Quote of the day

“Since 1979, the Islamic Republic of Iran has designated the last Friday of Ramadan “Al-Quds Day,” leading worldwide protests calling for the destruction of Israel. In that spirit, over 1,000 protesters […]  marched through downtown Berlin on Saturday denouncing Israel and praising Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy army in Lebanon.

Unlike the neo-Nazis rocking out to “white power” music in a secluded cornfield [during a NPD event at a remote location a week earlier], the Islamists calling for the destruction of the Jewish state in the heart of the German capital did not stir the consciences of the country’s major political parties. As opposed to the 2,000 people who trekked out to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern [to protest the NPD event], only 300 or so anti-Islamist protesters, the majority of them affiliated with Jewish organizations, held a separate counter-demonstration, where the only political figure to speak was a former member of the German Bundestag.

In a free society, extremists ought to be able to say whatever they like. But a graver issue was highlighted by last Saturday’s open support for Hezbollah. The European Union, unlike its allies in Australia, Canada and the United States, refuses to treat the faction as a terrorist group, allowing it to organize and raise funds. The New York Times describes Germany as “a center of activity” for the group.

[…] Sixty-five years after the end of World War II, it’s reassuring to know that Germany has “no place for Neonazis.” A more pressing question is why it has room for those carrying on their legacy.”

James Kirchick in a Ha’aretz article entitled “A perverse quid pro quo.” This title (which may well have been chosen by Ha’aretz editors) refers to Kirchick’s argument that “European governments have fashioned a perverse quid pro quo whereby they permit a foreign terrorist organization to operate on their soil, provided that its targets are Israeli, not European.” However, this point is arguably secondary to Kirchick’s much more important argument that both German officials and the German public can be counted on to take a firm stand against German neo-Nazis,  while remaining apparently oblivious to the Nazi-style antisemitism that is so openly championed by the Iranian regime and its allies like Hezbollah.

Reading through any list of statements by Iranian officials on Israel will quickly reveal that, just as Nazi propaganda relentlessly repeated the slogan “Die Juden sind unser Unglück!” – i.e. the Jews are our misfortune –, Iranian regime officials relentlessly incite hatred and revulsion against the Jewish state.  Yet, supporters and allies of this regime can freely march through Germany’s capital to celebrate a day dedicated to anticipating the annihilation of the world’s only Jewish state.

2 responses to “Quote of the day

  1. Hi Petra – long time without hearing from you!!!

    Regarding the article, I think the key to European policy can be found in a distant mirror. In the 19th Century, the European governments championed the Arabs over the Ottoman authorities as a means to gain access to the region, as champions of the Arabs. The poor human rights record – which was very real – of the empire was used as propped up as an excuse to intervene (e.g. after the horrible massacre of the Maronites in the 1860’s). In Israel’s case, it does not matter one wit what the opposition to Israel does, so far as the Europeans are concerned. It does not really matter what the Israelis do either. What matters is using the position of the Arabs under Israeli rule – good, bad or indifferent – as a means to gain lucrative contracts – something demanded by Arabs and Iranians.

    So, Israeli rule in Israel proper is said to be poor – even though it is certainly as good as the rule by any European country over the immigrants and their offspring from Muslim lands. And, in the captured territories, it is alleged to be not only problematic – an argument which has at least some merit to it – but criminal and vile, etc., etc.

    • Apologies, I’ve been traveling on and off in the past few weeks and had little time & not always Internet access.
      WRT the issue here, I believe that German attitudes to Israel are to a considerable degree shaped by the widespread popular resentments that are e.g. documented in surveys that show that a large percentage of Germans believe that what the Israelis are doing to the Palestinians is as bad as what the Nazis did to the Jews. So for the Germans it is very important — and of course many feel so also sincerely — to show that Nazi ideology is firmly rejected, but only as long as it’s expressed in German… To deal with Middle Eastern/Muslim Jew-hatred is really totally beyond this very German concern that ultimately understands the pledge “never again” as “never again will such evil be done by Germans.” What others do is a different matter, and if the Germans feel entitled to lecture anyone, then it’s the Israelis, who get blamed for not having learned the “lessons” of the Holocaust as well as the Germans…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s