Marlowe's Shade

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Neo-Nazis and Leftists Unite In Germany Under Banner of Jew-Hatred

From Jerusalem Center For Public Affairs
Hat tip: bigel

There is an old political saw that far right and far left aren't extreme ends of a spectrum but the point were a circle meets. Nowhere is that more apparent or dangerous than in Germany. And if that wasn't enough of a cause for concern, Jew-hatred is the gasoline being poured on the fire.

Here is a history of this phenomenon on the German Left:

Anti-Semitism was never exclusive to the Right; Communism, for its part, often vilified Jews as capitalists. Communism in East Germany, as elsewhere, denied the right to practice the Jewish religion and sought to eradicate religion in general, including Judaism. East Germany's anti-Semitic policies first became evident in January 1953 when the Stasi - the state security service - confiscated documents of the Jewish communities, searched the homes of Jewish leaders, and spoke of a "Zionist conspiracy." After the Six Day War, East Germany officially adopted an anti-Zionist stance. However, no serious data on East German anti-Semitism is available before the reunification in 1989.

Although West German left-wing anti-Semitism also increased steadily after the Six Day War, before then the West German Left supported Israel generally, and specifically the Wiedergutmachung (Reparations Agreement of 1953) and the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1965. This friendliness was, however, based on an idealization of Israel, kibbutzim, and pioneering and was not on genuinely firm ground.4 Opposition to the conservative government of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer also played a role in this left-wing philo-Semitism.

During the 1960s, the West German Left divided into a more "conservative" wing and a New Left trend. Whereas Chancellor Willy Brandt was said to be a true and unwavering friend of Israel,5 many young leftists took radical positions and opposed Brandt's "establishment" Social Democratic Party. In 1966 they founded the Nonparliamentary Opposition (APO), a popular movement that sought to "renew" German politics from the outside. Many of its members and supporters later showed sympathy for the RAF, a leftist terrorist movement that had ties to the PLO and whose cadres trained in terrorist camps in Lebanon.

During the Six Day War, the New Left definitively transformed its hitherto moderate pro-Arab positions into full support for Arab states and the Palestinians, and its fragile pro-Israeli attitudes dissolved into anti-Semitic slogans thinly disguised as "anti-imperialist" criticism of a "fascist state."

After 1967, however, not only the radicals but large parts of the German Left turned their backs on Israel. This went hand in hand with protests against the Vietnam War, against the conservative mainstream in Adenauer's Germany and afterward the "Great Coalition" that was headed from 1966 by Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger, a former member of the Nazi Party.6 The New Left also idealized Communist China and Ho Chi Minh, despite their involvement in mass murder against their own people.7

Well-known intellectuals who were more moderate leftists tried to dissuade the New Left from its extreme positions. Ernst Bloch, Jean Amery, Herbert Marcuse, Iring Fetscher, and Jean-Paul Sartre argued with the radicals and discouraged blind solidarity with the PLO, as opposed to legitimate criticism of Israeli policies. They warned that notions of Israel's annihilation were intolerable and linked to National Socialist ideology. However, they were not heeded by the radicals.8

The publisher Axel Caesar Springer, whose press group included the tabloid daily BILD and the daily Die Welt, as well as many other newspapers and journals, was, according to the Israeli diplomat Asher Ben-Natan, a true friend of Israel and the Jewish people:

He expressed opinions I haven't often heard in Germany.... As the demands mounted to draw a "bottom line" under the German past, Springer thought there could never be Wiedergutmachung for the crimes Germans had committed against the Jews. He himself neither suppressed nor forgot the past and did not expect the Jewish people to forgive what had happened....Neither his moral values nor historical insights nor close relations with Jews and Israel involved benefit for him. It came from honest belief....During our conversations he never disguised his hatred for every kind of totalitarian dictatorship, including Communism....After the Six Day War Springer promulgated four guidelines for his employees and his newspapers that are still binding for the journalists and editors working for Springer publications. One was "Fostering reconciliation between Jews and Germany and supporting Israel's right to exist."

Springer was, however, a major target of the New Left, one reason being that he and his newspapers were clearly pro-Israeli and condemned the anti-Israeli stream in the New Left. Many in this movement decided: "If Springer is pro-Israeli, we have to be against the state of Israel."

In 1969, on the date marking Kristallnacht, an anarchist-leftist group painted graffiti on Jewish memorials saying "Shalom and Napalm" or "El Fatah." A firebomb was also placed in the Jewish community center in Berlin. The leftist groups' common perception was: "Jews who were expelled by fascism developed themselves into fascists, who in collaboration with American capitalism want to annihilate the Palestinian people."

For the New Left, nothing could discredit anti-Zionism. Even after Israeli athletes were taken hostage and murdered during the Munich Olympic Games in 1972, the leftists strengthened their solidarity with the Palestinian terror organizations.

West German New Leftists participated in the 1976 hijacking of an Air France plane to Entebbe, Uganda, where Jewish and Israeli passengers were singled out from the others by a German terrorist. The German Left ignored the hijacking and subsequent rescue operation by Israeli forces, and the German Communist Party in West Germany published a solidarity letter addressed to Ugandan dictator Idi Amin.

In 1982, after Israeli forces invaded Lebanon and the massacres in Sabra and Shatila were publicized, the whole German Left, moderate and radical, united for the first time in comparing Israel with the Third Reich and the Nazis. Thus, 1982 saw the launching of a new demonization, throughout the German public, of Israel and Jews in which they were frequently equated with Nazis.

The pathological need to compare Israel and Nazi Germany seems linked to the wish to discard the guilt and responsibility for the Holocaust. Also in 1982, the leftist newspaper taz called the Palestinians "the new Jews" and accused Israel of a "reverse Holocaust" in seeking to carry out the "final solution of the Palestinian question."

With Leftists and Neo-Nazis uniting, this spells disaster for all of Europe and the center will not hold. In the US the extreme right has no popular appeal, but the same agenda of the destruction of Israel is being pursued by Leftists in the media, on college campuses and even among unelected officials. Recent events in our relationship with Israel seem to indicate that this Leftist agenda will soon negate popular support for the Jewish State in the US.
papijoe 7:02 AM