Sascha Schultz

Old Enemy. New Enemy.

Anti-semitism in Germany – The violent conflict between Israel and the Hamas reveals the closeness of anti Israel activism between political left and right. Even if it is covered superficially.

It was a warm and calm Thursday afternoon last week in Hamburg, when about 150 pro Israel activists gather in the widely known shopping mall Moenckebergstraße.
“I am sick of people telling the Israeli self defence to be an extermination of Palestinians”, said a young participant and stepped back in the human chain at Moenckebergstraße.
Hamburg was among several German cities in which the “International Day of Solidarity with Israel” was held up this Thursday. Even that this manifestations are peaceful, the participation is low. Media reports about pro Israel activities in Germany are even lower.

Since Hamas intensified bombing the Israeli territory on July, 8th with a total amount of almost 2,100 missiles fired up to now, the German public is aware of both Hamas terror actions and official Israeli reactions. The usual disgust towards IDF activities against the bombings within the German public opinion finds its recent climax in various anti Israel manifestations all over the country.
Mostly initiated by a vague mixture of pro Palestine organizations, anti imperialist movements, far left parties, and globalization critics such as attac, the anti-zionist and anti-semitic movement finds itself at the point of no return.

Like it happened in Frankfurt, Hesse, quite two weeks ago. When the Police regarded it a good idea to let the organizers of a pro Gaza manifestation calm down their comrades, they used to point out anti-semitic claims such as “Israel – child murderer” and “Fuck jews” via Police megaphones. Embarrassing and disgusting for the German authorities, but without an eighth of consequences.

When in Bremen the other day a by stander wanted to protect a press photographer from pro Palestinian protesters, he finds himself in hospital again. Diagnosis: craniocerebral injury. The Police passed the demonstration with barely a dozen of officers while their majority observed the World Cup fan festival at the same time.

In Wuppertal, July the 4th, members of the youth organization “Solid” of the German Linkspartei were about to launch a local branch of the pro Israel “Bundesarbeitskreis (BAK) Shalom”. As they arrived their venue at University of Wuppertal, they were “welcomed” by a group of young men who suddenly and without a word started to attack them physically and insult them verbally. The North Rhine Westphalia board of “Solid” is said to be involved to the attack or even to have pulled the strings, which they were not able to refuse adequately up to now. It was not the first offence against the BAK Shalom and its members, but the first to end up in criminal assault.

Oblivion is likely and fast in Germany. Who is still aware of the Berlin rabbi Daniel Alter, who was struck down in front of his daughter by some Arabic youngsters, two years ago? Even the murder at the Jewish Museum in Brussels in the end of may with four deaths fell out of public awareness.
This anti-semitic normality gives rise for consideration to German public.

Making peace with demonizing?
The really old-fashioned believe of a western affiliation as a good reason to push anti-imperialist actions and propaganda against Israel and declare it a natural enemy keeps strong at the basis and grass-roots of the Linkspartei and their youth groups. Thus, the Hamas has nothing to do with the far left romanticism of a fantasized revolutionary PFLP. Even more. The Hamas stands with their de facto aim of a theocratic terror regime in extreme ideological opposition to the classy programme of left parties. Usually. But what if the common denominator comes over as a anti Israel camouflaged anti-semitism?

Exemplarily last Friday, when the “Linksjugend Solid” branch Ruhr organized a manifestation against the bombings in Gaza. The official claim “Stop the bombing of Gaza – End the escalation in
middle east!” not only suggests the wish, Israel just bearing the missiles might bring peace automatically. The organizers distanced themselves from possible aggressive tensions among pro
Hamas protesters within their event and wished “no Hamas flags” in order to give the press no scandalous material. Few hours before on that Friday morning the Essen Police detained fourteen
men suspicious to start attacks against the Old Synagogue to Essen, which serves to the City as a public museum. Heavily-armed officers protected it then and made this part of Essen a restricted area. The demonstration itself ended just after two hours, as a “Solid” spokesman plead the participants to go home peacefully.

As eye witnesses from the simultaneous Israel solidarity event
and others at Essen central station claimed on twitter, they were thrown at with stones, and bottles. The absurd single Police chain separated the about 200 pro Israel activists from the over 1,500 pro Palestinian ones more or less.

On enquiry by the author, the Ruhr branch of “Solid” told via social media that the apprehension of aggressive collisions between the two protesting groups seemed untenable, according to the Essen official Police statements to local television.
The Thuringian MP, Ms Katharina Koenig, warned the youth organization to give public voice to anti-semitic people and groups, and hatred against Israel. Just single local branches of “Solid” warned their members and the Ruhr branch as well, for instance in Osnabrueck (lower saxony) and Bremen.
Surprisingly, long time Israel critic and former Member of Bundestag Prof. Norman Paech, in May 2010 passenger of the so called “Gaza flotilla” side by side with islamist and right wing activists, ghastly kept silence in the recent events until he spoke on the Friday’s “free Palestine” manifestation for freedom and human rights in Hamburg – in front of an adequate gender separated audience.

The national board of the Linkspartei lightly hides behind general opposition towards anti-semitism when asked about the Essen events.

Against Israel – With tin foil hat. Or without.
Since the so called “Vigils for peace” started to form and consolidate in the aftermath of the Ukrainian conflict in spring this year, the self-appointed movement assembles a wild and clumsy
mixture of not ideologically bound people, Lebensreform circles, and far right esoteric anti-semits.
The latter allege the German media being controlled by the CIA, governments receiving orders from Oval Office, and overall is enthroning the conspiracy of Jewish people as puppet masters, like
the Rothschilds or the American Federal Reserve Bank reducing Germany to a Limited Corporation of the Wall Street.

Ken Jebsen is likely to really believe this. The former moderator of the public radio broadcasting “Radio Fritz” in Berlin got fired after anti-semitic escapades in which he accused several people like author Henryk M. Broder to market the Shoa for reasons of public relations.

Jebsen is a very welcome guest and all-time speaker for the Vigil-movement in all over Germany. After being kicked from public radio, he launched his webradio KenFM in which he welcomed Ms
Evelyn Hecht-Galinski on July, 11th. Hecht-Galinski is the daughter of the first chairman to the Central Comitee of Jews in Germany, Heinz Galinski. For she is widely known as one of the most important Israel haters in Germany and comes reliably out of the box, when time and tension is up to verbal radical anti-israelism and anti-semitism, which the non-jewish partners either can not, want not, or due to fantasized Mossad threatening“shall not” articulate.
Ms Hecht-Galinski compares the IDF offence as extermination, Gaza as “world’s largest open air prison”, and the Israeli strategy towards Palestinian people as Endlösung.
The very implication is that Hecht-Galinski was welcomed guest and provided the key note to the last Monday’s Vigil at Berlin Brandenburg Gate.

If we have come full circle with this might be open. But all of them mentioned are part of this.

About the Author
Studies of history, romance languages, public and criminal law at University of Hamburg. Works as freelance author.