When it comes to hatred of Jews, Germany now has to remedy a serious deficit

All Israeli political phrases that are common in Germany are known to everyone. The political ones as well as the media ones. The Israel-related pros are no less than the cons. We don’t have to repeat them because reading time is life time and unnecessary reading time is therefore lost life time.

Also well known are the ritualized official and media German expressions of emotion following the almost regular terrorist attacks by Palestinians or Islamic extremists on Israelis, Israeli institutions at home and abroad, and German or other diaspora Jews.

Hardly any other state is (also) criticized in Germany as often and as heavily as Israel

Protest immediately arises because I mentioned Israel and (Diaspora) Jews in the same context. I will certainly be informed immediately: one must differentiate between anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism or even just criticism of Israel. Anyone who claims that criticism of Israel is risky in Germany is talking about cloud cuckoo land, but not about Germany, because hardly any other state is, rightly or not, criticized as often and violently in Germany as Israel. Therefore facts instead of fake.

The fact is: The fight over the use of the objectively accurate term anti-Semitism or anti-Israelism is international, but in the national German context it is at least as fierce as anywhere in the Western world. This is exactly where responsibility towards Jews and Israel begins; national as well as international.

For what reason? Because concepts are fought with the mind, “with the head”. Wrong thinking leads to wrong doing. Ergo: First think, then act. This applies generally. Of course it applies to taking on responsibility. Responsibility for who or what? That needs to be determined. Here: For the fight against hatred of Jews (and of course everyone else) – initially completely independent of the issue of Israel. At the desk and in discussion groups you can easily distinguish between anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism. Not in reality. Neither in the Middle East, nor in Western Europe, nor even in Germany.

Most people fighting against Israel use the terms Jews and Israelis arbitrarily

Most of those fighting verbally or violently against Israel in the Middle East, mostly Palestinians and Iranians or their puppets, use the terms Jews and Israelis, usually arbitrarily. Likewise, extremist Middle East actors in Western Europe and Germany and their supporters. Be they fellow campaigners of BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Boycott against Israel) or other actively anti-Israel groups.

“Hamas, Hamas, Jews in the gas!” was how Palestinian extremists and their mostly left-wing extremist German friends shouted not only on Berlin’s Kurfürstendamm in the summer of 2014. Did they differentiate between Jews and Israelis? No. Interchangeable, several times in 2023, especially in Frankfurt am Main and Berlin-Neukölln, the Jew-Israel terminology of the shouting squads: “Death to the Jews!” or “Death to Israel!”

Since 1969, Jewish and Israeli institutions throughout Germany have been guarded

Obvious conclusion 1: Both in the Middle East and outside of it – especially in Germany – at least Islamic, Islamist and left-wing extremist, and often left-liberal enemies of Israel are also enemies of Jews. You can recognize them by their words or terms.

Obvious conclusion 2: Germany and Western Europe are secondary theaters of the Islamic-Israeli conflict. Not just the Islamic-Israeli conflict, but also many other conflicts, for example the internal conflicts in Stuttgart. It is not only there that Germans and not “only” German law enforcement officers are drawn into these conflicts. On October 9th, a student at a Neukölln high school fought with a teacher who had asked him to stop holding up the Palestine flag in the schoolyard.

Germany as a sideshow in Middle Eastern conflicts. That’s not new. As early as November 9, 1969, the “Tupamaros West Berlin”, close cooperation partners of Palestinian terrorists, tried to murder the then chairman of the Jewish Community in Berlin, Hein Galinski, with a bomb attack. It failed. Since then, Jewish and Israeli institutions throughout Germany have been guarded. Originally against Islamic and left-wing extremist terrorists and not, as is now also the case, against right-wing extremists.

German security authorities recognize the inseparability of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism

German security authorities – often neglected by German politicians – have been more realistic than German policy on Jews and Israel for decades. They recognize the inseparability of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism and act accordingly. Not always successful, but trying.

German politics and society have the inseparability of the two terms – i.e. content! – so far neither recognized nor named or even acted accordingly. Only when this deficit is eliminated will it be possible for German money to no longer be transferred – to anyone – for Palestinian school books in which texts and images are published that encourage the murder of Jews and “only” Israelis.

Then Chancellor Scholz will no longer stand silently next to a Palestinian president who speaks of “50 holocausts” that Israel committed against the Palestinians. Then, preventatively and reactively, political, media and, not least, legal action will be taken to counteract the one phenomenon that has two terms but only one content: hatred of Jews.

Jean Harris

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