (and others) and hold those responsible to account.

This kind of overt intimidation has exposed the emptiness of German politicians’ platitudes such as that “antisemitism has no place” in the federal republic.

Julian Reichelt, the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Bild, Germany’s highest-circulation daily paper, addressed how Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is limping along in its effort to manage, rather than to properly address, outbreaks of antisemitism:

“In almost 16 years in the Chancellery, and also after the refugee crisis, which fueled Arab-Muslim antisemitism in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel and her government have done next to nothing to combat this danger, or even clearly to name it.”

READ:  Pleading guilty to inciting a riot in Brooklyn, Heshy Tischler sentenced to 10 days of community service

Widespread indifference within German civil society—and part of the political and media establishment—to the outbreaks of contemporary antisemitism targeting Israel is evident.

One possible explanation for these attitudes can be encapsulated by a highly sarcastic quote attributed to the Israeli psychoanalyst Zvi Rex, who said, “The Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz.”

The German-Jewish philosophers Theodor W. Adorno and Max Horkheimer termed this pathological response to the Holocaust “guilt-defensive antisemitism.”

Today, many Germans, and many Western Europeans, still will not forgive Israel for the Holocaust—possibly to try to rationalize a feeling of guilt: If the Jews and Israel can be portrayed as evil, then perhaps the Holocaust was not such a terrible thing after all, right?

A 2017 German federal government study found that 40 percent of Germans are infected with modern antisemitism. According to the study, 40 percent of Germans approved of this statement: “Based on Israel’s policies, I can understand people having something against the Jews.”

A Christian Social Union party think tank study published in 2017 revealed that over 50 percent of Muslim refugees hold antisemitic attitudes.

A dangerous interplay of this “guilt-defensive antisemitism” combined with an antisemitism seemingly animated by new Muslim arrivals and German Muslims who have lived for decades in the Federal Republic, appears to be  unfolding in Germany. Only 500 people turned out at a pro-Israel rally last month, compared to 3,500 who turned out to support a terrorist group, Hamas, in Berlin.

The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung reported on the Berlin demonstration in solidarity for Israel that “almost all of those who came had to come. What is going on there?”—meaning that those who attended were most likely staff of the politicians who spoke or members of the Jewish community.

READ:  Torah Portion Shelach Lekha Number 13-15 “The Greater Part of Valor”

Merkel and other German politicians have shown a far greater readiness to confront antisemitism—whether left- or right-wing—if it is integral to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign targeting Israel. In 2019, the Bundestag passed a non-binding resolution that declared BDS an antisemitic campaign comparable to the Nazi movement’s boycott of German Jewish business during the 1930s.

Merkel and other German politicians have shown a far greater readiness to confront antisemitism—whether left- or right-wing—if it is integral to the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions campaign targeting Israel.

Merkel’s government and the Bundestag seem paralyzed, however, when faced with Muslim antisemitism, ubiquitous “guilt-defensive antisemitism”   and the Iranian regime’s genocidal targeting of Israel.

Felix Klein, Germany’s commissioner for Jewish life and the fight against antisemitism, has blamed the previous US government under President Donald Trump for outbreaks of antisemitism. Yet Klein has refused to condemn 40 years of Iranian demands to obliterate Israel. Klein’s silence raises the possibility that his employer, Merkel, advised him not to comment to avoid jeopardizing diplomacy with Iran’s regime over its illicit nuclear weapons program, presumably to ensure the continued flow of business with Tehran.

To Klein’s credit, he delivered a strong statement against Prof. Achille Mbembe’s slated appearance at a publicly financed cultural event, triggering a 2020 nationwide debate about Mbembe’s antisemitism. Mbembe, Klein said, had “relativized the Holocaust and denied Israel’s right to exist.”

Mbembe, a post-colonial studies academic, is on staff at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg and has an annual visiting appointment at the Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke University.

READ:  Is Bibi Truly Done?

Additionally, the quality of some of Germany’s commissioners leaves rather a lot to be desired. The Simon Wiesenthal Center has urged the southern German state of Baden-Württemberg to dismiss its commissioner, Michael Blume, who liked a Facebook post comparing Zionists to Nazis. Blume also sought to draw a parallel between a pro-Israel German Jew and Nazi mass murderer Adolf Eichmann.

A small number of courageous German journalists, such as Reichelt, have tried to bring Islamic-animated Jew-hatred to the fore of public discourse.

That would entail addressing the antisemitism of many in Germany, both Christians and Muslims, as well as the state-sponsored Islamic Republic of Iran, for which Merkel’s government has shown largely continual toleration.


Benjamin Weinthal is a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Follow Benjamin on Twitter @BenWeinthal

The post Is German Chancellor Angela Merkel Endangering Jewish Life? appeared first on Jewish Journal.

Source: Jewish Journal https://jewishjournal.com/commentary/337612/is-german-chancellor-angela-merkel-endangering-jewish-life/

Shares
Share This
Finance Advice 2021