There are questions you don’t want to ask. You try to avoid them because they are hard and brutal and leave no room for nuances. One such question is: Which side are you on?
I understand the reluctance. Nobody wants to be forced to label themselves, it insults our intellect. The world is not black or white, but colorful and diverse. But sometimes it is black and white. Then you have to decide where you belong, on this side or the other. Navigating is also an answer. And relativization.
I’ve seen this before, 22 years ago, when Osama bin Laden’s emissaries brought down the Twin Towers in New York. The smoke was still rising from the mountain of corpses when people in Germany began to question whether the Americans themselves were to blame for their misfortune. Something like that comes from something like that, was the short answer
composed the answer.
Middle East expert Michael Lüders sat with Biolek and explained the “feelings of hatred” and “frustration” of Muslims with the “narcissistic injury” that the West had caused through its policies. Roger Willemsen lectured in Willemsenton about the “sublime comfort” of no longer being at the mercy of “this terror of amusement, of silliness.” And in the Berlin House of Cultures, a group discussed the “aggressive symbolism” of the towers as symbols of capitalism and megalomania. I am sometimes asked whether there was a moment that finally alienated me from the left. That was him.
Decisions would be more important than raising flags
We are once again experiencing a time when there is no escape. We are trained to listen to all sides and show understanding. We say that there are also shades of gray. But where should the shades of gray be when men and women are slaughtered in front of their children and children in front of their parents? When babies are beheaded and the bodies of violated women are urinated on?
The Germans are practiced at not messing things up with anyone. We cling to the idea that we can be friends with everyone – the Iranians who are building the bomb as well as the people they are trying to kill in Tehran. That’s why we also call for solidarity with Israel and at the same time transfer millions to their worst enemies. We call this values-based foreign policy.
Will it be different this time? Will we, for once, bring ourselves to show our colors? The Federal President had the Israeli flag raised in front of Bellevue Palace. The blue Star of David also flies on a white background in front of the Reichstag and the Chancellery. This is a nice gesture and should not be underestimated. But more important than raising flags would be decisions.
“Meeting places” in Neukölln? But only with the participation of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution
It’s time we pissed off some people. Starting with the representatives of the Muslim associations, who always have the latest study at hand about how anti-Muslim German society supposedly is, but who can’t get a clear sentence out of their mouths when entire settlements are being wiped out in Israel.
Anyone who fails like the Central Council of Muslims in Germany can no longer be a valued guest. He has chosen the other side. This also applies to the imams and mosque representatives who sit down in front of the computer and lecture about the Palestinian people’s right to resistance.
The real aggressor is Israel, explained at the weekend the Berlin imam Mohamed Matar, who runs a “meeting place” in Neukölln that is valued by many leftists. Meeting place? Why not, but in the future without German participation. Or rather: with German participation, namely that of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, but without representatives from the city.
“We do not accept it when the heinous attacks against Israel are celebrated here on our streets,” said the Chancellor. One would also like to read this as an announcement of a new decision. We won’t be able to expel everyone who proudly shows off videos of murdered Jews. But we can instruct the police to use the baton if a demonstration celebrates hatred of Jews. The Interior Minister can also ban Palestinian associations, just as she banned right-wing extremist associations.
The Islamists are not only fighting Israel – but our values
One of the positive developments is the clarity with which government representatives such as Cem Özdemir, Kevin Kühnert and the SPD foreign policy expert Michael Roth call things by their name. But unfortunately that doesn’t apply to everyone who works for this government. When the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency, in its first official statement after October 7th, prefers to deal with Elon Musk and etiquette on Twitter rather than with Hamas sympathizers on German streets, then that is also a message, a pretty clear one in fact.
Israel is far away. But we should make no mistake: when the Islamists are done with the Israelis, they won’t stop. It is our values that they hate and fight, the liberality and freedom and openness of the West. Just because we have been spared in recent years does not mean that terror will not haunt us again. Before Ofakim and Sderot, Berlin, Paris and Nice were the venues for the Islamist terror games. Have we already forgotten that?
Maybe solidarity really means solidarity for once
You have to be careful not to let anger carry you away. This is also a lesson I learned 22 years ago. The name of Berlin SPD party leader Raed Saleh suddenly appeared in a WhatsApp group that I joined on Sunday. Can you trust a party that has a German-Palestinian at its head was a question that lingered. We should be careful not to consider someone suspicious just because they are Palestinian.
Will the man born in a West Bank village view the conflict in the Middle East differently than someone born in Israel? With high probability. Will he have cursed the Netanyahu government in conversation with friends? Probably that too. But it’s one thing to be against Israel’s settlement policy – and quite another to remain silent about the murder of innocent people. When I see the seven-year-old boy being mistreated by Hamas’ henchmen, I see my son.
I hope every Muslim in Germany feels the same way. Maybe solidarity really means solidarity for once. But I already have an idea of what will happen next. With each passing day, the number of experts explaining to us why Israel should not escalate will grow.